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Happy fall y’all! Two Pills Podcast is back from summer break and better than ever!Resources:  Can you increase your confidence (intervals) in teaching biostatistics?!  Oh, biostatistics. A subject that strikes fear into anyone studying for an exam that contains them, someone presenting a journal club, or even analyzing your own data for research. Today, I am going to be describing a systematic approach to biostatistics that may help you in teaching the content and help your students with application.  Healthcare professionals are required to continuously update their knowledge; therefore, our students need the skills for life-long learning, as well as an appreciation for the scientific method. Biostatistics is the “basic science” of quantitative evaluation of evidence and students will need to require evidence for methods of: prevention, diagnosis, and therapy/management in the treatment of medical conditions. Students need to know how to interpret diagnostic procedures and apply them to individual patients. Students need to develop the skills to read the medical literature with confidence in their ability to evaluate the validity of articles.  Often, students are taught biostatistics in a lecture-based format. When I was taught biostats in professional school, I think I had last seen statistics in high school during AP statistics. As we’ll discuss, repetition is key for understanding and applying biostatistics. After they initially learn about biostatistics, their first presentations on statistical analysis may be in the high-pressure environment of a journal club. I think we have all seen the spectrum of confidence that students have when presenting statistics in a journal club.   I first became interested in augmenting my teaching of biostatistics in an interprofessional setting. I was working with a medical residency and they wanted to increase the structure of their journal club/biostatistics curriculum. The milestones that I attempted to address were: PBLI -1: Locates, appraises, and assimilates evidence from scientific studies related to the patients’ health problems  Level 1: Describes basic concepts in clinical epidemiology, biostatistics, and clinical reasoning Categorizes the design of a research study  Level 2: Identifies pros and cons of various study designs, associated types of bias, and patient-centered outcomes Formulates a searchable question from a clinical question Evaluates evidence-based point-of-care resources  Level 3: Applies a set of critical appraisal criteria to different types of research, including synopses of original research findings, systematic reviews and meta-analyses, and clinical practice guidelines Critically evaluates information from others, including colleagues, experts, and pharmaceutical representatives, as well as patient-delivered information  Level 4: Incorporates principles of evidence-based care and information mastery into clinical practice Level 5: Independently teaches and assesses evidence based medicine and information mastery techniques Resources: For full episode notes and more information, visit
How are you preparing for the semester?  Welcome to 2021! I hope you all had a great holiday! I ended up contracting Covid, so I have not been recording recently. Thankfully, my symptoms were mild and I am excited for the new year! I think many of us are cautiously optimistic and hopeful about what 2021 could bring.   As we start January, consider this question-how prepared are you for the semester? You may have taught the same content in previous years, but how could you improve it this year? Have you switched to remote learning? If you switched to remote learning in Spring 2020, it was probably more of an emergent online teaching situation rather than a prepared and fully thought out plan. Now, you have some time left to prepare! Based on the resources listed at, I have some areas to keep in mind as you plan for Spring 2021.  Clarity: Students and instructors have had to increase our flexibility over the past year. With changes in how students attend class, how we teach, and how we take students on rotations-there have been quite a few variations to adapt to. Clarity of due dates and expectations can only help during this time. In my experience, overcommunication and with a variety of methods can help students meet or exceed expectations. Have a calendar, syllabus, course platform, emails, and/or verbal reminders. While it may feel excessive, a specific type of communication is likely preferred for some students over another type. Encourage students to set alerts, reminders, and organize their calendars/planners at the beginning of the semester. If, and more likely when, we are to see changes to the way we teach or the way students attend class, I recommend over-communication and reminders of these changes as well.   For full episode notes and more information head over to  
Two Pills Tip: Positives of Pandemic Teaching and Learning! Resources:  Congratulations! Finished the semester and graduated another class of students! While there are MANY things we want to leave behind in the pandemic and revert back to the before-times, I wanted to take a minute to talk about the positives of teaching during the pandemic. What do you want to continue in your teaching?  Stats: half of faculty (51 percent) are more positive about online learning today than pre-pandemic. Most faculty (71 percent) said their teaching in Fall 2020 was “very different” or included a “number of changes” and almost half (47 percent) expect those changes to remain post-pandemic...For full episode notes and resources visit us at 
