Category: Alumni news

How to Be an Entrepreneur, Lesson 2: Find a niche

A rooftop sign reads "fountain."
A sign on the roof of Midlothian Apothecary. The restaurant inside the pharmacy acts much like advertising, says pharmacist Janet Darby. Photo by Nicole Carter.

By Nicole Carter
Auxiliary Label Staff

Midlothian Apothecary is an independent pharmacy in Chesterfield County, just outside Richmond, that has survived under the same management since 1990. I met with Janet Darby, a VCU School of Pharmacy alumna, to talk about the business of independent pharmacy today.

Auxiliary Label: What is your biggest revenue source?

Darby: It’s not drugs any more. With generics, I almost have to give them away for free. Brand-name drugs are still profitable. We do vaccinations and they pay well on those. Also, home health-care products such as durable medical equipment, but we don’t bill Medicare for that. Medicare has a designated location for patients to buy DME [durable medical equipment] but a lot of people don’t want to go through the hassle so we just sell it straight to the customer.

What do you think has the biggest growth potential out of all the services you offer?

We’re starting to do point-of-care testing for flu, strep throat, cholesterol and blood glucose. We can charge for that. The problem is, though, in Virginia I can’t write a prescription if I find out somebody is positive for flu. … We are setting up a collaborative practice agreement so that after I get the test result, I can call the doctor and then get the prescription.

How do you bill for the point-of-care testing?

It’s out of pocket. In Virginia we can’t bill insurance unless we are the one who writes the prescription. Last year, with the big flu epidemic, no doctor could see anyone [because they were too busy] — people were having the flu and couldn’t get any medications. The doctors are looking for help too because they can’t see everybody.

How is having the fountain in the pharmacy an asset to the business?

It’s always busy. It’s kind of like paying for advertising: A lot of people come in here [for the fountain] not knowing about the pharmacy, and some people come in not knowing about the fountain. So it brings in people and kind of keeps things hopping all the time. You can’t say it’s a moneymaker because you have to sell a lot of food to make money. But we see the money that goes toward the fountain as money we would have otherwise spent on advertising.

What is the biggest threat to independent pharmacy?

PBMs, the processors for insurance companies, right now they are ruining pharmacy. They mandate how much we get paid. And the insurance company pays them one thing and then they pay us something else. Now for generics they are using the average for the year. So if they think they paid us too much for the first six months of the year then they take money back. But they don’t give us a reason. It’s really crooked.

Competition isn’t a threat because I offer something entirely different. We provide individualized care that other pharmacies just don’t.

What is the biggest opportunity for independent pharmacy?

There is a niche. You got to want to do customer service. You’ve got to want to do a lot more than just fill a prescription. And you’ve got to answer question upon question. There are people out there that want that individual service.

What advice do you have for pharmacy students?

You’ve got to want to work. And you’ve got to want to work hard. If you can’t multitask you can’t be a pharmacist. And you’ve got to want to work long hours. It’s a great profession if you like people. You’ve just got to know what niche you want and what you want to do.

Auxiliary Label is a student-created blog examining pharmacy life, education and research at the VCU School of Pharmacy from a student perspective. It is overseen by Greg Weatherford, the school’s director of communications. Contact him here.

Healthcare policy fellow to work in office of U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown

Photo of the U S Capitol
VCU School of Pharmacy alumna Tina Chhabra will spend a year working in Congress. (Photo credit)
By Greg Weatherford
Director of Communications, VCU School of Pharmacy

ACCP-ASHP-VCU Healthcare Policy Fellow Tina Chhabra has begun her congressional placement within the office of Senator Sherrod Brown of Ohio.

In her work with the office, which will run through August 2019, Chhabra (VCU Pharm.D. ‘16)  will support Senator Brown’s health team in all healthcare-related matters such as Medicare, Medicaid, drug development, mental health, the opioid crisis, the Affordable Care Act, and more.

Pharmacists selected as American College of Clinical Pharmacy-American Society of Health-System Pharmacists-Virginia Commonwealth University Congressional Healthcare Policy Fellows have the opportunity to gain real-world insight into health care policy analysis and development via immersion in the congressional environment. Fellows are actively mentored in legislative evaluation, policy development, research and writing while integrating practical experience with theory.

“There is no typical day,” Chhabra said of her role in Congress so far. Her work includes writing policy memos, participating in health-care briefings and meeting with constituents. “Constituents are the best educators,” Chhabra added. “I really enjoy meeting with the people of Ohio and learning from their experiences and expertise.”

