Escaping Monotony with Master Mentor Dr. Heidi Eukel!
Play • 26 min

Dr. Heidi Eukel takes us through a number of fresh ideas on interactive learning and shares how to avoid pitfalls she encountered while experimenting with learning games the first time around. 

In her own words: 

"I’ve been a professor (ugh, that word makes me feel old and boring) at my alma mater since 2009. 

I have the COOLEST teaching job ever – I practice in a licensed pharmacy that does not serve real patients – I take 15 student groups through 2-hour simulations on a weekly basis.

My expertise (in my fake pharmacy) include MTM, dispensing, consultation, community pharmacy practice, and communication.

I LOVE integrating pop culture into my teaching techniques – escape rooms, amazing race, minute-to-win-it, etc.

My best tip for faculty:  show the students that you’re human… I open lectures with a picture of my children being ridiculous (crying over the same toy, playing a trick on me, my clothing covered in baby food, etc.)

My current research is: escape rooms in education (nursing education, pharmacy education, interprofessional healthcare education) AND engaging pharmacists in the opioid epidemic (I received a $120,000 grant from ND Human Services, taking a project state-wide now!)

Highlights (full transcript at

H: I always knew that I wanted to be a teacher.  Exploring that Avenue of healthcare education was a little rocky for me.  My expertise is in Community Pharmacy practice.  My teaching is focused around motivating students to connect with their patients and to take that next step to be a pharmacist that makes a change.


H:  I use a technique that I learned from one of my colleagues called “read me.”  I created a Word document called read me.  It is all about what I need to do next time to make an activity better.  I type it up quickly right after the activity and then I review it before implementing the activity the following year.

One thing that went well for me is something that I piloted two years ago.  It is in the area of communication.  I often have Pharmacy student counsel each other in my Pharmacy.  While they may think that they sound great, they may be using words that patients do not understand.  Therefore, I implemented a self and peer assessment.  They record themselves counseling.  They pull up the rubric that I use and then assess themselves counseling.  I also take that video footage and assign it to another student.  It is random and Anonymous, but they also have to evaluate it.  They have to provide detailed feedback.  None of it is worth a grade, but it is all just formative feedback.  I have seen it really help our student’s comfort and ability to counsel. 

H: My absolute favorite part of my career is mentoring students.  I love seeing them choose what path they are going to take and reminding them that your path right after graduation is not a permanent decision.

 I also really love writing up the manuscripts for the research that I have done.  The first few that I did were really hard and collaboration was very important.  Now, after riding that bike for a while, it feels so much more natural.  It is really fun to share what you are doing.  It is great to connect with Pharmacy faculty around the country and around the world.  It is exciting. 

Part of the difficulty is engaging students.  They are very comfortable with boring PowerPoint lectures.  They are not as comfortable in a pharmacy setting where they are performing in front of their peers and faculty...  

Full info available at

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