Amber Miller, PharmD, assistant clinical professor of pharmacy practice and regional coordinator for the San Fernando Valley, is passionate about teaching and has wanted to be a preceptor since she was a student. Dr. Miller is a board-certified critical care pharmacist at Antelope Valley Hospital in Lancaster. Since 2013, she has been a volunteer adjunct faculty for Pacific. This month, she will be stepping into the role of regional coordinator for San Fernando Valley. She brings a wealth of experience in critical care and acute care.
She earned her bachelor of science in biology from California State University, Northridge in 2003 and her doctor of pharmacy from University of Southern California in 2009. She is a member of the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists, the American College of Clinical Pharmacy and the Society of Critical Care Medicine.
Dr. Miller was recognized as Pacific’s Preceptor of the Year for San Fernando Valley in 2014 and again in 2018. “University of the Pacific has an excellent reputation for producing quality students who have a passion for the profession,” said Dr. Miller. “Additionally, Pacific’s regional set-up makes it easy for pharmacists from all over California to become preceptors. Since becoming a preceptor for Pacific, I have received so much support from the University and the regional coordinator to grow professionally and as a preceptor. It has been a wonderful working relationship.”
“They are our future colleagues and the future of our profession.”
She shared that she enjoys introducing students to an area of pharmacy they may be uncomfortable or unfamiliar with and instilling in them a passion to learn more about the practice setting. “The ‘ah-ha’ moments are the best, when you see the student grasp the concept you have been discussing,” she said. “These future pharmacists are so appreciative of your time and knowledge.”
She views precepting as a way to give back to the pharmacy profession. “They ask great questions and I learn as much from them as they do from me,” Dr. Miller said. “They are our future colleagues and the future of our profession.” It is part of our responsibility to our patients and our profession to produce quality, high-functioning practitioners.”
She shared her advice for current pharmacy students: “A solid didactic foundation is key to optimizing growth as you move forward with your pharmacy education. Build a strong conceptual base and that will make all of your experiential experiences more meaningful moving forward.”
For students to prepare for their advanced pharmacy practice experience rotations, she urges them to push themselves out of their comfort zones. “You may surprise yourself and discover a new area of practice that may interest you,” she said.
By Kate M. O'Dell, PharmD, BCPS