Prior to her placement with Senator Brown’s office, and as part of the fellowship, Chhabra spent one week at the Brookings Institution and three weeks each with ACCP’s and ASHP’s government affairs offices.

The fellowship program, now directed by VCU School of Pharmacy associate professor Kristin Zimmerman, Pharm.D., was founded in 2007 under the leadership of professor Gary R. Matzke, Pharm.D.

For more about the ACCP-ASHP-VCU Congressional Healthcare Policy Fellow program, click here or contact director Kristin Zimmerman at kzimmerman@vcu.edu.

VCU School of Pharmacy is ranked among the top 20 graduate programs in pharmacy in the United States by U.S. News & World Report.

Alumna named ACCP-ASHP-VCU Congressional Healthcare Policy Fellow

Tina Chhabra has been named the American College of Clinical Pharmacy-American Society of Health-System Pharmacists-Virginia Commonwealth University Congressional Healthcare Policy Fellow for 2018-19.

Pharmacists selected for the position have the opportunity to gain real-world insight into health care policy analysis and development via immersion in the congressional environment. Fellows are actively mentored in legislative evaluation, policy development, research and writing while integrating practical experience with theory.

Chhabra currently is a fellow at Biogen Inc., a biotech firm based in Cambridge, Massachusetts, in regulatory sciences and safety and benefit-risk management through the MCPHS University Biopharmaceutical Industry Fellowship Program. She holds a bachelor’s degree in political science from Virginia Commonwealth University and a doctorate in pharmacy, also from VCU.

The daughter of a physician in the Washington, D.C., area, Chhabra spent her youth among “the incessant bleeping” of hospitals and doctors’ offices, she recalls. While working at her first job, as a receptionist in her father’s office, she says, “I learned that healthcare was equally scientific and political, and that access to a doctor was very important — but not everyone could afford it.”

This connection between politics and healthcare continued. Chhabra competed in science fairs and excelled in her math and sciences courses while also volunteering as secretary general of her high school’s model United Nations. Later, her fellowship with Biogen gave her an opportunity to do a rotation with the company’s policy and government-affairs teams, which led to participating in Capitol Hill hearings on such topics as the opioid crisis and drug pricing.

Chhabra pursued the ACCP-ASHP-VCU Congressional Healthcare Policy fellowship as a result of these experiences. “I am passionate about health care policy and have a profound desire to make a difference,” she says. “I believe health care is a right, but I also realize the solutions to the problems that consume our system are nuanced and complex. … [And] I strongly believe that there are not enough scientists and clinicians making the decisions that shape healthcare.”

Amee D. Mistry, associate professor of pharmacy practice at MCPHS University, called Chhabra a standout among her peers for her energy, communications skills and determination to make a difference: “She has proven, on a number of occasions, to be an extremely focused, dedicated, and passionate pharmacist.”

The policies on which Chhabra would like to focus revolve around access to health care, medication accessibility and health disparities. She says she intends to use her fellowship as a route to working on policy as part of the federal Food and Drug Administration or Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.

The Congressional Healthcare Policy Fellow program will begin July 9. Chhabra will spend one week at the Brookings Institution and three weeks each with ACCP’s and ASHP’s government affairs offices. Finally, she will embark on her placement within a congressional office or on congressional committee staff in Washington through August 2019.

The fellowship program, now directed by VCU School of Pharmacy associate professor Kristin Zimmerman, was founded 11 years ago under the leadership of professor Gary R. Matzke.

For more about the ACCP-ASHP-VCU Congressional Healthcare Policy Fellow program, click here or contact director Kristin Zimmerman at kzimmerman@vcu.edu.

VCU School of Pharmacy is ranked among the top 20 graduate programs in pharmacy in the United States by U.S. News & World Report.

As SOP writing coach, Kier rejuvenates 60-year teaching/research career

By Lisa Crutchfield

Lemont B. Kier

After six decades as researcher and teacher, Lemont “Monty” Kier, retired medicinal chemistry professor and professor emeritus in VCU School of Pharmacy, is certainly entitled to some down-time.

But he’s not going to take it –- not at least for another decade or so, he says. The octogenarian still is passionate about his research and his latest way to help students:  as a writing coach. “Being able to communicate is so important,” Kier says.

