Alumni Spotlight: Nathan Smith, PharmD '13

Meet Nathan Smith, PharmD, '13, Operations Manager at Flagstaff Medical Center.

(August 26, 2019)

How did your education help you launch your career in pharmacy?

Due to the quality of my education and my rotations, I was able to launch into a Clinical Staff Pharmacist position right out of school. Since then, I have had the opportunity to work in specialized areas, such as Peds/PICU and Oncology.  While I was a student at the UA, I held various leadership positions and learned from professors. Now I am the Operations Manager at Flagstaff Medical Center, putting those leadership skills to work in my inpatient pharmacy.

What is your favorite memory at the College?

There were so many great times with my classmates (Class of 2013), it's hard for me to pick one. Overall, pharmacy school was a ton of work and a ton of fun! I really enjoyed running as part of the UA COP runners group and participating in the various professional pharmacy organization functions.

What is one change in pharmacy that has impacted you most?

The expansion of clinical services provided by PharmD-trained pharmacists has allowed me the rewarding opportunity to work on teams of healthcare professionals as the medication therapy expert to support the care of patients. The autonomy and trust that pharmacists are afforded at facilities like Flagstaff Medical Center allow pharmacists to practice at the top of their licenses and have a significant impact on the care of patients in our communities.

What advice do you have for new students?

Show gratitude, work hard, be respectful, and be humble in all that you do and the pharmacy world will back you up in achieving your goals. A preceptor once told me when I was in school that rotations are like extended interviews. If you do a good job, you may end up with a job offer at the end of it (or somewhere down the line). I was afforded opportunities because I followed this advice and now, as a manager, I find myself evaluating the various students we have rotating through and those who do a good job stick out and I will remember them for years to come.

What advice do you have for new pharmacists?

Be willing to continue to learn and grow, not only as a medication therapy expert but as a teammate and as a person. This will lead to successes as a pharmacist and employee, as well as personally. This, coupled with a strong work ethic, will lead to opportunities throughout your career.

Where do you see the future of the pharmacy profession headed?

Pharmacists are highly educated and passionate experts of healthcare. Because of this, I anticipate pharmacists being able to do more and more with their license to fill the gaps healthcare is experiencing.