Two Pills Tip: Video Assignments! Having students create short, video content for online learning can increase STEM self‐efficacy (Campbell et al., 2020), and thus, making student content part of the course can be beneficial.  Students are (generally) VERY comfortable creating videos-Snapchat, TikTok, Reels, etc  Assign via link, immediately asks student to record, goes into folder you design for this assignment, student lists their unique link as answer to quiz  Practice, edit, assign short videos  Many different options-students can even set up a zoom meeting by themselves (I often do this so that I can have a creative virtual background), for informal, can just record on their phone and upload...For full episode notes and resources visit us at
Interview with Gina Thomas!Gina brings more than 35 years of healthcare expertise to Nobis Rehabilitation Partners, LLC. Gina has held a number of clinical and leadership roles in non-profit acute care hospitals, for-profit, public, and private organizations.  Prior to Nobis, Gina served as the Chief Development Officer at Lumere where she built the commercial and marketing foundation. She brings a wealth of healthcare, clinical and operational knowledge and is known for 'connecting the dots' in healthcare. Prior to Lumere, Gina held business development and consulting roles at The Advisory Board and MedAssets with the early portion of her career devoted to clinical roles at 11 different healthcare organizations.​​Gina is a licensed Registered Nurse and holds a Master's of Business Administration. She currently serves as an adviser to the Co-Founders at CoverMe and Inlightened. Gina has also served as a leader or adviser on a number of professional non-profit organizations.Full episode notes and more available at
Interview with Dr. Meredith White about the fun and function of using Bitmoji in the (virtual) classroom!
Conquer your presentations with Canva! Resources:  What is Canva? Web/app based platform Free, then pay for use of certain images, more templates, etc Build your own worksheets/exercises I use frequently for brief presentations. I search “blank presentation” and then modify the template of the presentation. I enjoy the beautiful designs-so much better than the traditional slide shows we are used to. Additionally, we have to remember that most of our students have been seeing slideshows since they started school. Many of use utilized chalk/dry erase in addition to these slideshows. Our presentations should be consciously designed and engaging.  It *is* different than traditional slideshows. Bullet points/outline is not as easily formatted-it’s more of a free flowing design I used the newsletter function to create a fun creative syllabus Professional looking certificates/awards Created digital escape room content Unique templates like a timeline, gantt chart, etc Editing functions: Gridlines Slide sorter to see everything Copy function to copy similar slides Download and present easily! Can download as jpg, pdf, ppt, etc Everything looks so professional! Full episode notes and more information available at 
Resources:  Escape rooms are SO hot right now.  I have seen diabetes escape rooms, gram positive infections escape rooms, and even interprofessional education escape rooms.  They sound daunting and difficult to create.  However, after making my first one, I can tell you-if you have worksheets, you can create an escape room!  Who: I piloted it in my elective, so a smaller group.  Students were in teams of 2-3.  What: This was an end of course review for an infectious disease elective  Where: Classroom  When: End of course  Why:  -Allows you to review many concepts in a short amount of time -Students are entirely immersed in the content as they attempt to solve the locks -Timer naturally creates sense of urgency and competition  .... Full episode information available at  
Interview with Dr. Vanessa Holtgrave, PsyD, MSDr. Holtgrave is a professor of clinical and forensic psychology and a licensed clinical psychologist in the State of California. She has extensive experience in psychological assessment and diagnosis. She works closely with psychiatric medical professionals as part of a forensic team, provides consultations, and coordinates patient care with medical professionals in a psychiatric setting. Over the years she’s has worked within the prison system, juvenile detention facilities, and within community mental health. Questions? Comments? Recommend someone for an interview? Contact us or find us on twitter @twopillspodcast! Highlights (full transcript at Forensic psychology is the intersection of mental health and the legal system. There are many branches. It could be police psychology, correctional psychology, and expert witness testimony; there are so many different areas. Clinical psychology is working more in the community where you might be working with individuals with severe and persistent mental illness. They cross over where you may be working with similar individuals in the correctional setting. It's not really it like CSI like everyone thinks. I really love working with other professionals. On the forensic team, we work with psychiatrists, psychiatric nurse practitioners, public defenders, judges, case managers, all kinds of different professionals. It's nice to be able to bounce ideas off of each other in a respectful way. It's a focus on how do we get this person help so that they stay out of the justice system? I really wanted to challenge myself after getting my Ph.D. and one of my friends started teaching and said that she needed someone to teach clinical assessment. I thought everyone would be fighting for that class because it's so exciting. I just loved it so much. I think new faculty should invest in Red Bulls. Being a professor does not have to be so dichotomous. You can have high standards for your students, but also be supportive. You also want to make the student experience fun. You don't have to have that be at the sake of standards. I see that that kind of dichotomous approach where you have to be strict with your grading and then can't be supportive or give them additional opportunities. I