Kirstie Freibert, Pharm.D., is a PGY2 solid organ transplant (SOT) resident at Ochsner Medical Center in New Orleans, Louisiana. She completed her prerequisite courses at Louisiana State University and obtained her Pharm.D. degree from Xavier University of Louisiana College of Pharmacy in May 2016. She went on to complete her PGY1 at Memorial Hermann – Texas Medical Center in Houston, Texas, together with her teaching certification from the University of Houston College of Pharmacy.
As the PGY2 SOT resident at Ochsner Medical Center, Freibert is gaining invaluable experience at one of the busiest transplant centers in the Gulf South region. During her PGY2 year, she will complete rotation experiences in surgical intensive care; adult liver, kidney, kidney/pancreas, lung, and heart transplantation; pediatric liver transplantation; and immunocompromised infectious diseases. She will further develop her skills in ambulatory care through the abdominal transplant clinic. In addition, Freibert will take part in academia at Xavier University of Louisiana, teaching pain management to second-year pharmacy students. She will precept fourth-year pharmacy students during the second half of her residency year in kidney transplantation and give a lecture for medical students on immunosuppression pearls. Freibert will provide an ACPE-accredited presentation focused on the use of noninvasive biomarkers to predict rejection. As an essential member of the health care team, Freibert provides pretransplant evaluations, documentation, pharmacokinetic monitoring and dosing, patient education, and discharge medication reconciliation to allow for effective transitions of care.
Throughout high school, Freibert took a strong liking to her science courses, specifically chemistry. During her junior year career day, she attended the pharmacy session, not having much previous experience on the role of a pharmacist. An ambulatory care pharmacist specializing in anticoagulation services spoke that day with such enthusiasm and passion regarding her career and interaction with her patients that Freibert remembers this day vividly. Although she explored other career paths such as dentistry and physical therapy, her spark remained with pharmacy. As she progressed through pharmacy school and learned about the impact of pharmacist interventions in direct patient care and the collaboration between pharmacists and other members of the health care team, she knew clinical pharmacy was her path. During her first clinical rotation in abdominal transplantation as a fourth-year pharmacy student, she fell in love with the complexity of transplants, the role pharmacists play in patient education, the patient population, and the continuity of care from pretransplantation to posttransplantation. Her passion for transplant pharmacy continued to grow throughout her PGY1 residency experience. Facilitating her transplant recipients’ transformations from their lowest points to new qualities of life fuels Freibert’s drive and excitement for solid organ transplantation.
Freibert attributes much of her career development and success so far to Dr. Bailey Wise. Wise was her abdominal transplant preceptor at Ochsner Medical Center during her first clinical rotation as a student. As Freibert observed Wise’s clinical confidence, autonomy, and the trust placed in her by the multidisciplinary health care team, Freibert aspired to one day elevate her own level of practice to that of her role model. During the rotation, Wise facilitated Freibert’s growth in patient education, challenged Freibert to think outside the box, provided Freibert with invaluable learning opportunities, and displayed an interest in Freibert’s career growth and success. Wise has encouraged Freibert’s performance and growth and greatly contributed to shaping Freibert into the clinician she is today.
Freibert encourages other ACCP members, students, and residents to become involved, stay involved, and explore opportunities. To Freibert, involvement and leadership are the foundation of growth in the practice of pharmacy. She believes that becoming involved and saying “yes” to new and unfamiliar experiences leads to new ideas and new areas of opportunity that may spark unknown interests. At the very least, she notes, we will have met great people along the way and will see growth within ourselves by stepping out of our comfort zone. The answer is always no if you never try; therefore, showcasing all of your amazing qualities will only make the pharmacy world that much stronger.