Why did I go into pharmacy?
I have a whole post post dedicated to this topic that I wrote years ago! You can read it HERE. But in short, I’ve always enjoyed STEM focused classes the most so I figured I would end up in some related field as an adult. The pharmacy specific spark first occurred through my own illness/medication side effects experience during high school and this experience is still something I carry with me everyday as a pharmacist as I now care for patients. While I love healthcare focused jobs, I’ve never had a burning desire to be super hands on the way a nurse, PA, MD/DO, etc would need to be. I love helping people, especially when I get to have a role in bettering someones health and quality of life, I just prefer to do that without bodily fluids and other aspects I’ve marked as off limits. So for me, pharmacy is the perfect blend of direct-ish patient care!
Did I work as a pharmacy tech before starting or applying to school?
No I was not! In fact I had ZERO experience working in pharmacy before applying to pharmacy school! I think it is great if you do, especially if that particular field is one you think you want to work in afterwards but it is 100% not a must when applying to school.
What type of pharmacy program did I complete?
I completed a 6 year accelerated (undergraduate & graduate combined) Doctor of Pharmacy program right out of high school. The first two years were healthcare focused undergraduate classes followed by four years of graduate pharmacy classes. I did the traditional two semesters per year so I always had four months off in the summer which was incredible!
Where did I go to pharmacy school & when did I graduate?
I attended MCPHS University in Boston Massachusetts. MCPHS was formerly know as Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences, which is what the school was called when I applied and began my pharmacy journey. MCPHS also has a campus in Worcester, MA and Manchester, NH.
I began college in September 2013 and I graduated in May 2019.
What was I involved with on campus as a student?
I would consider myself a pretty heavily involved student in pharmacy school. I did a lot of volunteering through local organizations or professional organizations on campus. I also did a fair amount of research at my school which was a great opportunity. I was most heavily involved with ACCP, ASHP and APhA for professional pharmacy organizations and I was also inducted into Phi Lambda Sigma Leadership Honor Society, and Rho Chi and Phi Kappa Phi which are both strictly academic based honor societies. To get a better idea of how you can be involved and well rounded as a student, check out THIS post.
Did I work as a pharmacy intern?
I did work as a pharmacy intern for CVS for ~1.5 years from my P1 to P2 year. I always hoped I would land an inpatient pharmacy intern job but it never happened, at the time I was very frustrated and down that others in my class had one and I didn’t but in the end that was okay and everything happened for a reason.
What is the best way to study for the NAPLEX and MPJE?
Check out these posts for how I personally studied for my licensing exams: NAPLEX & MPJE
Unfortunately, when I graduated in 2019 High Yield Med Review (who I used to study for BCPS) didn’t have any NAPLEX courses, but they do now and the content is incredible and so much cheaper than the RX Prep prices! If budget is a concern or you want to get an additional course for your boards you can use code “LUXE50APRIL“ for $50 off any course! This code does expire at the end of April, so if you’re reading this past then all you have to do is email customerservice@
What type of residency did I do?
I completed a PGY1 Pharmacy Residency from June 2019 to June 2020 at a moderately sized Catholic teaching hospital. My residency had a very general/broad inpatient focus with some outpatient/retail experiences mixed in.
What was my first job post residency?
Immediately after completing residency I transitioned (in the middle of a pandemic) to a multi-specialty inpatient clinical pharmacist role at the largest hospital in my health system. I stayed in this role for a little over 1.5 years before taking my current role. In my inpatient role I was involved with a transitions of care pilot program and I was one of the preceptors for the PGY1 residency internal medicine rotation. I covered various inpatient floors form internal medicine to the medical ICU. My hours also varied a lot, I did a mix of days, evenings and occasional overnights and worked every 3rd weekend.
What is my current job?
My current role is in an ambulatory care, also commonly known as outpatient pharmacy (not retail based, think
more clinics and provider offices). Getting into ambulatory care has been a long term goal of mine so I am incredibly thankful to have met that goal so early on in my career. I started full time in this role right at the start of the new year in 2022. My schedule is much more stabilized: Monday to Friday, no evenings, no overnights, no weekends and no “holidays.” Two days per week I work in the Endocrinology clinic mainly caring for patients with diabetes and the other three days per week I work in the Anticoagulation clinic. I also precept pharmacy students and residents in my new role for ambulatory care based rotations.