Pharm.D. Class of 2012
Where are you from?
How did you hear about the School of Pharmacy at Northeastern, and why did you choose pharmacy?
I had a strong interest in science during high school, and I knew I wanted to do something in that field in college. My mom had originally been in the Pharmacy program at Northeastern, and my friends had also expressed their interest to go there as well. Northeastern’s academic reputation was growing, and I thought it would be a good fit for me.
Did the co-op program play a role in your decision to attend Northeastern?
Definitely. The real world experience before graduation is a huge advantage over other colleges. Not only did I know that I would be able to test if pharmacy was truly right for me, I would be able to have that real-world experience to aid me in looking for post-graduate training.
Where did you do your co-ops?
My first co-op was at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center. As my first experience in a hospital setting, I was able to understand how a hospital really works. Sometimes hospital pharmacists can be invisible to patients because they don’t see the pharmacists in action, even though they play a key role in patient care. I was able to go on rounds with Dr. Woolley. I saw what he did as a professional, and that really started my interested in clinical pharmacy. It was a positive experience, and I still work there now.
I worked with Dr. Horbowicz at Inman Pharmacy in Cambridge for my second co-op. It was a patient-focused, independent retail setting where the pharmacists and I focused on dong what was best for the patients, not the number of prescriptions we filled. I counseled patients, learned how to talk to prescribers as well as patients, and found ways I can help them manage their health better.
My last co-op was at Johnson Compounding and Wellness Center in Waltham. I made special formulations for patients who couldn’t get their medications from a manufacturer, such as creams, capsules, eye drops, and injections. We tailored their medications for them exactly. I was also able to be a part of a news segment on the local nightly news during the 2009 H1N1 outbreak, when compounded Tamiflu solutions were in high demand.
How beneficial were the co-ops?
They were definitely very beneficial. I would not have understood what a professional pharmacist’s role was without the hands-on experience. My knowledge was also reinforced by application into actual situations. The connections I made from meeting people in the field helped me grow personally and professionally as a pharmacist.
What student groups and/or leadership roles are you involved in?
I’m involved in LEAD 360, a leadership organization designed to cultivate leadership skills. I also participate in NU Club Running and NU Eats, which is a club for those who “Live to eat and not eat to live.” Additionally, I am a brother of the fraternity, Beta Theta Pi, and joining them turned out to be one of the best decisions I have made here at Northeastern.
I’m a Rho Chi Pharmacy Honor Society member, where I was Chair of the Health Fair Committee and the Research Compendium Committee, which was started to match students to faculty members who wanted help in their research. I’m also a member of Phi Lambda Sigma (PLS), the pharmacy leadership society. In October, I was the Chair of the Committee for the Annual Pharmacy Leadership Retreat in Sandwich, Massachusetts, which we hope to maintain as an annual tradition sponsored by PLS. The goals of this retreat include the ability to meet future leaders in our profession.
I have also been a Marjorie Bouvé Fellow, which is a truly unique program here at Northeastern. Every freshman gets enrolled in an Introduction to College class, and they get assigned to a faculty advisor and two upperclassmen mentors from their major. We help them get accustomed to college, which we know can be challenging. Topics revolve around time management, conflict resolution, understanding the profession, getting them to understand what college means—and the commitment and the opportunities that go with it.
What is your community service involvement?
I do community service with my fraternity, including helping with Relay for Life and the Yawkey Family Inn at Children’s Hospital. I also volunteer in my free time, because I learned the importance of volunteering when I was an Eagle Scout in high school. For the Bouvé College of Health Sciences Health Fair, I coordinated a table on the management of cold and flu antibiotic misuse. Additionally, I am part of Team in Training where I run the Boston Marathon to help benefit research for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society and volunteer for other Boston Athletics Association events.
What is your favorite APPE?
It’s hard for me to choose one because I have had great experiences, but if I had to choose one, it would be the Medical Intensive Care Unit at Brigham and Women's. It allowed me to truly understand Critical Care, which has become my primary interest after graduation. I learned so much personally and professionally throughout the APPE rotation because of the guidance of my preceptor, Dr. Anger.
What are your plans after you graduate?
I will be pursuing a PGY-1 residency at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, Maryland. I then hope to do a PGY-2 in Critical Care.
How frequently do you get to meet School of Pharmacy alumni?
I’ve gotten to know different alumni through my co-ops, as well as at the ASHP Midyear event, which is an annual social gathering where Northeastern alumni meet students.
Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
I want to work hard to progress my profession, produce meaningful research, and be well-respected in the field of Critical Care. I hope to be a part of academia in order to give advice to future generations of healthcare practitioners.
How do you plan to maintain a connection to Northeastern upon graduation?
I plan on joining the Alumni Association, attending events like the ASHP Midyear, and becoming a preceptor at my clinical site.
What would you say to a student who is considering Northeastern?
I have been a part of Welcome Day since sophomore year and could go on and on about this. Northeastern truly offers what I wanted in a college: an amazing campus in an urban setting, access to wonderful opportunities, a great faculty, and the ability to decide how you want your college experience. I have done things I never thought of doing, including joining a fraternity, which have forever changed my life. I believe the opportunities that you can get from Northeastern, with its focus on real world and international learning, are indispensable.
What class made the biggest impact on you?
Exploring Academic Life. It’s an elective, so not everyone gets to take it. We learned how faculty makes lesson plans and fairly evaluates students. I use that knowledge today to create better presentations.
What’s your favorite thing to do when you’re not studying for classes?
I enjoy hanging out with brothers and friends, supporting our local sports teams, and also, not doing anything, because classes can be taxing. Having that time is essential too.
Which dorm did you live in freshman year?
White Hall. I remember when it was renovated, and we had to wake up to bright fluorescent walls.
What is your favorite hang-out spot on campus?
Maybe the 5th floor of Snell Library. It is really quiet by the pool [laughs].
What is your favorite dining hall?
I haven’t been there in a while, but I would still say Stetson West.
A Few Words of Advice:
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