wish someone had told me that lectures don't have to be perfect. I probably spent 20 to 30 hours on my lecture and then worried about if there would be extra time and I wanted to make sure to include the specific active learning strategies. You can let yourself get too lost in that rabbit hole. I wish someone had told me that they didn't have to be perfect because students will still have their questions about the content and what is most important is that they're learning. Each person has their own coping skills or lack of coping skills. They have their own support system or lack of support system. What a person is going through is not something that you have gone through. Patience, clients, and students, humble me and remind me to be sensitive to the fact that they have their own experiences. Our students are a bunch of superheroes. They balance school with everything else going on in their lives. As faculty and Scholar practitioners, we need to remember that these students are coming from a different place and all need different types of support. It's not being needy or putting in less effort. They just may need a different type of support or level of support. For me, it's about making the time for people in your life. It may be deciding that I'm not going to open my laptop or I'm not going to work from home. It sounds like an anti resolution. I'm going to go hiking with my friends this weekend and I'm going to make the time for it. If I were to describe happiness on a certain day, it comes from those kinds of interactions. 
Can we make teaching online more fun? Let’s talk about  Post-its!   We are all working on a transition to online teaching (or maybe you have already been teaching online)! How do you inspire students to brainstorm online? Can we go beyond message boards to something with more versatility? There are many ways to do this! Today, I am going to talk about online interactive post-it notes. The product that I am most familiar with for achieving this goal is Padlet. So, what are some ways that you can use this type of app to enhance your teaching?  Resources:  What is it? Web-based app that allows posting of notes on a digital wall (notes can be posted anonymously or attached to a username). Files, images, videos, and links can be uploaded to the wall. Notes can be moved around to arrange into categories, ranking, or however you would like!   Full episode notes available at 
Interview with Dr. Taylor Steuber! Dr. Taylor Steuber, PharmD, BCPS is an Assistant Clinical Professor at the Auburn University Harrison School of Pharmacy and a clinical pharmacy specialist with the UAB Division of Internal Medicine at Huntsville Hospital. Dr. Steuber joined HSOP in August, 2016. He earned his Pharm.D. from the University of Missouri-Kansas City at MU in 2014. He went on to pursue a 24-month PGY-1/PGY-2 residency in pharmacotherapy with Indiana University and Butler University in Indianapolis. In his free time he enjoys anything sports or outdoors-related, particularly baseball, golf, fishing, and hiking. His goal is to one day visit all of the Major League Baseball stadiums.Full episode notes and info available at
Diversity in Patient Cases!  Summer has arrived and it’s a great time to update your patient cases! If you think about the patient cases that you use in class, how much diversity is incorporated into them?  We know that for medical students, addressing diversity and cultural differences is imperative to ensure future physicians can competently care for the dynamic and increasingly diverse United States population. Medical students want to learn about diversity to broaden their educational experiences during medical school.  Another way to think about this is: “The conditions in which people are born, live, learn, work, play, worship, intersect with culture and affect a wide range of health functioning and outcomes,” “A diverse workforce and culturally skilled clinicians and scientists are a societal need.”  A great manuscript that I have linked in the show notes includes a checklist to guide case presentations to better reflect diversity. The checklists includes patient characteristics of race/ethnicity, sexual/gender identity, English language fluency, religion, socioeconomic status, disability, education level, and neighborhood. In this study, faculty members were asked to ensure each of their case scenarios incorporated at least two characteristics from the list and to consider these characteristics in guiding student discussions about how health disparities influence the delivery of patient-centered care.   For full episode notes and information visit  Breakout! Hope everyone is wrapping up Spring semester and graduation! Since we have all switched to teaching remotely, I thought it would be a good time to discuss active learning online. Today, we’ll discuss breakout rooms. Breakout rooms are a fantastic way to initiate active learning in an online teaching environment. They are best in a class that is taught live or synchronous. I am going to talk less about how to initiate breakout rooms and more about the opportunities to engage students when using them.  You can do almost any small group active learning in breakout rooms that you would in the class room. Students have full audio, video, and screen sharing capabilities. Peer-to-peer interaction and feedback can be incorporated. Like small groups in the classroom, they can also promote inclusion by providing an opportunity for low-stakes participation for learners who may be reluctant to chime in during large group sessions. Finally, breakout session activities can serve as a tool for formative assessment as the activities students complete can help instructors gauge achievement of the learning outcomes.  For full episode notes and more info visit us at
Podcast on the road at a pharmacy conference! Interview with Timothy Augnst, Ravi Patel, and Robert Pugliese!
