Why did you choose to attend UK for pharmacy school?
There were several schools I considered during the application process based on their curriculum and focuses. The reason why UK was at the top of the list was because they had a curriculum that blended all aspects of pharmacy. For instance, they have courses that range from pharmaceutical science to therapeutics to emergency medicine. The course work and rotation sites are designed to expose you to a variety of settings and practices.
What benefits/opportunities do you feel you’ve gotten from attending UK that you maybe wouldn’t have had if you’d gone elsewhere?
During the summer after my first year, I had the opportunity to work in a unique lab that had combined patient interaction and bench-top science. After the summer, I collaborated with my mentor, Dr. David Feola, on my own project so that I would have a poster to present at the American Pharmacist Association annual meeting in Seattle, Washington. That type of research was very interesting because it was translational, meaning that the results could be directly applied to benefit patients who also take part in the study.
What is the best thing about being a UKCOP student?
One of my favorite things about the College is all of the resources available to students. For instance, if you think you would like to dabble in research, you could approach any of the faculty and they will find a lab that may be researching a subject of your interest. Or if you are interested in the clinical side of pharmacy, the college has many faculty members that work at the UK Chandler Hospital as full time clinicians. You could have the opportunity to shadow either the faculty members or their residents while they are rounding on patients, which is an unparalleled way to learn.
Did you work or volunteer in a pharmacy before enrolling at UKCOP or do you work now? If so, what type of setting?
After graduating from UK with my bachelor’s, I gained employment at a pharmaceutical company, which specialized in the manufacturing of sold dosage forms with unique coatings. My position with the company revolved around ensuring that the manufacturing process was in compliance with cGMP’s (current good manufacturing practices) and FDA regulations. Additionally, I hosted the FDA, DEA and other regulatory inspections of the facility.
Currently, I am an intern in the UK Healthcare intern program. The program is unique to the University’s hospital and offers a clinical component. For instance, one day every other week is spent with a clinical pharmacist. The rest of the time is spent preforming the daily activities of an inpatient pharmacy.
Why did you decide to go back to school? What was the transition back into student life like?
I am considered a non-traditional student because I spent two years in the pharmaceutical industry before I decided to go to professional school. They say in life the best decisions are never the easiest. I always knew I wanted a higher degree than a bachelor’s and I knew I loved working with pharmaceuticals, so it was a natural progression for me to choose pharmacy school. The most difficult part of the transition was getting used to the loss of a steady income. I think the transition was easier because as my priorities changed I was prepared to make the necessary adjustments.
Kathleen’s Words of Wisdom
When looking at different programs, it is important to make sure the school offers a way to experience different facets of pharmacy. When you enter school, you may think that you already know what type of pharmacy career you will pursue, yet you may have only worked in one type of setting. This can easily change when you get to see all the areas where pharmacists can make a difference.
Are there any areas of pharmacy that you’ve learned about thus far in your career that you are interested in pursuing?There are several areas of pharmacy that I have interest in pursuing. For instance, I am an intern at the hospital and love the clinical side of pharmacy and the impact that pharmacists make when they round on an interdisciplinary team every day. I have interest in translational research and to see new therapeutic possibilities in the pipeline. Since I did work for 2 years in the industry, I still have interest there, but maybe more so in clinical trials and Research and Development.