UW-Madison School of Pharmacy

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Advisor:

  • Olayinka Shiyanbola
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Cameron Lanier, PharmD, BS

Teaching Assistant (Spring 2016)


 

 

 


Cameron Lanier is a pharmacist (PharmD) and graduate student at the University of Wisconsin Madison in the social and administrative sciences department within the School of Pharmacy.  Cameron came to Wisconsin after receiving his Bachelors of Science degree in biology from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and his PharmD from Campbell University in Buies Creek, NC.  While at Campbell, Cameron did work with experimental compounds and mouse models.  Since arriving at the University of Wisconsin – Madison Cameron’s advisor has been Dr. Olayinka Shiyanbola, whereupon his arrival he transitioned to researching patient based outcomes.  This change is research track came from a personal desire to gain a deeper insight to how and why patients perceive their disease and how it impacts their treatment.

Cameron’s chief research interest is patient reported outcomes and perceptions of medications and treatment effectiveness as it relates to mental health disorders and improving patient centered care.

Currently, Cameron is working on his Masters project regarding patient perception of treatment effectiveness in patients with major depressive disorder and concomitant binge eating disorder.  Cameron has maintained a heavy focus on understanding patient outcomes and treatment effects through qualitative research and has worked on projects involving patients diagnosed with diabetes and self-reported survey results.  Though maintaining a qualitative research focus, Cameron has also worked with quantitative methods to gain a fuller understanding of the field of outcomes based research, namely through work with his major professor on projects related to patient’s with diabetic and cluster analysis.

Intent on maintaining close contact with the pharmacy practice Cameron holds dual pharmacist licenses in North Carolina and Wisconsin and currently works as part-time pharmacist for the independent, regional chain of Hometown Pharmacy in the southern area of Wisconsin.  This has allowed him to maintain interactions with patients, and stay up to date on the practice of pharmacy.

Teaching is something I enjoy and find great value in.  It represents a means to helping students and future colleagues prepare and become competent practicing healthcare professionals.  Principally, my ultimate goal in teaching is to facilitate and build confidence, a desire to learn, teamwork and critical thinking skills in future pharmacists so that they can have the wherewithal to believe in themselves.Learning never ends, certainly not at graduation, and it is important to make sure that students know that there is no certain point where they should turn themselves off to new information.

I see teaching as a path of mutual learning; there is a great deal that I feel that I learn from the very students I am teaching.  Their own insight is a powerful tool to help further my education, and I value their input.  I see teaching as a back and forth process, one where the teacher engages the student, and the student can freely voice their ideas and thoughts, opening to a conversation of ideas and viewpoints.

I find value in having students speak and teach each other in class as in integral method in promoting thinking, and inspiring critical thought among students.  In pharmacy and other healthcare education settings, reversed or flipped classrooms are becoming increasingly popular, and to me, represent a powerful tool in which to allow students to learn to their greatest potential.  It prompts discourse and the exchange of ideas that help prepare students for thinking on their feet when on rotation and in practice.  I believe that this helps students build relationships with one another, and helps to build confidence and communication skills that are necessary to successfully practice in pharmacy and healthcare.  This is one of the reasons that I feel it is important to keep the students engaged in the classroom and outside, as it puts them in a position where it is necessary to prepare for the upcoming day.  

I also see this exchange of ideas and communication as a valuable means for students to be able to help one another, I think teamwork is a very important aspect of education that is sometimes not as valued as it should be.  I think fostering a sense of community in the classroom where students can look to one another for help, is very important.  In practice, these students will have to engage with other healthcare professionals, and to provide them an opportunity to gain comfort in exchanging ideas and opinions with others is a very important and powerful thing.  Through group projects, assignments and discussions, this helps to foster the communication and teamwork tools that will become very important for students when they enter the healthcare workforce.  

It is my ultimate goal to be able to build an environment of mutual respect with the students.  I do not want students to feel they are in a position beneath me.  They should be comfortable enough to come ask questions and engage me in critical thought and discussion.  To do this is to build an environment of trust and support.  I believe in being there for the students so that they know that they can come to me with questions.  It is important to not let students feel isolated or ignored, their voices should be heard and treated with respect.  It is important that students feel excited and want to be in a position of learning.While a few students may be shown to strive in these environments, teaching should not be directed towards these specific few.  If the idea is to teach a class of students, and not five people, then the entirety of the class should be engaged and feel motivated and valued.  I do not wish for students to hate to come to class, or look for excuses to stay home, they should want to learn and feel that each day is a new opportunity to explore new horizons.  This is why in my experience as a teaching assistant I have made sure to make myself available to students and present myself as their colleague.  In class discussions I use enthusiasm and encourage discussion and communication with the students to create an open and free environment.