Michelle Piel, Pharm.D., BCACP

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I was born and raised in Toledo, Ohio, but have found my second home in Fayetteville, Arkansas. I completed all of my undergraduate training and PharmD coursework at The University of Toledo College of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, graduating with my Bachelor of Science in Pharmaceutical Sciences degree in 2010 and PharmD in 2012. Throughout pharmacy school, I worked as a pharmacy technician and intern at a local chain pharmacy, which instilled in me the importance of pharmacist-patient relationships on a daily basis. I completed my PGY-1 residency training with The Toledo Hospital and Flower Hospital Family Medicine Residency programs in northwest Ohio. During this residency year, I completed acute care rotations in the hospital and worked as an ambulatory care pharmacist in pharmacist-run disease state management clinics. I also completed a second year specialty residency with Butler University’s College of Pharmacy and Health Education Center. The focus areas for my second year of residency training were ambulatory care, academia, and public health.

I am currently an assistant professor with the UAMS College of Pharmacy on the Northwest Campus. I am a shared clinical faculty member and also work as a clinical pharmacy specialist with the Veterans Health Care System of the Ozarks in Fayetteville. As a professor, I teach chronic disease state management topics in Therapeutics I and am the co-coordinator for the patient assessment class for P3 students. I greatly enjoy serving as a pharmacy preceptor at the student-run North Street Clinic for Marshallese patients. In addition, I assist P3 and P4 students with mentoring and resources needed to pursue residency training upon graduation. At VHSO, I function as a clinical pharmacy specialist in diabetes management for a satellite VA community clinic in Branson, Missouri. I work one-on-one with patients to assist them with achieving control of their diabetes through medication management, insulin titration, and lifestyle counseling. Since the majority of my patients live in Missouri, I see patients via clinical video telehealth appointments connected with a secure camera. The patients see me sitting at my desk while I see them in front of a camera in the Branson clinic. This technology has allowed me to provide a unique service to this VA clinic and also establish meaningful patient-provider relationships for diabetes management. With my clinic at the VA, I serve as an ambulatory care preceptor for both P4 pharmacy students and the PGY-1 residents with VHSO and UAMS Northwest. One of my favorite parts about teaching is seeing the “light bulb” go off once I can tell that a student or resident really gets a concept or new clinical point!

Who/what influenced your career the most?

My career as an ambulatory care pharmacist and pharmacy faculty member has most been shaped by my two residency program directors: Steve Smith and Carrie Maffeo. I actually met Steve very early in my pharmacy career as a P2 student when he agreed to take me on for some of my required IPPE shadowing hours at his clinic. Prior to my shadowing experiences with Steve, I had no idea of the impact that pharmacists make in clinical settings! I went on rounds with Steve to make suggestions for patients in the hospital and assisted with warfarin management in the clinic. I left those experiences wanting to do a residency and become exactly the type of clinical pharmacist that Steve is today! When I figured out that I also wanted to teach and be a faculty member, I was very fortunate to have Carrie as my mentor and program director for an entire year. Words cannot describe the impact Carrie has made on me as a practitioner and professor. Her excitement and energy towards innovative pharmacy practice is contagious and I can only hope to become the type of professor that she is for her students at Butler!

Using my talents to serve the needs of others is extremely important to me. When I am not working, I enjoy volunteering in a variety of settings. This summer, I joined the core leadership team for the Life Teen program at my parish St. Vincent de Paul in Rogers, Arkansas. I spend my Sunday nights hanging out with high school students to help them grow in their faith while having fun. I also enjoy participating in medical mission trips with Timmy Global Health, a non-profit organization based out of Indianapolis, Indiana. I have traveled to the Dominican Republic and Ecuador with medical teams of physicians, nurses, pharmacists, and students. I hope to plan my next brigade trip for next fall!

People would be surprised to know…

  • I am a huge Detroit Tigers baseball fan and grew up attending, watching, and listening to games with my dad and younger brother Kevin. Go Tigers!
  • I enjoy studying art history and was actually part of a specialized visual art major program while in high school. My high school art teacher was disappointed when I told her that I wanted to become a pharmacist, but I am sure she would be proud of where I am today.
  • My younger sister Megan and I are only 13 months apart and best friends – pretty much as close as you can get to being twins! She is currently studying to become a nurse practitioner, and we love swapping stories about our experiences in the classroom and on clinical rotations.