Continue reading “As SOP writing coach, Kier rejuvenates 60-year teaching/research career”

Congressional fellow heads for Capitol Hill

Jafari

Today, Nilofar “Nellie” Jafari begins a new and important phase in her tenure as 2017-18 ACCP/ASHP/VCU Congressional Healthcare Policy Fellow. She has been selected to work in the office of U.S. Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.). Murphy is a member of the U.S. Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) as well as the U.S. Senate Appropriations Committee.

“I am very pleased to be placed in Sen. Murphy’s office,” Jafari said. “Being in an office committed to health care policy was important to me. He is at the forefront of health care issues, including mental health and addiction. I feel that my background as a pharmacist will bring value to the office, especially in the realm of the opioid epidemic.”

Jafari holds a multidisciplinary master of public health degree from the University of Pittsburgh and a doctor of pharmacy degree from VCU School of Pharmacy.

Zimmerman

Kristin Zimmerman, director of the Congressional Healthcare Policy Fellow program, says Congressional office responsibilities have typically included researching and writing briefs on health care issues and assisting with policy analyses and drafting memoranda, floor speeches and questions for panelists at Congressional hearings. Other job duties have included planning, organizing and contributing to the senator or representative’s office policy and management issues for the year.

“Congressional placement is the most integral part of the fellow experience,” Zimmerman said. “We are delighted that Nellie will be working in such a key office for health care issues.”

Before joining Murphy’s office, Jafari’s preparation included a week at the Brookings Institute. There, she had the opportunity to witness the legislative process first-hand, observe floor action in the House and Senate and hear from Congress and expert speakers on national policy issues. “It was a great foundation for my congressional office placement,” she said.

Jafari also worked with the American College of Clinical Pharmacy and the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists for three weeks. “Being integrated into their government relations teams allowed me to digest the health care issues impacting pharmacy,” she said. “I wrote several issue briefs for the organizations and heard from members how certain regulations are affecting them.

“It was fascinating for me to see the dynamics between an association and congressional offices as well as the politics, advocacy and persistence it takes to see an agenda pushed forward.”

Jafari will work on Capitol Hill through next August.

Learn more about Jafari and the fellowship, or follow the program on Facebook.

CPPI awards its first Feasibility Grants as part of new program

Recipients of CPPI’s inaugural Feasibility Grants are (from left) Amy Pakyz, John Bucheit, Benjamin Van Tassell and Lauren Caldas.

Four VCU School of Pharmacy faculty members have been named the first recipients in the Center for Pharmacy Practice Innovation’s Feasibility Grant Program. They are associate professor Amy Pakyz, assistant professor John Bucheit, associate professor Benjamin Van Tassell and assistant professor Lauren Caldas, all faculty within the school’s Department of Pharmacotherapy and Outcomes Science.

“We’re excited to announce the recipients of our inaugural program,” said CCPI director and associate professor Dave Dixon. “The CPPI Feasibility Grant Program provides funds for projects aimed at developing and evaluating new roles and opportunities for pharmacists.”

Pakyz and Bucheit will use their grant to evaluate the feasibility of implementing an Antibiotic Stewardship Program in the CrossOver Healthcare Ministry Clinic.

The objective of Van Tassell and Caldas’ project will be to incentivize pharmacist-monitored patient blood pressure readings as a novel approach to improve adherence.

Assistant professor Teresa Salgado, CCPI assistant director for research, said each proposal was assessed by two independent reviewers who followed rigorous, standardized evaluation criteria to determine the proposals of highest merit.

Each project will be awarded $15,000, she said, to be used over the course of one to two years.

Eligible projects had to align with at least one of the center’s goals as part of its mission to improve pharmacy practice and patient outcomes:

  • Develop, implement and evaluate innovative and sustainable care models that incorporate pharmacists to optimize medication-related patient health outcomes.
  • Foster collaboration among clinicians and outcomes researchers to determine pharmacist impact on health and economic outcomes.
  • Equip pharmacists with the knowledge, skills and abilities to engage in interprofessional, collaborative care.
  • Partner with clinicians, health systems, policymakers and payers to advance medication and health policies at the local, state and national levels.

“We look forward to hearing about the results of these two studies in the months to come,” said Dixon. Pakyz, Bucheit, Van Tassell and Caldas will present their findings as part of the CPPI’s monthly seminar series.

Learn more about the Center for Pharmacy Practice Innovation, and follow the CPPI on Twitter.

