Pharm.D. Candidate, Class of 2015
What is your hometown:
Please describe your background and education. Are there any family members in healthcare?
I was born and raised in Basin, a small town in northern Wyoming (1,200 people). I started at the University of Wyoming in the fall of 2009, right out of high school, and began pharmacy school after completing my pre-requisites in two years of undergraduate studies. My Aunt Michelle is a pharmacist at Washakie County Memorial Hospital in Worland, Wyoming, and my Uncle Wes is a pathologist in Bismarck, North Dakota.
Why do you want to be a pharmacist?
I had no idea what I wanted to be, so I started exploring my interests and my goals for the future. I have always loved to learn and favored classes involving math and science. I also love people and have an interest in healthcare. I feel pharmacy is perfect for me in that I am really interested in the amazing machine that the human body is; I am able to work with people and help them in ways they can’t help themselves because of my unique skill set; and I am also able to find balance in my life.
Why did you choose to apply to the University of Wyoming School of Pharmacy?
I was born and raised in Wyoming and am fortunate to be able to come to a school that is so affordable and where I am able to get such an incredible education. Doing my undergraduate studies at UW allowed me to get to know some of the staff at the school beforehand and this helped me to better understand the admissions process and the opportunities that exist within the school.
How would you describe the School to prospective students? What advice can you give to incoming students?
This is a great school. I have loved (or as much as you can love crazy finals weeks) every minute I have been here and wouldn’t change this experience for anything. I have received an education that I feel will serve me well as I go out on my rotations. Going through the curriculum and having the various clinical experiences has really solidified my desire to become a pharmacist. I would encourage prospective students to find balance in their lives; school is time consuming and at times stressful, but not to let those things rule them. There are times when I have had to crack down and work really hard for a while, but I have also been able to keep things that are important to me as high priorities.
What has helped you the most to get where you are and to be successful in school?
I feel like I have a lot of things working in my favor that have allowed me to get where I am today. I truly have a desire to be the best pharmacist I can be for my patients—this is my passion. I sometimes have to put in long days at the health sciences building and spend a lot of time studying, but I realize this is necessary. I have an excellent support system—my family, friends, classmates and professors are all incredible.
How has the small class size enhanced your education?
Transitioning from the large class sizes in undergraduate classes to classes of about fifty has been great. I feel this allows for an environment where we are able to interact with the professors as if we are having a conversation with them and questions are always encouraged. This small class size also allows for accountability with our classmates, we are able to look out for each other and help out when needed.
How have your classmates made a difference in your pharmacy school experience?
My classmates have made all the difference in my pharmacy school experience, I love them. When I was a pre-pharmacy student I felt like there was a feeling that you were in competition with the other pre-pharmacy students and now I feel like my classmates are my colleagues and my friends. I have a group that I regularly study with and I believe that this allows all of us to do better. We can explain the material we understand and get help with parts we struggle with; we also quiz each other and often the questions we make up are very similar to what we see on exams. Some of my favorite people are my classmates and I would have never got the opportunity to know them if we weren’t on this journey together.
What opportunities have you had while at the school (faculty mentorship, research, conferences/meetings, presentations)?
I have had the opportunity to be involved in several of the student organizations and have been able to see the difference each makes in their own special area. I have also had the opportunity to work directly with some faculty on the curriculum committee and this has given me great insight into how the school actually works. As a member of Phi Delta Chi (PDC) I have had the opportunity to mentor some of the students in classes below me and this has helped me recall important information from the past and share things that I have learned while in school.
What challenges have you faced along the way?
I think keeping balance in my life has been one of the more difficult challenges, but I feel that I have been relatively successful. I am able to still spend time with my friends and family and participate in fun activities. Time management isn’t always easy, but it is a necessary skill to learn.
What honors and awards have you received? Are there other accomplishments you would like to share?
I received the Trustee’s Pride Scholarship when I graduated from high school, which allowed for my first four years at UW to be completely covered. This was a huge blessing financially. I also received the Vandel Drug Scholarship last spring.
What are your goals for the future following graduation?
I am hoping that my time spent on rotations over the next year will help me find direction. Pharmacy is a very diverse field and there are so many different opportunities that often go unrecognized. I loved every minute I spent on my P2 hospital rotation but have also enjoyed my internship with Osco. When different members of the clinical faculty come in to lecture they all make their practice site sound so exciting. All of these different opportunities make me unsure about what I want to do and I am keeping my options open for now.