College of Pharmacy alum Tom Brady, BS, '80 didn’t always know what he wanted to do with his life, but he knew he wanted to make the most of it, and since obtaining his degree in 1980 he's done just that.
Growing up as a Tucson native, and attending Salpointe High School, Brady knew the University of Arizona was the logical next step in his educational journey.
“I actually started as pre-vet and I got my degree in Animal Health Science in 1977,” described Brady. “My last year, I had taken classes with a few pre-pharmacy students and that’s when I became interested in pharmacy. I worked a year in a vet hospital and it was a good job, but at that point I thought maybe pharmacy is the way to go.”
After graduating with his BS in Pharmacy in 1980, Brady moved to Globe, AZ to begin his first post-grad position at Cobre Valley Regional Medical Center’s main pharmacy. Shortly thereafter, he took his talents to Rose Medical Center in Denver, Colorado. While working at Rose, he saw an ad for a clinical pharmacist position based in Saudi Arabia. Enticed by the idea, he jumped at the chance to travel internationally and in the Summer of 1990, he landed in Riyadh ready to begin what would become a thirteen-year adventure. “Originally I went thinking I’d be there for two years, and I ended up loving it and decided to stay.”
Unknowingly, around the time Brady arrived, the first Gulf War would breakout in the region.
“That first year was kind of crazy, there was always something going on,” explained Brady. “When the ground war first started, we saw scud missiles come into the city. Many of the healthcare workers, instead of running to the basement for cover, would run to the roof to take pictures.”
Brady was hired to work in the King Faisal Specialist Hospital as part of the main pharmacy team, taking on the night shift for nearly two years. In 1995, when a position opened in the hospital’s Total Parenteral Nutrition (TPN) team, he applied and was offered the position. He would stay with the TPN team for the remainder of his time there, making supervisor of the inpatient pharmacy during that time as well.
When Brady wasn't working, he was traveling, taking in the sights and sounds of the region and beyond. "Saudi Arabia is centrally located so you have Europe and Africa close by and the far east too."
In 2003, Brady decided it was time to return home to the US to be closer to family. He returned to his old stomping grounds at Rose Medical Center in Denver, where he has since developed a long, and notable career. When he’s not working at Rose, he continues to advance his medication expertise by working as an on-call pharmacist at a Kaiser Permanente infusion center.
“Pharmacy is such a great field, there is so much going on and there are so many different new drug therapies coming out," noted Brady. "It’s interesting, every time I take a shift at the infusion center, I learn about a new drug that I hadn’t heard of.”
When reflecting on his career in pharmacy, Brady had this sage advice to share with students and recent graduates: “The traveling that I did was a great experience, and if you see something like that open up go for it, because you can learn so much by working with individuals from other cultures.”