Online teaching…am I doing this right?  Resources:   Hopefully, everyone has made it through the initial shock of a quick switch to online course delivery. As we wrap up our final lectures of the semester, I just wanted to give some tips on how to infuse a great deal of active learning into our new environment. Will teaching be the same as it was in January? No. Will it be perfect? No. Will students learn a great deal and faculty enjoy teaching? Yes! Feel free to send us an email if you have some great tips for a transition to online active learning!  Create community: One of the major hurdles for online learning (and our current quarantine restrictions) is isolation. I read one comparison of learning to exercising. If you go to group classes in the gym, you are motivated, you have a sense of community, and you commit to showing up with the others in the class. If you have a treadmill, it is on YOU to show up and power through. It’s easier to make excuses and inadvertently miss deadlines. With online course delivery, we do not necessarily have the classroom to be our group setting. We need to emphasize the sense of community that we are providing students, just in a different way.   We need to build connected, caring communities for our online students and the extent to which we respond and provide reassurance that we are here for them goes a long way in establishing relationships and building a sense of trust. It is amazing how receptive students are to quick email turnaround! Feedback should be timely as well, and specifically targeted to the work product being submitted. The dialogue should be varied and can include video chatting, discussion boards, emails and comments providing feedback on assignments. An advantage of using such methods is that the students need to log in to the course frequently, and frequent log-ins help keep students on track and aware of assignment due dates. The ultimate goal is for the students to feel that they are part of a collaborative atmosphere with the professor as well as other students. This helps with the retention and performance of students in the course. This can also be reaching out to your students, especially if they are your advisees. They may be facing housing instability, food insecurity, financial issues, health issues for themselves or family members, etc. Additionally, if you notice a significant change in how a student is performing in the course, it would be worth it to reach out to them or have their advisor reach out. I teach a course for students early in the program and I reached out to those who are less successful. With this change and how early they are in the program, they may be unaware of resources available or less likely to ask for help and feel that they need to “tough it out.”   Advanced preparation: This switch to online delivery requires even more preparation than live in-classroom teaching.  -How do you want to interact with students? -Message board? Voice thread? Chat box? Have them unmute? Raise their hands? For full episode notes and info visit  Let’s talk assignments. In order to get to higher levels of learning, we need to go beyond multiple choice/true-false. However, what is the increased burden of grading?? Is there a way that we can increase application, evaluation, and synthesis without having hundreds of papers to grade??  A potential solution? peer evaluation.   Peer assessment can be defined as the application of criteria and standards to evaluate and provide feedback on the work of peers or colleagues In a group project, peer evaluation provides accountability of all members We all have to give peer feedback in our careers whether providing peer review in manuscripts or presentations, reviewing policies/procedure, etc. We also have to give feedback to peers, other professionals, students, technicians/assistants, etc Benefits to our students include a requirement for critical thinking and going beyond just saying “great job!” with no actual feedback In an evaluation of peer assessment in health professions students in Belgium, they found that students tended to grade at the high end of their assessment scale with a narrow range, but found their assessment tool to be helpful in differentiating student contribution in group work In an Australian study, researchers found that although students tended to give their peers’ assignments higher marks than an expert, the quality of feedback was similar and students overall found it to be valuable Studies have looked at evaluation from students across different campuses. If have opportunity to evaluate students from a separate campus or university, would be more likely to receive unbiased feedback.  