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2016 Siegel Clinical Acheivement Award Acceptance Remarks


51st Midyear Clinical Meeting
American Society of Health-System Pharmacists
Las Vegas, NV

December 5, 2016

Curtis D. Collins, PharmD, BCPS AQ-ID, FASHP
Clinical Pharmacy Specialist, Infectious Diseases
St. Joseph Mercy Health System
Ann Arbor, MI

Class of 2002


Good evening and thank you Dr. Siegel and Dr. Weber. I am truly honored and humbled to have been chosen to receive this award and would like to express my appreciation and gratitude to the selection committee.

I'd like to thank Jerry for his friendship and mentorship throughout the years. Jerry is the same age as my father and Jerry's father-like wisdom has been extremely valuable over the years. Although I'm sure, like many of you, I've heard some of his wise advice more than once or twice. It's good to reinforce the message, I guess. Jerry's it's a tremendous honor to win this award named in your honor.

I would also like to acknowledge the other nominees for this award. I'm confident it's only a matter of time before I'm listening to each of you give this address. Also, thank you to other preceptors who may or may not be here tonight. As a preceptor now to over 100 residents and students, I know how much of a commitment it is to teach and mentor residents, thank you. I would most especially like to thank my family for their loving support, especially my wife Emily who was able to make it tonight.

Now, I look around the room and notice my friends and co-residents and the other members of the classes of 2001 and 2002. It's a good reminder that this talk, as always, is for the residents in the room, the next generation of pharmacy leaders. I'm always in awe of these guys. They're like 5 star recruits. In order to be in this program you were 1 of 200 some applicants. To make it this far you were already elite, the best of the best, the tip of the pharmacy student spear. Your preceptors are making you better.

Look around, at the people at your table, for the current residents in the room, the people in your class will be the start of your professional network, colleagues, and friends for the rest of your lives. Lean on them during these challenging times and celebrate with them during the not so challenging times. Enjoy this week, embrace it. I hope you make memories this week which you'll laugh about 20 years from now.

Now, as Jerry mentioned, I was a MS resident, yet somehow, I am receiving a clinical award tonight. I have practiced as an infectious diseases pharmacist since the time I completed residency, but did not complete a rotation with Dr. Goff. How did that happen?

Well, it's somewhat of a long story but, I guess, really central to what I'd like to convey tonight. The training you are receiving is so elite and diverse, the network is so deep, the brand of The OSU residency is so respected that, ultimately, there are really no limits to what you can accomplish in your career as a graduate of The OSU residency program!

Whether you know it or not, the lessons you are leaning and the experiences you are having this year will shape your entire career. Many which you'll draw from later are random. For example, I still use to this day a Socratic method of teaching emphasizing simple, repeatable concepts which I learned from Dr. Gerlach and his dry erase board.

How you'll use other lessons and experiences may not become clear for many years. For me, a few of these aided my journey. Several, in particular, came from a somewhat unlikely source.

As a MS resident, the class load in the 2nd year is mostly electives. Well, I was sitting in the resident office one afternoon in the spring of my first year, going over the potential class options for the coming fall. I came across a course called 'The Fundamentals of Football Coaching' by Tressel J. No way, Jim Tressel is teaching a class... I must sign up! Well, I signed up and was immediately wait-listed. Advanced graduate status, and I was wait-listed for an undergrad class!? This has to be the real thing.

I thought nothing of it for 3-4 months. Then one Sunday morning in September, I received a call from an OSU number on my land line. I answered. "Hello, this is Coach Tressel from The Ohio State University, is Curtis there?" He said, a spot has opened up, we'll see you tomorrow at the Woody Hayes Center, 7:30am. Now, their game was in California and it was 9:00 am in Columbus. I said, I'm surprised that you're in the office, you had to have gotten home pretty late. He said, "Well, if you caught any part of the game yesterday, you know we have some work to do. See you tomorrow."

Now, I'm still not sure how I received graduate credit for this class and how Jerry or someone at the College approved it, but I have to say, it was one of the best business classes I have ever taken. Sure, there was some football X's and O's but it really was more of a team-building and organization management class. Coach Tressel rarely talked football. He talked more about life in general: how to set goals, have a vision, what success really means and how to define it, what it means to be committed to a team, and how to handle adversity and success.

