As a second year pharmacy student at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center here in Memphis, I am in the midst of my academic career and working toward my Doctorate of Pharmacy diploma in May, 2018. While the coursework can get a bit overwhelming at times, I have been utilizing the skills that I developed at Christian Brothers University ever since I graduated as a Biochemistry major in 2014, and I have been very active in several organizations on campus.
Of particular interest, I am one of the Chairs of a campus organization committee called Operation Immunization, in which pharmacy students go out into the community and immunize patients. Around this time of year, giving the flu shot has been our primary goal, and we have participated in many events around town, including retail pharmacies and hospitals as well as churches and health fairs. This committee has already been able to immunize over 4,000 people, and we’re working on many more! Being able to organize events like these remind me so much of CBU’s September of Service (SOS) initiative, in which CBU students, faculty, staff, and even alumni participate in a service activity every day during September. I was able to be an SOS leader during my junior and senior years of my undergraduate career, and I love being able to continue carrying out that CBU tradition in this unique pharmacy-related way. The involvement at I have obtained at CBU has significantly impacted how I viewed such opportunities at UT College of Pharmacy (UTCOP). Instead of being intimidated by the organizations, professors, and other coursework, I have been taking advantage of all that the college has to offer by being involved in the things that interest me most.
Although I still have over 2 years before I become a Doctor of Pharmacy, I have been thinking about what types of things I would want to do once I graduate. Last summer, I did my introductory rotations, an aspect of the UTCOP curriculum in which students are assigned to a site to work alongside a pharmacist who guides and explains aspects of their career. I particularly enjoyed my rotation at Methodist Hospital in Germantown, where I spent time with two inpatient pharmacists, who played an integral role in the management of anticoagulation therapy for their patients. I could also see that their duties to both their healthcare team and patients encompassed a wide array of responsibilities and knowledge, which served as yet another motivator for my future career.
As I reflect on my educational experiences and what will be next, I often find myself being thankful that I had the opportunity to attend CBU. Not only did I obtain a high quality education that prepared me for the great volume of work that is expected in graduate school, but I was shaped into a better person by my peers, teachers, and even the CBU atmosphere. I am now a more outgoing, passionate, and motivated person. These qualities have allowed me to succeed throughout pharmacy school thus far, and I hope they will continue to do so as I embark on my career in just a few short years.