Rachel Eyler, Pharm.D., BCPS, was named 2018 Teacher of the Year in the School of Pharmacy by vote of this year’s graduating Pharm.D. class. The students chose Eyler for her commitment to quality teaching and her dedication to their personal and professional development throughout the course of their training. This is the second time she has received this honor, the first coming in 2015.
Eyler is Assistant Clinical Professor of Pharmacy Practice and a member of the Institute for Collaboration on Health, Intervention and Policy (InCHIP). She has been a UConn faculty member since 2011 and her teaching responsibilities include coursework on nephrology and gastrointestinal diseases. In addition, she is a preceptor for Advanced Practice Pharmacy Experiences (APPE) students in general medicine at Yale New Haven Hospital – St. Raphael Campus, where she rounds with the Acute Care for the Elderly Service.
Born and raised in Ann Arbor, Michigan, Eyler is a graduate of the University of Michigan College of Pharmacy. She completed a PGY1 residency at St. Joseph Mercy Hospital in Ann Arbor and a Nephrology fellowship at the University of Michigan College of Pharmacy.
Her research interests include drug dosing in patients with kidney disease, as well as developing methods to further involve patients in medical decision-making. In this regard, Eyler will be an advisor to the 2018 recipient of the School of Pharmacy’s Nieforth Research Award, Cedric White ’20 (Pharm.D.), as he studies ways to present the risks and benefits of different chemotherapy medications to patients in an oncology unit.
Among her most recently published research articles are Utilization of Continuous ‘spinners’ to Communicate Risk in the Journal of Medical Decision Making and Psychotherapeutic Agents in End-Stage Renal Disease in Seminars in Dialysis. In addition, articles accepted for publication include The Impact of Information Presentation Format on Preference for Total Knee Replacement Surgery in Arthritis Care and Research and Reducing Risks for Older Adults with an Inter-professional Community-Academic Partnership: A Case Study Exemplar in Home Health Care Now.
Eyler says she developed a particular interest in the geriatric population because of her interest in nephrology, the health care challenges presented as people age, and the role pharmacists can play in developing tools to help these patients and their heath care providers make collaborative decisions.
“As people get older,” she says,” their medical situation often becomes more complex. The effects of multiple medications, chronic diseases, the fact that our kidneys don’t work as well to eliminate medications from the body as we age, all combine to make their treatment a challenge.
“Working with students gives me the chance to introduce them to complex situations and to demonstrate the critical role that pharmacists can play in helping patients make personal decisions about their own treatment. Whether it is explaining the relative effectiveness of certain medications, talking about side effects, or figuring out ways to treat multiple conditions simultaneously, the pharmacist can play a pivotal role. I feel fortunate that, both in the classroom and as APPE preceptor, I get to train a generation of pharmacists who will be able to capitalize on the expanding role of the pharmacist in care that is centered around their patients’ needs, beliefs, and values.”