Service awards to recognize SOP employees on 190 years

If fall is approaching, it must be time to recognize VCU employees for their service to the university! This year, 18 School of Pharmacy employees will be honored for a total of 190 years of service to VCU.

The 20-year employees – Don Brophy, Chris Garland, Mike Hindle, Michelle Rhea and Martin Safo — represent all three of the school’s academic departments as well as the dean’s office.

The 46th annual Service Awards Ceremony and Reception — for VCU faculty and staff with five to 55 years of service (in five-year increments) — will take place 3-5 p.m. Oct. 4 at the Siegel Center, 1200 W. Broad St.

Invitations will be mailed to honorees in late August. For those who wish to attend the ceremony, shuttles will be available from the MCV Campus to the Siegel Center and back (details to come).

Following are the 2017 School of Pharmacy honorees. Some have not been at the school the entire time but previously worked for other university units. Congratulations to all!

FIVE YEARS
Wanda Coffey,
Dean’s Office/Office of Experiential Education
Dave Dixon, Department of Pharmacotherapy and Outcomes Science
Adam Hawkridge, Department of Pharmaceutics
Sha-Kim Jackson, Dean’s Office/Office of Research and Graduate Studies
MaryPeace McRae, Department of Pharmacotherapy and Outcomes Science
Marjorie Nesmith, Dean’s Office/Business Office
K.C. Ogbonna, Dean’s Office/Office of Admissions and Student Services
Emily Peron, Department of Pharmacotherapy and Outcomes Science
LaQuanda Ruben, Dean’s Office/Office of Admissions and Student Services

10 YEARS
Chanda Diep,
Department of Pharmacotherapy and Outcomes Science
Evan Sisson, Department of Pharmacotherapy and Outcomes Science
Janet Wooten, Dean’s Office

15 YEARS
Laura Morgan,
Department of Pharmacotherapy and Outcomes Science

20  YEARS
Don Brophy, Department of Pharmacotherapy and Outcomes Science
Chris Garland, Dean’s Office/Phartech
Mike Hindle, Department of Pharmarceutics
Michelle Rhea, Department of Pharmacotherapy and Outcomes Science
Martin Safo, Department of Medicinal Chemistry

As an aside … 18 employees universitywide will be recognized this year for an impressive 45 years of service each, including William Dewey (Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology, School of Medicine), with whom many School of Pharmacy faculty have worked over the years.

‘Handshake meeting’ kicks off SOP collaboration with FDA

Among the VCU School of Pharmacy faculty working to establish an MOU with the FDA are (from left) David Holdford, Aron Lichtman, Patty Slattum, Doug Sweet and Jürgen Venitz.

Leadership from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration Office of Clinical Pharmacology and VCU School of Pharmacy recently met to discuss opportunities for development of scientific collaborations, outreach and educational initiatives, and intellectual partnerships.

This meeting was subsequent to a memorandum of understanding into which FDA and the SOP entered last August. School of Pharmacy professor Patty Slattum (B.S.‘85, Pharm.D./Ph.D.‘92) was a key player in presenting SOP research and collaborative interests.

Multiple collaborations were discussed, including an initial opportunity to develop a model for Advanced Pharmacy Practice Experiences (rotations) and internships at FDA OCP for students enrolled in Pharm.D. and graduate programs. Future opportunities — such as research; access to facilities for educational and scientific endeavors; and participation in joint fellowship programs, advisory boards, personnel exchanges and joint meetings for education and research — also were discussed.

The school has had longstanding relationships on various levels with the FDA, which also employs several of its alumni, including Joseph Grillo (Pharm.D.’93), associate director for labeling and health communication, and Kellie Schoolar Reynolds (Pharm.D.’92), deputy director of the Division of Clinical Pharmacology IV, both with FDA OCP.

In addition, Slattum serves on the FDA’s Advisory Committee for Pharmaceutical Science and Clinical Pharmacology, and pharmaceutics professor Jürgen Venitz is in his fourth year as chairman of the FDA Pharmacy Compounding Advisory Committee. A former resident, Mongthuong Tran, now works as a pharmacist with the OCP. And School of Pharmacy alumnus Omar Hassan (Pharm.D. ’17) recently completed an ORISE (Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education) summer fellowship at the FDA and has returned to VCU to begin graduate work.