Tips/tricks:  Keeping the process anonymous increases students confidence and comfort in giving feedback to peers Have to decide written vs face to face. While face to face is valuable for learning to provide feedback in the future, students may prefer written due to the anonymity.  Start small Try to do in class so they can ask you for help   I like these general recommendations to students: good feedback should be constructive, specific, kind, justified and relevant. Really great appendix in a 2014 article by Miesner and colleagues (published in Currents in Pharmacy Teaching and Learning) that was given to students as a guide for feedback. Some highlights include: Feedback is communication from others that presents data to a person about what the others are experiencing and how this is impacting them. The purpose of giving feedback is to give a person insight that they may not see in themselves and provide them with your perception of their strengths and areas of improvement. Some guidelines for feedback—  Full Episode Notes and Information Available at
Turns out, students enjoy throwing things. Especially at the instructor.  One way to engage students is to *physically* engage them.  I have done this with small groups of 10-12 up to 50+.   One easy way is to bring them to call on students to answer questions during your discussion. Since my background is in infectious disease, I usually bring giant microbes. I’ll throw one to one student to have them answer the question. If it is a group who knows each other well, I will have the initial student throw the item to the next student to to answer the next question.  This can also be a great way to come up with ideas in a brainstorming session. For example, let’s say you are asking the group to come up with causes of common complaints such as “chest pain” or “altered mental status.” The students can throw the toy to each other and each person has to come up with an accurate and unique addition to the ones that have already been mentioned. They have to listen to what others have already said and be reviewing potential possibilities as the ball is thrown.   Ball toss: “This semi-review and wake-up exercise is particularly useful for re-energizing students when they have been working with material that requires heavy concentration. Craft an open-ended prompt (such as ‘In my lecture, what did you find particularly interesting?  Important? Still unclear?’). Then have students stand up and form a circle facing each other. Toss a nerf ball or bean bag to a student and have him or her respond and then toss the ball to another student who also responds. Continue the exercise until everyone has caught the ball at least once and explained an important concept from the material just covered.”  I once went to a teaching and learning session. The instructor asked us to brainstorm ideas around a topic. We went around the room and gave our idea to the group. We then threw it towards him as he was carrying a large trash can. The session was at the end of a long conference session and I found it SO memorable.   I incorporated this idea into my selfcare talk on ophthalmology. Students were required to evaluate a real selfcare product from the OTC aisles in their groups. They had to discuss aspects such as indication, precautions/contraindications, and patient counseling points. When they finished, they threw the Ziploc bag containing their product into a large bin at the front of the room. Students were surprised at the opportunity to chuck an item across the room and it livened up the end of class.   Another activity I read about, but have not done myself, is “Snowballs.” The instructor forms several blank pieces of paper into balls and throws them around the room. Each time a “snowball” lands on a desk, the recipient must write three takeaways from today’s (or yesterday’s) class, and then throw it onward. After nine ideas are on each page, pause for students to debrief the pages in groups.  A couple of tips for making this successful: Know your audience-do they know each other well? Will students feel comfortable answering questions individually? Or calling on others? Use soft items. This should be a given, but you definitely don’t want to cause any risk of harm to the students or yourself or the building.  Know your time limit. Like all active learning, know when too long is too long. Plan in advance and then stop if needed.   Good luck! 
