In preparation for the College of Pharmacy’s 2021 Convocation, we’re highlighting a few of our many extraordinary graduates.
One of those outstanding students, Heather Turoski, shared with us some advice and memories that she collected during her time at the College of Pharmacy.
Name: Heather Turoski
Hometown: Gold Canyon, AZ
Q: What inspired you to pursue your PharmD?
A: My dogs. They both have chronic illnesses, and one has a complicated medication regimen. This really opened my eyes to the field of veterinary pharmacy, and I thoroughly enjoy it. Not many pharmacists are well-versed in veterinary medications and I hope to change that.
Q: What have you accomplished during your studies that you are proud of?
A: I created a new rotation site with an emergency veterinary clinic where future interns will be able to shadow veterinarians in a fast-paced emergency setting, oncology, surgery, and internal medicine. I’m hoping this rotation expands into the other specialties (dermatology, ophthalmology, cardiology, etc.) on-site over the next couple years since they have a vast amount of knowledge to share.
Q: What are your other plans for after graduation?
A: Currently, my plan is to continue with Costco. However, my husband (pictured above) is applying for military pilot training, so we could be in another state shortly after graduation. If that’s the case, I will transfer with Costco if they have a location nearby, apply for a veterinary pharmacy residency if one is available in that state, or work on the military base. I have learned quickly that all plans need a backup when married to someone in the military.
Q: What is your favorite memory from school?
A: For immunology class, we were required to make videos depicting the mechanisms of specific medications, chosen for us by the professor. My group found a way to reference the movie Star Wars and align it with how drugs work. It was a great hands-on way to learn, and I still look at that video from time to time.
Q: Do you have any words of advice for students who may be thinking about pursuing their PharmD?
A: Work in a pharmacy and see if it is what you want. I have seen a lot of classmates leave the program to pursue other careers, even into their third year, because it was not what they originally expected.
Q: Anything else you would like to share?
A: Make friends with classmates, have fun, and have a support system. When you are going through a difficult time, your classmates will be there to help you out in addition to the support you already have. For instance, I was hospitalized for over a week during my third year, and I missed all my finals. My classmates rallied together and made sure that I was emotionally well and prepared to resume classes in the spring without issue. My husband, parents, siblings, and in-laws were there every step of the way. Without everyone, I would not be graduating on time.
Story by: Gracie Lordi