Representing the School of Pharmacy during initial talks with the FDA, in addition to Slattum and Venitz, were professor David Holdford, Department of Pharmacotherapy and Outcomes Sciences; professor Aron Lichtman, associate dean for research and graduate studies; and professor Doug Sweet, chairman of the Department of Pharmaceutics. Presenting on behalf of specific research areas at the handshake meeting were Slattum, pharmacotherapy; Sweet, pharmaceutics; and Holdford, pharmacoeconomics and health outcomes.

“We are among a strong group of universities that have MOUs with the FDA,” notes Slattum. Among them are University of Maryland, University of Florida, Virginia Tech, Howard University, Duke University, Stanford University, Johns Hopkins University, Harvard University, Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Georgetown University.

The Office of Clinical Pharmacology is a multidisciplinary organization of more than 200 clinical pharmacologists, pharmacists, researchers, project managers and administrative staff with diverse skills within the FDA’s Office of Translational Sciences. OCP is an integral part of the Center for Drug Evaluation and Research’s review, policy and regulatory science core that bridges pharmacology and clinical medicine to improve public health. Its mission is to accomplish that goal by building and translating knowledge of drug response into patient-centered regulatory decisions of the highest quality. 

Pharm.D. and graduate students earn a plethora of year-end awards

 

SENIOR AWARDS BANQUET

Dean Joseph DiPiro congratulated Krista Donohoe on her Faculty Award for Excellence in Teaching. / Cabay Photography

Members of the VCU School of Pharmacy Pharm.D. class of 2017 were honored during the annual Senior Awards Banquet, which took place May 12 at the Hilton Richmond Hotel & Spa at Short Pump.

Awards were presented by Dean Joseph T. DiPiro and K.C. Ogbonna, associate dean for admissions and student services, with the assistance of Ron Ballentine, assistant director of admissions and student services. SOP alumnus Ken Kolb (Pharm.D. ’82), welcomed class members as the school’s newest alumni.

Class of 2017 members of academic honor societies Rho Chi and Phi Lambda Sigma were recognized as well as class and student body leaders.

Preceptor, faculty and staff awards went to:

  • Preceptor of the Year: Neil Davis, Sentara Virginia Beach General Hospital
  • Faculty Award for Excellence in Teaching: Krista Donohoe, assistant professor, SOP Department of Pharmacotherapy and Outcomes Science. (She is also an SOP alumna, Pharm.D. ’10.)
  • Outstanding Employee Recognition Award: Gioia Casso, contract and grant administrator, SOP Office of Research and Graduate Studies

Student awards were as follows:

Kalyann Kauv (second from left) with Excellence in Public Health Pharmacy Practice presenters Gayle Tuckett (left), Fort Defiance Indian Hospital, and Ogochukwu Ogoegbunam, FDA, with SOP Dean Joseph DiPiro. Tuckett is an SOP alumna, Pharm.D. ’12. / Cabay Photography
  • Patient Care: Apryl Anderson
  • Patient Counseling: Dhania Molina
  • Pharmacy Communications: Michelle Edwards
  • Research Excellence: Omar Hassan
  • Academic Excellence: Kassim Rahawi
  • Excellence in Pharmacy: Katie Taylor
  • Emswiller Award for Leadership Achievement: Heather Savage
  • Outstanding Leadership: Phil Jan
  • Community Practice Achievement: Samantha Pande
  • Technology Excellence: Sung Lee
  • Distinguished Service: Dien Tu
  • Outstanding Student: Jeff McKenzie
  • MCV Alumni Association Award: Phil Jan
  • Academic Excellence in Medicinal Chemistry: Kayla Miller
  • Academic Excellence in Pharmacotherapy: Chloe Ko
  • Academic Excellence in Pharmacoeconomics and Health Outcomes: Julie Patterson
  • Academic Excellence in Pharmaceutics: Kassim Rahawi
  • Excellence in the Promotion of Pharmacy: Erin Hickey
  • Community Engagement Excellence: Alvin Maraya
  • Excellence in Public Health: Arzo Hamidi
  • Interprofessional Practice and Collaborative Care Excellence: Ashley Simpson
  • Excellence in Advocacy and Health Policy: Kalyann Kauv
  • Professionalism: Kathryn Mundi
  • Excellence in Public Health Pharmacy Practice: Kalyann Kauv
  • Dean’s Award: Skylar White 

GRADUATE AWARDS LUNCHEON 

Daniel Afosah (center) and Julie Patterson shared the Rector and Rorrer Dean’s Award for Excellence in Graduate Study, based on seminar presentations they had made earlier in the day. / Danny Tiet

The school’s annual Pharmaceutical Sciences Graduate Awards Luncheon took place May 25 at Omni Richmond Hotel. SOP alumna Kellie Schoolar Reynolds (Pharm.D. ’92) addressed “Decision Points on Your Career Path.” She is deputy director of the Division of Clinical Pharmacology IV in the Office of Clinical Pharmacology, Center for Drug Evaluation and Research, FDA.

