Learn the latest about the deprescribing education and outreach UWSOP faculty member Leigh Ann Mike provides to older adults and providers.
Leigh Ann Mike, PharmD, is Clinical Associate Professor, Department of Pharmacy and Assistant Director for Education, Plein Center for Geriatric Pharmacy Research, Education and Outreach at the UW School of Pharmacy.
“I did not follow a traditional pathway to geriatrics. For many years I worked in a critical care unit in a hospital, but did not at that time consider myself a geriatrics pharmacist. One day, when I was completing a continuing education course with a focus on geriatrics, I realized that I was already incorporating the knowledge, skills, and principles of geriatric pharmacy in my everyday work. That really changed my perspective. It really brings home the fact that no matter what setting you work (with the exception of pediatrics), you are, and should think of yourself, as a geriatrics pharmacist.”–Leigh Ann Mike, Plein Center Assistant Director for Outreach and Clinical Associate Professor at UW School of Pharmacy
We asked her about her work with deprescribing and its impact on patient care. While the term deprescribing is relatively new, pharmacists, particularly those who work in geriatric pharmacy, have had this approach as part of their practice for many years. And word of the benefits of this form of patient care is starting to spread. This past summer, for example, Leigh Ann delivered a presentation at the American Diabetes Association on deprescribing for older adults with diabetes.
Additionally, Leigh Ann conducts educational sessions for audiences of older adults about deprescribing to give them some tools to advocate for themselves and encourage them to ask their prescribers about simplifying their medication regimens. “In my daily practice as a consultant pharmacist working with individual patients, I routinely and intentionally think about how to simplify each person’s medication regimen, sometimes referred to as decreasing medication burden,” Leigh Ann. Through these educational efforts, she works with nurses and older adults who regularly seek out her professional opinion and advice on how to talk to prescribers about simplifying medication regimens. As she works with more providers and older adults, she hopes these grass roots efforts will spread so more people will enjoy the beneficial impact of deprescribing on their overall health.
A fun fact about Leigh Ann is that she lived in Europe twice during her elementary school years and still retains a little bit of her German language skills. Her coffee preference to jump-start the day: dark roast, very strong, with just a touch of sugar.