My Journey as Commissioned Corps Junior Officer
By Shana Shriber, PharmD Candidate, Class of 2021
Through navigation of the detailed application process, to being tentatively selected, to progressing past the medical and background checks, to the excitement of receiving notification of my site assignment, to achieving ultimate satisfaction when my duty orders arrived, and knowing that all the preparation and diligent work were successful, my Junior Commissioned Officer Student Training and Extern Program (JrCOSTEP) journey was an adventure.
I was selected to serve as a Commissioned Corps Junior officer through the Junior Commissioned Officer Extern Program with the U.S. Public Health Service. My assigned location was highly desired as I was selected to work at the largest Indian Health Services facility in the nation, Phoenix Indian Medical Center (PIMC). Located in downtown Phoenix, PIMC is a large facility consisting of a 127-bed hospital, urgent care, and ambulatory care service unit. Although there are over 20 registered Native American tribes in Arizona, American Natives and Alaskan Indians travel from all over the nation to utilize PIMC as their community pharmacy, for primary medical care, and for other specialized needs. Currently there are six separate pharmacies operated on the PIMC campus including two in-patient pharmacies, primary care, pediatric, and specialty care pharmacies. The main pharmacy is utilized by the majority of the patients as their local community pharmacy. Pharmacy teams at the main clinic process approximately 400 prescription refills every day.