Aron Lichtman, associate dean for research and graduate students, presented the awards:

  • Doyle Smith Award: Daniel Afosah
  • John Wood Award: Neha Maharao
  • V.A. Yanchick Award: Julie Patterson
  • Charles T. Rector and Thomas W. Rorrer Jr. Dean’s Award for Excellence in Graduate Study: Daniel Afosah and Julie Patterson
  • Pfizer Consumer Healthcare R&D Leading for Innovation Award: Mandana Azimi
  • Blake Putney Award: Daniel Afosah, Hrishikesh Kale and Crystal Leibrand
  • Lowenthal Award: Liwei (David) Wang
  • PCEU GSA-AAPS Graduate Student Travel Award: Crystal Leibrand and Zaneera Hassan
  • Peter Byron Travel Award: Deblina Biswas, Emmanuel Cudjoe, Hebing Liu, Nicole Luzi, Neha Maharao, Piyusha Pagare and Yoshita Paliwal
  • Rector and Rorrer Travel Award: Bethany Falls, Zaneera Hassan and Crystal Leibrand

Advice to class of ’17: “You have the tools to succeed!”

 

Hooding and Diploma speaker Marcia Buck is clinical pharmacy coordinator, U.Va. Children’s Hospital; professor of pediatrics, U.Va. School of Medicine; and affiliate clinical professor, VCU School of Pharmacy.

“Wherever you go, you will be part of the School of Pharmacy family.” With those words, Dean Joseph T. DiPiro congratulated Pharm.D. and graduate degree candidates assembled for the 2017 Hooding and Diploma Ceremony.

He noted that the Class of ’17 can boast high achievers, accomplished leaders, students who have maintained high levels of professionalism and graduates who are going on to great careers in many domains of pharmacy. “It is a privilege,” he said, “to be in a profession where your career will result in bettering people’s lives.”

Graduation speaker Marcia Buck of the school’s U.Va. Division, who is president of the American Society of Consultant Pharmacists, admitted that looking to the future can be overwhelming and even scary. “You have the tools to succeed,” she assured graduates.

Her suggestions for success included looking for and accepting mentors and serving as a preceptor if the opportunity presents itself.

Buck has been precepting VCU pharmacy students for 25 years. In her experience, she said, “It is one of the best pharmacy schools in the world!”

About two-thirds of the Pharm.D. graduates will be practicing pharmacists across the country. That includes Sana Noori, who has been working with Walgreens and Bon Secours in the Richmond area since her second year of pharmacy school. “I’ve decided to stay on with both,” she said. “With Walgreens, I’ll be a community pharmacist. And with Bon Secours, I’ll be a staff inpatient hospital pharmacist. … I want to keep my skills sharp with both aspects of pharmacy.”

A rare treat during the Hooding and Diploma Ceremony was the singing of the National Anthem by Pharm.D. students Alvin Maraya (left), Michael Lee, Erin Hickey and Jeff McKenzie.

The remaining Pharm.D. students matched with residencies, received fellowships or will pursue graduate education.   Elizabeth Young is headed for a PGY1 residency at Purdue University College of Veterinary Medicine.

“I have known for a while that I wanted to pursue a career in veterinary pharmacy,” she said. “I grew up on a farm, my father is a small-animal veterinarian and, as an undergraduate at Virginia Tech, I obtained a pharmacy technician position at the Veterinary Teaching Hospital, which really solidified my choice.”

She was able to take an elective veterinary course at VCU which, she noted, not all pharmacy schools offer. She also had the opportunity to complete a rotation with North Carolina State University’s College of Veterinary Medicine through VCU SOP’s Office of Experiential Education. Her ultimate goal is to work for a veterinary teaching hospital pharmacy — “hopefully … Virginia Tech.”

Graduate degree-holders will go on to serve as postdocs, teach or work in the pharmaceutical industry. Hebing Liu, for example, will join several VCU School of Pharmacy alumni who have gone on to work for the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

 

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