In this article the students from the University of Florida discuss why they started the ChatRx podcast and what their goals are for their new endeavor.
Written By: Eisha Ludtke, Pharm.D. Candidate 2024 & Lucas Zhou, Pharm.D. Candidate 2024
Apple Podcasts: @chatrxpodcast
Article Posted October 2024
Hello Readers of IDstewardship! My name is Eisha Ludtke, and I am a 4th year pharmacy student at the University of Florida (UF). Over the last few years, among the amusement of watching gators walk across crosswalks, and exploring UF campus festivities, I have witnessed the hardships and not-so-fun aspects of pharmacy school overshadow the fantastic opportunities we have as students too many times. As many of us know, pharmacy school, and the profession as a whole, is not for the faint of heart; it often comes with challenges and learning curves we are not fully prepared for.
Recently while reflecting about life during an afternoon drive, I had the idea to start a podcast focused on taking control of pharmacy student life and instilling positivity into the culture on campus. My ideas often run wild, leading me to recruit my good friend Lucas Zhou, who is also a pharmacy student at UF. I valued his insight and perspective on many topics I wanted to cover and to my good fortune he agreed to become my podcast co-host.
After class one day, Lucas and I sat down and developed a game plan for the inter-workings of our podcast. We agreed that we wanted to target complex components of pharmacy school and life inside and outside the academic realm. We brainstormed on topics such as fears, theories, complexities, unanswered questions, academics, physical and mental health, unspoken rules, and tips & tricks. We were excited that our discussions had the potential to be thought-provoking for listeners and hopefully start a movement to increase morale amongst people like us.
Core Pillars for ChatRx Podcast
After honing in our vision, we agreed that our ChatRx Podcast would aim to provide the following…
I have witnessed many fellow students lose their “why,” often leading to discontent in day-to-day life. ChatRx is working to provide valuable content that helps listeners reconnect with their purpose in the profession, even as students. Through sharing the stories of people in the pharmacy profession, we hope to fuel the fire that inspires young minds.
2. Practical Solutions
Have you ever felt like you were just expected to know how to do something when encountering it for the first time and kind of acted like you did because everyone around you seemed to have a grip on the situation? #FakeItTillYouMakeIt
Still, you actually had no idea if you were doing things correctly, at the right pace, or even in the right place. Well you are not alone. I knew that many students (including myself) were quiet fish swimming in a big ocean, acting like we knew how to navigate the tide. Let’s be honest though – we don’t know what we are doing, we do need help, and that is okay!
I started ChatRx knowing that no one will have all the answers, but I am still confident that if we publish content providing solutions to common problems, we have taken a step in the right direction, bringing practical solutions to the ears of our listeners from the lips of our respected invited guests.
3. Genuine Insights
Sometimes it is hard to keep up with the pace of student life. There are many deadlines and responsibilities that come our way each week. It can even be hard to find time to connect with friends and pick their brains about topics on our minds each week. We know we can use the ChatRx Podcast as a platform to bring bite-sized episodes to listeners where we provide genuine insight into various situations they may find themselves. Not all students will have mentors, but all students can learn from our guests as they walk to school or drive to their next clinical rotation.
4. Authentic Positivity
I think many of us agree that it is frustrating listening to people talk, just for the sake of talking. Time is the most valuable intangible thing. It is beneficial to have the words you consume leave you with a positive outlook and not have to question the motive. We aspire to deliver authentic positivity to our audience as part of our mission.
5. Perspectives that Instill Confidence
Remember my quiet fish comment? Well, it is imperative that at least one fish speaks up to teach others how to ride the tide. ChatRx and our accompanying guests aim to instill that confidence in listeners using various problem-solving techniques.
During our first podcast planning meeting, Lucas mentioned that we are successful as long as we impact the lives of even one student. That comment is now ingrained in the motives behind this podcast but also fuel to ensure ChatRx has a meaningful impact on the lives of as many pharmacy students as possible.
Our short-term goals for the podcast include producing five episodes, gaining 100 listeners, expanding the listener demographic to include students from three different institutions, and expanding our brand onto platforms such as Instagram, Reddit, and Facebook for listener engagement.
Our long-term goals are a little more lofty, including producing 20 episodes, gaining 5000 listeners, including episode guests from six different institutions and one international, having the podcast endorsed by a large, credible pharmacy organization or a pharmacist with a great degree of influence, and developing a system in which students can submit content.
All our shows end with a “life quote” from a cartoon character, and today, I chose Sandy from SpongeBob:
“Home is where you’re surrounded by other critters that care about you.”
– Sandy Cheeks
If you are a student or know a student who may benefit from ChatRx Podcast, send them home to a platform where other students care about them. I never thought I was a podcast person until I came to understand the benefits of just listening. ChatRx Podcast is here for students and other individuals in the profession. If you or someone you know is interested in being on the show, please reach out!
ABOUT THE PODCASTERS
Eisha Ludtke, Pharm.D. Candidate 2024 – ChatRx Podcast Co-Host
I am a pharmacy student in my 4th year at the University of Florida. I was initially born and raised in and around Arvada, CO. Growing up in a state that embraced all four seasons led me to appreciate the outdoors, running, hiking, and natural beauty. Besides school credentials, natural beauty led me to move to Colorado Springs for my undergraduate education at UCCS, where I studied biomedical sciences. I grew passionate for healthcare science and found joy in lending a helping hand. Throughout my freshman and sophomore years, I grew an inkling to pursue a pharmacy career after learning to admire the profession’s characteristics and motives, which mirrored that of my own. Among various compelling reasons, such as the renowned credentials of the University, I took the advice that change provokes growth and moved across the country to Florida.
As a pharmacy student, I have enjoyed being involved in student organizations such as SSHP, Kappa Psi, Student Council, NCPA, and Gator Pharmacy Wellness, where I have learned the principles of pharmacy leadership and innovation. I have also gained valuable experience as a pharmacy intern for Walgreens, Walmart, and MedWise Rx, where I learned to love patient interaction. I plan on applying for a residency this upcoming cycle to pursue my dreams of becoming an ambulatory care pharmacist and transforming the profession for the betterment of society.
Lucas Zhou, Pharm.D. Candidate 2024 – ChatRx Podcast Co-Host
I am a 4th year pharmacy student at the University of Florida. The profession of pharmacy was appealing to me because of how many different paths you can take. With experience at multiple biopharma companies and government agencies am interested in the intersection of business, medicine, and policy. Currently am applying to fellowships after graduation.
For fun, I enjoy practicing Brazilian jiu jitsu and playing pickleball.
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