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Idaho State University

Preceptor Profile: Elaine Baker

Hands-on experience is vital to a student’s education at the College of Pharmacy. Preceptors, like Elaine Baker, PharmD, BCPS give students the experience they need to best serve their patients upon graduation. Baker says her connection with Idaho State University started even before she accepted the role of preceptor.

“I graduated from University of the Pacific Thomas J Long School of Pharmacy in 2008,” Baker said. “The founders of that college of pharmacy were actually ISU College of Pharmacy alumni. I completed my PGY1 Pharmacy Residency at VA Northern California Healthcare System. I have been with the VA since 2008. I have been working for ISU since May 2012.”

As a student, her positive experiences with preceptors ultimately led to Baker’s decision to become a preceptor herself. Prior to going to pharmacy school, she was a college basketball coach and has always enjoyed being involved in teaching and mentoring. Baker says her interactions with students keeps her young and she believes she has one of the greatest jobs in pharmacy.

“I work at a VA clinic in Coeur d’Alene, which is a community-based extension of the Spokane VA system,” Baker said. “I am embedded in primary care clinic providing clinical pharmacy services for anticoagulation and metabolic management, drug information and formulary management. I work under a scope of practice with independent prescribing privileges. Students work with me to provide direct patient care in these areas.”

Baker says her goal when working with students is to show them how clinical pharmacists are able to function clinically within primary care. She believes this model can and should be translated into private care settings outside the VA. While educating students, Baker also treats the experience as an opportunity to develop connections with her future colleagues.

“I love getting updates from former students, and hearing about all professional advances they are making,” she said.

Baker says one of the most rewarding things about precepting is learning from her students.

“Becoming a preceptor is the best way to stay current on your knowledge base. It establishes lifelong professional connections, and in general keeps your mind young.”

Preceptors make up a crucial part of students’ education at the ISU College of Pharmacy. To explore the possibility of becoming a preceptor, contact Cassandra Tack at or (208) 282-4794.

Written by: Jake Dixon