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When it comes to displaying leadership in a pharmacy career, Mark Huffmyer excels. Huffmyer, a 2014 graduate of the University of Kentucky College of Pharmacy, is the UK College of Pharmacy 2021 Preceptor of the Year award recipient and works as a Clinical Staff Pharmacist in the Anticoagulation Clinic at the UK HealthCare Gill Heart and Vascular Institute. He helps patients taking high-risk blood thinning medications and adjusts their medication doses based on laboratory monitoring, goals of care, provider recommendations and duration of therapy.

On top of his clinical duties, Huffmyer has also held a 5-year-long position as a preceptor for UK College of Pharmacy students. His desire to become a preceptor originated from his personal experience as a pharmacy student and the mentorship his preceptors provided him. He wants to give back to students the same way his preceptors invested in his education.

“I knew from an early age that I enjoyed teaching and educating. Before finding pharmacy, I had originally planned to become a teacher,” Huffmyer said. “My experiences in pharmacy school showed me how pivotal preceptors are for their students. Precepting is one of my favorite methods for teaching and learning because it is so hands on and impactful for both the learner and the teacher.”

Huffmyer shared that forming bonds with students that are eager to learn is the most rewarding aspect of being a preceptor. “I love watching the students’ confidence grow in decision making and communication as they spend more time in my clinic. It brings me pleasure to watch them flourish and hone their skills through patient interactions, documentation and interprofessional collaboration,” said Huffmyer. “I like to think the bonds formed between preceptors and students are lifelong and unbreakable. I enjoy seeing my previous students go on to have bright careers in pharmacy and interacting with them as colleagues.”

One piece of advice that Huffmyer has for students is for those having trouble determining the path they want to take in practicing pharmacy. “There are so many options and fields within pharmacy to specialize in, which can be daunting,” Huffmyer said. “My advice is to get as many different experiences as you can now, even ones you may not be sure about. You never know what you may enjoy or what passions you may find if you take the opportunity to seek them out.”

In honor of the hard work and dedication of its preceptors, the UK College of Pharmacy is recognizing preceptors throughout the month of June. A virtual appreciation event is scheduled for June 24, 2021, at 7:00 p.m. EDT. For more information about the event or information on becoming a College of Pharmacy preceptor, email copexperiential@uky.edu.

We wish to remember and honor those who inhabited this Commonwealth before the arrival of the Europeans. Briefly occupying these lands were the Osage, Wyndott tribe, and Miami peoples. The Adena and Hopewell peoples, who are recognized by the naming of the time period in which they resided here, were here more permanently. Some of their mounds remain in the Lexington area, including at UK’s Adena Park.

In more recent years, the Cherokee occupied southeast Kentucky, the Yuchi southwest Kentucky, the Chickasaw extreme western Kentucky and the Shawnee central Kentucky including what is now the city of Lexington. The Shawnee left when colonization pushed through the Appalachian Mountains. Lower Shawnee Town ceremonial grounds are still visible in Greenup County.

We honor the first inhabitants who were here, respect their culture, and acknowledge the presence of their descendants who are here today in all walks of life including fellow pharmacists and healthcare professionals.