The more I thought about it, the more I realized he was reinforcing values and principles I was seeing daily from my residency preceptors. I'd like to share of few of these with you tonight that have been helpful to me throughout my career and tell my story some while I'm at it.


Lesson 1: Learn to Self-Scout.
Know your strengths, not so strengths, what you do well and what you do, not so well. Evaluate yourself so that you may improve.

As I pondered a number of options coming out of residency, I self-scouted and realized that in order to be the most effective leader in the future, to really be a competent leader of clinical specialists, it would benefit me throughout my career to develop an expertise on par with their skillset. In fact, many of the people I looked up to at OSU had a clinical background prior to their administration experience. Well, a combination of the OSU brand and some good networking opened the door for me to be hired as an ID specialist, in Michigan of all places. Remember, there's nothing you cannot do as a graduate of the OSU residency program.

Looking back on that first year, clinically, I really didn't know just how much I didn't know. The higher level infectious disease knowledge certainly came after time but this was not the focus of my residency. During those early times I remembered a story Jerry told that stuck with me. He relayed how "when he was a clinical pharmacist" he would often spend ten minutes on a Monday talking about the Buckeye game, the weather, whatever, and then say, "Oh, by the way, can we change this dose or medication". What became clear to me was that Jerry self-scouted. He used a skill he's very good at, building relationships, to aide his journey to help his patients.

For me, I realized that the burgeoning field of antimicrobial stewardship combined all the training I received at Ohio State into a focused area. I was able to harness skills like policy and guideline development, formulary management, cost control, outcome reporting, and clinical research to aid my journey to help patients and provide value to my team.

Many of you have a diverse skillset, whether you have a wicked clinical knowledge base, you'll outwork everyone, whatever. Self-scout. Know your skillset, what you need to work on and what you do well. Seek out positions that will compliment your passions and skillsets most. Harness what you do well to aid patients and the profession.


Lesson 2: Concern for man and his fate
On the first day of class Tressel presented a quote from Einstein. He later asked us on a Midterm to define what that quote meant to define the profession of coaching and discuss the implications for you.

The quote was, "Concern for man and his fate must always form the chief interest of all technical endeavors. Never forget this in the midst of your diagrams and equations." - Albert Einstein

You see, I believe Tressel thought of himself as a teacher first, a lifelong mentor to hundreds. This obviously was an important quote for him and likely shaped his outlook on life and his profession.

I have often thought of this quote as a reminder that truly behind every professional decision we make, whether that is in the clinical or managerial setting, is a live person and a concern for that man and his fate is paramount.


Lesson 3: With Tradition Comes Responsibility
One of the stated goals of the football program was to "Have a positive impact on our university, alumni, community, state, NCAA football "world", and the entire world."

Even better, for me living in Michigan is this quote. Tressel once famously said, "I can assure you that you will be proud of our young people in the classroom, in the community and most especially in 310 days in Ann Arbor, Mich., on the football field."

Both the Ohio State Football and the OSU Residency Program have an extensive and distinguished tradition. OSU football has 8 national championships, 7 Heisman trophies and countless first-team All Americans. The OSU residency program has 9 ASHP presidents, 6 Harvey AK Whitney Award recipients, 3 APhA presidents along with many local and state pharmacy organization officers. I'm confident, the future of our profession is sitting in this room tonight.

With tradition comes responsibility.

Jerry mentioned that I was the only MS resident in the class. Whether I knew it or not at the time, the program was bigger than me. Moving forward in my career, I felt that I had a responsibility to remember what a privilege it was to complete a residency at The Ohio State University and reflect positively on the family, if you will.

It may be something different for each and every one of you and it certainly doesn't necessarily need to be pharmacy-related. Decide your purpose, set your goals. Find a way to have a positive impact whether it be in your profession, in the community, or in your family. Your gifts and talents are varied and diverse. Use them. Take this Ohio State tradition, this prestigious education and experience and share it with patients and the community.

Make memories this week and this year which you'll laugh about 20 years from now.
Self-scout.
Always have concern for man and his fate.
Be creative.
Fix those potholes.
Lead.
Honor the tradition and carry the message.

Thank you and OH -