Abby Weaver: Cooperative Clinical Intern

Emily Torgerson  •   December 8, 2020

In November, National CooperativeRx welcomed our third clinical intern Abby Weaver, for a six-week period. Abby is a fourth-year pharmacy student at the University of Wisconsin-Madison (UW-Madison), currently with us for one of her numerous rotations required to make her vision of becoming a licensed pharmacist a reality.

Originally from St. Charles, Illinois, Abby received her undergraduate degree in chemistry from Valparaiso University — famous for Bryce Drew’s “The Shot” during the 1998 NCAA tournament against Ole Miss.

Although Abby’s internship with the Cooperative might look a little different than normal due to the current pandemic, she was eager to delve into her new role and soak up all the knowledge and skills she can from her supervisors, Jocelyn Kerl and Erica Guetzlaff. Abby has been assisting our clinical team with high-dollar claim reviews and formulary guides, and learning about new member implementations, clinical initiatives, and member support. “My favorite part of my internship has been having the opportunity to create a formulary guide on prescriptions to over-the-counter medications,” Abby says. “There is no downside to patients learning how to better take control of their health.”

When asked what she has learned from us that she can apply to her future career as a pharmacist, Abby replied without hesitation, “the insurance side of pharmacy.” As the insurance world can feel like a complex, black box of information at times, it is important to learn this side of the industry as it is typically not taught at length in the classroom. “No matter where you practice pharmacy, insurance will come up in some form, so it is good to have this in your back pocket. To learn it is to live it!”

After Abby leaves us this week to continue her career path, she relayed her desire to ultimately work in a retail pharmacy setting after graduation. “My favorite student rotation so far was the community retail track as I find patient interactions genuinely fulfilling,” Abby explains. “I would love to work in a smaller independent pharmacy or a hospital because having on-hand access to patient’s medical records bypasses a ton of steps such as phone calls to health care providers.”

When Abby isn’t working on Cooperative intern projects or schoolwork, she enjoys outdoor activities like hiking and perusing the Dane County Farmers’ Market in the summer as well as trying new restaurants — her favorite Madison, Wisconsin haunt being the Blue Moon Bar & Grill. “I’m lucky the pandemic hasn’t really affected my life as a student too much,” Abby says. “Being able to work from home some days and taking exercise breaks during webinars isn’t too bad!”

Click here to see more of what Abby does in her free time!