College Preceptor Wins National Award

Published on 20 May 2015

Every patient who comes into Copper Bend Pharmacy in Belleville, Ill. receives their prescription from owner Steve Clement ’74 or a pharmacy student under his supervision.   

“We hand the patient their medicine and then we start a conversation by asking them what they know about it, and how they feel about it,” he says.

That interaction is not only important to the patient’s health, but the future of the profession of pharmacy. Clement regularly has students from St. Louis College of Pharmacy working right alongside him.

“I don’t tell the students anything,” Clement says. “I’m a big believer in leading by example, so I show them examples of the passion they can have, and the passion I have, for pharmacy and my patients.”

Clement has hosted hundreds of students since opening his doors. He was recently given the Master Preceptor Award from the American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy (AACP). Each year AACP recognizes preceptors from across the country for their sustained commitment to excellence in experiential education and professional practice. Just eight awards were given out this year, which is the program’s second year. It’s also the first to go to one of the College’s preceptors. 

“Steve’s passion for pharmacy is infectious,” says Gloria Grice, Pharm.D., BCPS, FNAP, director of experiential education. “Students learn lessons there about patient care which are invaluable to their careers.”

Clement sees the students arrive at Copper Bend well-versed in the medications and how it affects the body. He watches closely as students begin talking with patients. When a student asks for advice, Clement is ready with a lesson.

"When the patient opens their mouth to say a word, stop what you’re saying and listen to that patient,” Clement says. “If you go on with what you’re going to say that patient forgets what they’re going to say and they’re going to feel shut out.”

Clement says a former student recently reached out to let him know she’s now using his teaching methods on her own students.

“Once you realize what you can do for patients, and how you change their lives for the better, it’s an awesome feeling,” Clement says.

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