Interview with Dr. Fagan and Dr. Fransisco!Dr. Susan C Fagan is Jowdy Professor of Pharmacy and Assistant Dean at the Augusta campus of the University of Georgia College of Pharmacy. She is known nationally and internationally for her research in Stroke and was named “Distinguished Research Professor” at UGA in 2013. Currently the Interim Director of Interprofessional Education, she uses her knowledge and experiences as part of an Interprofessional Stroke Team, to develop coursework and ensure graduates are “practice ready” and collaborative upon graduation.Dr. Francisco received his B.S. in pharmacy at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill in 1976. At UK he completed a doctor of pharmacy degree and a pharmacy residency with an emphasis in geriatrics in 1979. Upon completing his residency, he joined the faculty of the University of Georgia College of Pharmacy as assistant professor in the Department of Pharmacy Practice. In 1985, he relocated to Virginia where he developed off-campus teaching and practice sites at Eastern Virginia Medical School in Norfolk, Va. as a faculty member at Virginia Commonwealth University School of Pharmacy. He also taught in two family practice residency programs and worked with five community teaching hospitals in eastern Virginia to develop clinical pharmacy services. He also established and taught a course in sports medicine at Old Dominion University and worked with the Area Health Education Center to develop health-related community programs. He returned to the University of Georgia in 1988 as associate dean in the College of Pharmacy. His areas of emphasis include drug interactions, infectious diseases, and physical assessment. He has been recognized for his clinical expertise and service by the Eastern Virginia Medical School and the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists and for his teaching accomplishments by the Teaching Academy and the University of Georgia College of Pharmacy.
Interview with Dr. LaDisa and Dr. Bartelme!Dr. LaDisa received her Pharm.D. (2001) from Drake University in Des Moines, IA. After graduation, she completed a PGY-1 Pharmacy Practice Residency at Barnes-Jewish Hospital in St. Louis, MO (2002). Since completing her residency, she has practiced as an inpatient clinical pharmacist and inpatient pharmacy clinical coordinator at Aurora Sinai Medical Center in Milwaukee, WI. In 2012, she joined the faculty at CUWSOP in the Department Pharmacy Practice. Dr. LaDisa practices as an inpatient clinical pharmacist in an acute care GI/GU surgical unit at Aurora St. Luke’s Medical Center in Milwaukee, WI. This practice involves multidisciplinary collaboration to provide evidence-based, patient-centered recommendations to optimize drug therapy related to pain, nutrition, infectious disease, and transitions of care. At St. Luke’s Medical Center, she also serves as a preceptor for pharmacy IPPE and APPE students, as well as PGY-1 residents.Dr. Bartelme earned her Pharm.D. from the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities College of Pharmacy (COP) with an emphasis on leadership in 2009. She continued at the COP as a PGY1 resident in a 24-month ambulatory care leadership residency. During residency, she spent half her time teaching at the COP and the other half as an ambulatory care pharmacist. The first year she practiced in a family medicine clinic that had established pharmacy services. In the second year, she developed a new pharmacy practice at another clinic. After residency, Dr. Bartelme took a position as a faculty member at Concordia University School of Pharmacy. She currently teaches in the Applied Patient Care courses, the women's health pharmacotherapy module, and co-coordinates the women's health elective. She is an ambulatory care pharmacist at the Ascension Columbia-St. Mary's Germantown Clinic where she provides anticoagulation monitoring services, diabetes management services, and comprehensive medication reviews. She earned board certification as an Ambulatory Care Pharmacist in 2011.
New year, new active learning strategies!  New year, new active learning! If you are reviewing your material to teach for spring semester, jazz it up! This is the time!    Resources:  Active learning definitions: -Instructional activities involving students in doing things and thinking about what they are doing (Bonwell and Eison, 1991) -Approaches that focus on developing students’ skills than on transmitting information and require that students do something—read, discuss, write  -Students’ efforts to actively construct their knowledge -Opposite of passive learning…aka reading slides to students  Here are some strategies to get you started:  Think-Pair-Share -Give students a problem/case -Students first think about problems alone (think) -Students then discuss the topic with another student (pair)  -Students discuss the topic with a larger group (share) Muddiest Point -Students spend 1-2 minutes answering questions about anything that remains confusing/misunderstood about the lecture  Games -Select a game that you like, select objectives for the lecture/session, then overlay the content onto the framework of the game! Audience Response Systems (ARS)/Clickers -Can be integrated into a classroom session for a quick formative or summative assessment Case Studies -Require students to apply their knowledge, skills, and attitudes to solve a problem relating to the course material -Helps prepare students for case-based exam questions 
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