White Coat:

Meet a few of our exceptional Class of 2019 PharmD students who will be participating in the White Coat Ceremony.

The White Coat ceremony has evolved to become an important milestone in our student's pharmacy journey. Some pharmacy schools present white coats at the beginning of student's education. At the University of Arizona, we present it before the fourth and final year. This ceremony symbolizes the transition from the predictable learning environment of the classroom to the realities of the health care environment. The other purpose of today's ceremony is to celebrate how close our students are to being the trustworthy person in the White Coat. This ceremony represents out faith in our students, their knowledge and professionalism. 

Debra Droopad

What aspect of the pledge resonates most with you, and why? 
The aspect of the pledge that resonates the most with me is "I will strive for high ideals, teamwork, and unity within the professions in order to provide optimal patient care." I feel that as future pharmacists, patients have easy access to us and we can easily work with their doctors and nurses to optimize the patient care. We have the ability to do something for patients since we have direct interactions with them.

What rotation are you most looking forward to, and why?
All of them but the most intriguing one would have to be the CVS rotation in New York. I know it's unusual since it's community and I'm interested in ambulatory care. However, it's in a different state that has different laws, so I'm really interested to see how New York community pharmacies operate compared to our pharmacies here in Arizona.

Who has been an exceptional mentor to you while in school? Why were they exceptional?
Honestly, everyone has been an exceptional mentor that has helped me become who I am in pharmacy school. If I had to pick one, it would be Dr. Kennedy. She has been with us from the first semester and has helped us try to become successful not only in our courses, but in life too. I remember that most students were anxious about the workshops from our patient assessment courses but Dr. Kennedy assured us that we try our best to optimize the patient care and she takes into account our feedback. Most professors do that but Dr. Kennedy is one professor that actually make changes right away.

What is something unexpected you have learned while enrolled?
That pharmacy is so much more than medications and drug interactions. I knew it was more clinically involved, but I didn’t realize what was our capabilities as pharmacists.

 

Joseph Murata

What does the white coat mean to you?
The white coat means something different to everyone, but to me, the white coat is a constant reminder to be a life-long learner so that I can provide the best possible care to my patients. 

What rotation are you most looking forward to, and why?
I am most looking forward to my cardiology rotation at Banner UMC because cardiology has always been one of my passions and I’m excited to put my clinical knowledge to the test to help improve patient outcomes at a great institution with amazing preceptors.

What has been a highlight of the PharmD program? 
One of the best parts of the PharmD program is the overwhelming support from the staff and faculty at the College of Pharmacy. The PharmD program is like an obstacle course, but the faculty are always there to support you both personally and professionally along the way.

 

Ryan Lowe

What rotation are you most looking forward to, and why?
I’m genuinely looking forward to all of my rotations for different reasons. My academia rotation with Dr. Cooley will be very different from all of my other rotations, and I’m really looking forward to seeing the College from the Faculty’s perspective. I’m very excited to work with Dr. Kevin Boesen at Sinfonia Rx since he’s been a great mentor ever since I became President of NCPA and has a ton of great wisdom about entrepreneurship and business. Lastly, Internal Medicine with Dr. Campbell will be great because I expect to be challenged but also really develop my clinical skills.

What is something unexpected you have learned while enrolled?
The vast number of different opportunities there are with a PharmD degree has really surprised me over the last three years. To anyone within the Pharmacy profession this may seem like a given, but to a first-year student I was taken back by the fact that it didn’t just boil down to community or hospital. It’s really made my job harder in trying to find out where I want to go after graduation!

What aspect of the pledge resonates most with you, and why?
I really appreciate where the pledge mentions teamwork. We have learned through numerous exercises just how valuable teamwork can be, and how essential it is to be an open and communicable team member. Heading into rotations I want to make sure that I myself am a strong team player and also utilize every member of my team to the fullest to develop the best patient care team. 

Who would you like to thank for supporting you in your journey to becoming a pharmacist? 
I, of course, owe a big thank you to my friends and family, but specifically, I would like to say a huge thank you to my Mom. As a pharmacist herself, she's been supportive every step of the way, from Pre-Pharmacy in undergrad, through every year in pharmacy school. She's always willing to quiz me and is interested in every new guideline that I can quote. I definitely wouldn't be here without her support. Love you, Mom! 

 

Briana Choi

What aspect of the pledge resonates most with you, and why?
"Foster professional competency through life-long learning." As a health care professional, it is crucial for us to continue learning to provide the best patient care. This is something that I always remind myself of whenever I get tired of studying because we are risking not only our career but also patients' lives by not doing so.

What rotation are you most looking forward to, and why? 
I am looking forward to my international rotation in South Korea because the hospital is one of the most prestigious in the country, and I get to be close to my family! 

Who has been an exceptional mentor to you while in school? Why were they exceptional? 
Dr. Katz, Dr. Abraham, Dr. McBride and Barb Collins. They not only helped me achieve my academic goals with many opportunities, but they also supported me through my difficult times. 

 

Thomas Hanson 

Who would you like to thank for supporting you in your journey to becoming a pharmacist?
I would like to thank my roommates for all of their support, a.k.a Mom and Dad.  They have been there through all the ups and downs that pharmacy school can bring.  From the late nights of studying to the venting about having no forks in the break room, they have stood by me on this journey and they have supported me every step of the way.  

What rotation are you most looking forward to, and why?
I am looking forward to all of my rotations, but the one that I have had circled for some time is my rotation at the Arizona Cancer Center.  I am most excited for this rotation because I will be exposed to and will be able to explore oncology pharmacy, which is an area of pharmacy that I am interested in pursuing for a career.

What is something unexpected you have learned while enrolled? 
Something unexpected that I have learned while in school is the impact a pharmacist can have on the health care system. I always knew the pharmacist was the drug expert and was relied upon in the community and hospital settings, but I never fully understood the life alternating interventions pharmacists do that help better the outcomes of the people they serve. 

What has been a highlight of the PharmD program?
The highlight of the PharmD program has been meeting great people along the way. From fellow classmates to professors to pharmacist practicing in the field, I have been lucky enough to meet amazing people along this ride. I have been able to form great relationships with a wide array of people that I know will certainly extend into my career as a pharmacist and beyond.

Candice Eastman 

What aspect of the pledge resonates most with you, and why? 
The part of the pledge where I vow to "Dedicate my life and practice to excellence" resonates most with me. Throughout pharmacy school, I have learned that without dedication, excellence in this profession is not possible. Today we dedicate more than just our time and efforts. We dedicate our lives to the pharmacy profession, the care of our patients, and the never ending pursuit of perfection. 

What rotation are you most looking forward to, and why?
I am most looking forward to my critical care rotation. This exciting elective is in a rural community that faces unique challenges and barriers to care. I look forward to the fast pace of ICU practice and hope to become a critical care pharmacist after graduation. 

What is something unexpected you have learned while enrolled? 
Caffeine tolerance is real and while the poison center says that caffeine toxicity exists, I have yet to find the limit. 

Who has been an exceptional mentor to you while in school? Why were they exceptional?
Dr. Jason Reddick has been the most influential mentor to me while in pharmacy school. As an incredible preceptor, he took every opportunity to accelerate my learning, feed my passions, and propel my career forward. Without his interest in my success, my pharmacy school experiences would be remarkably different.