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Joe was named Preceptor of the Year By The Ohio State University College of Pharmacy.

Joe with Andy Hall, one of our former pharmacy students, who nominated Joe for the Preceptor of the Year award.

On Wednesday, June 2, Joe and I attended a Preceptor Award Banquet at the Fawcett Center at The Ohio State University. Joe had been nominated as “Preceptor of the Year” by Andy Hall, one of our former pharmacy students, who did a fourth year rotation through Plain City Druggist last August.

Being nominated as “Preceptor of the Year” is a huge honor. Joe has been nominated several times in the past by students, but had never won the award until this year.

A “preceptor” is the same as a “mentor” in the world of pharmacy. You have to sign up to allow your site, Plain City Druggist in this case, to be an educational venue for pharmacy students. Then you agree to be their on site teacher or preceptor, showing them what they will be doing once they are a pharmacist, guiding them and preparing them to do your job.

The Preceptor of the Year award is only given to a select few each year and the preceptors are nominated by the students.

Joe with the Dean of the College of Pharmacy, Dr. Robert Brueggemeier, who presented Joe with the plaque for Preceptor of the Year.

Joe was presented a plaque by Dr. Robert Brueggemeier, Dean of the College of Pharmacy, and our former medicinal chemistry professor in pharmacy school. The plaque said, “Preceptor of the Year, Joe Craft, RPh. In recognition of outstanding contributions to the educational development of future pharmacists by demonstrating high standards of professionalism, ethics, and clinical practice. By the Ohio State University, College of Pharmacy, Class of 2010.”

Joe thanking everyone for his award.

In his award speech, Joe said, “I am very grateful for the education the OSU College of Pharmacy gave me.  My education has exposed me to great people who have inspired me to always do my best.  My education has brought me opportunities–opportunities such as owning an independent pharmacy.

“I wouldn’t have known about independent pharmacy if I had been someone who stood on the sidelines and never got involved. One of my earliest forms of involvement was just registering to vote, which led me to jury duty and an experience that eventually made me a pharmacy owner.

“Before I started my rotations my last year of pharmacy school, I was called for jury duty in Madison County. While serving on a grand jury, I took a walk through London, Ohio.  I went for lunch and decided to stop in The Medicine Shoppe located just beside the courthouse.  I walked in and the place was packed. I liked the energy in that little prescription shop. Then it occurred to me–I could pick this site as one of my rotations.  I approached the owner, Ernie Sparks, and he told me I could rotate there.

“The rotation opened up a new world for me. It was like no other experience I’d ever had. I knew by the last week of the rotation that I wanted to own an independent pharmacy–an idea that only a year before, I would never have thought possible.

“I went home and told my girlfriend, now my wife of 15 years, about my dream. We opened Plain City Druggist 4 years after I graduated.  It has been very challenging for us.  I am proud to say that last October, we celebrated our 10-year anniversary.

“I try to give each student what I found in the Medicine Shoppe. I try to give them enthusiasm and the tools they need if they choose the path of pharmacy ownership.  I offer to be their pharmacy owner mentor, like Ernie has been for me.

“I am so happy to be recognized for getting involved and taking advantage of my biggest opportunity, giving back to the College of Pharmacy as a preceptor.”

Joe with all of the award winners and Dr. Milap Nahata and Dean Brueggemeier (on either end).

When Joe was a pharmacy student, he nominated Ernie Sparks, who was the owner of The Medicine Shoppe in London as Preceptor of the Year. Ernie didn’t win, but he started Joe off on a path that eventually led to Joe being honored in the same way he had hoped to honor Ernie.

As Andy told Joe later in the day after hearing Joe’s speech, “You are my Ernie.”

Joe and I both hope that Andy can now go on to succeed in the same way Joe has, eventually owning his own store and someday being “Preceptor of the Year.”

For a really good preceptor, that is what you always wish for your students–that they imitate you and do all that you hoped they could do and more.

Joe with Dr. Milap Nahata, one of our favorite professors in pharmacy school.

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