Soledad Granillo mentors students as a COP preceptor

Soledad Granillo may have graduated from the University of Arizona in 1982, but that didn’t stop her alma mater from calling her back onstage at the 2007 College of Pharmacy Convocation--to present her the Preceptor of the Year award.

Each year graduating PharmD students pick one preceptor from their clinical rotations who did an outstanding job of helping them on their way to becoming pharmacists. In 2007 they picked Granillo, a primary care clinical pharmacist at the Veterans Affairs Medical Center.

“Soledad provided valuable insight and a positive environment for learning,” said one student in an evaluation of Granillo. “She spent a majority of her time helping us learn the right way to understand the question, evaluate how to answer the question correctly and how to disseminate the information.”

Granillo, who says she enjoys teaching but isn’t sure she teaches as much as she learns from students, likes precepting fourth-year PharmD students because of the challenge to keep up with the latest pharmacy information and technology.

“I was stunned, really,” Granillo says about receiving the award. “I work with at least 20 other preceptors who are excellent teachers and knowledgeable. It was both an honor and a surprise to be selected.”

Granillo, a native of Yuma, Ariz., has worked with the VA since she graduated from pharmacy school. She completed one of her own clinical rotations at the center and heard about a job opening there after graduation. She applied and got the job, starting as an inpatient decentralized pharmacist.

“I wanted to work in hospital pharmacy,” she says. “I knew it would be easier to go from working at a hospital to retail pharmacy than vice versa, if I ever wanted to change.”

Now, Granillo plans to stay at the VA. She says the best thing about her job is the variety it offers.

“At VA you have so many responsibilities – reviewing medications with patients, teaching students, working with residents, doing distributive functions, problem solving, volunteering for committees, interacting with doctors, nurses, social workers and dietitians, all of which make for a cool work setting.  It never gets boring or monotonous.”

Granillo likes to go hiking and walking in her spare time. She has jogged a half marathon. The most important thing in her life is spending time with family and friends.