Pharmacy faculty member David Shirley, PCCA Boot Camp Instructors

MUSC pharmacy students immersed themselves in compounding during a special boot camp on the Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC) campus February 23-24.

Twenty-seven students participated in the Professional Compounding Centers of America (PCCA) Boot Camp, an intensive two-day session that furthered their compounding training, earned them elective credit and made them eligible to complete more advanced training with PCCA.

“Our partnership with PCCA has created excellent opportunities for our students to explore compounding in more depth and give them a leg up if they decide to make compounding a significant part of their careers,” said David Shirley ’02, assistant professor of clinical pharmacy and outcomes sciences at MUSC  and practicing compounding pharmacist. “The boot camp provides great experience and can open the way for them to apply for a fourth-year rotation at PCCA as well.”

In 2009, MUSC pharmacy students Lisa Murphy ’12 and Margarita Taburyanskaya ’12 secured enough student commitments to persuade PCCA to offer the popular boot camp program in Charleston rather than at the PCCA Institute in Houston. Today, the on-site boot camp continues to draw MUSC pharmacy students looking to distinguish their skills and experiences in the job market.

PCCA instructors Jessica Messa and Beau Harger (pictured on a boat tour of Charleston skippered by Shirley) ran the introductory compounding boot camp, which offers hands-on training and a review of dosage forms and compounding techniques. Students pursuing additional training may take advanced and veterinary compounding courses.

“Compounding was the backbone of the profession for most of its history,” Shirley said. “The most visible identification of pharmacy for most people is the mortar and pestle, which are compounding tools. Modern technology and the ability to customize medicine mean compounding will be a big part of the profession’s future, too.”