PharmD Graduate Spotlight: Jonathan Chien

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, Jonathan Chien, shared with us some advice and memories that he collected during his time at the College of Pharmacy.

Name: Jonathan Chien
Hometown: Chandler, AZ
Program: PharmD 

Q: What inspired you to pursue your PharmD?

A: What initially drew me towards the healthcare field was my interest in evidence-based: fitness, nutrition, and dietary supplements; however, it was ultimately my experience at the University of Arizona (UofA) that consolidated my decision to pursue my PharmD. Because of the flexibility of PharmD prerequisites, I had the opportunity to take several colloquium pharmacy courses. Through this exposure, I quickly became enamored by the mystery of medicine. Exactly how does a single tablet or vial, filled with clear liquid, capture the potential to change or save a life? With new drugs and scientific discoveries found on what seems like a daily basis—to me, the field of pharmacy is a boundless book that I can’t seem to put down.

Q: What have you accomplished during your studies that you are proud of?

A: Currently (April 2021), on my last student rotation with a substance use disorder (SUD) clinic, I have had the rewarding experience of working with those in need of Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT). This rotation has provided the opportunity to serve a medically complex, vulnerable population, utilizing therapeutic communication strategies such as shared decision making and motivational interviewing to empower patients to achieve their goals. It has been exciting to holistically incorporate the skills I have learned and developed throughout my education to provide patients the highest-quality pharmacotherapy management.

Q: What are your other plans for after graduation?

A: In the field of pharmacy, there is so much to learn and opportunity to grow. Striving for constant improvement, after graduation, I will be starting my PGY-1 residency, a professional development program, with Banner University Medical Center South (BUMCS). Having obtained my first clinical exposure with this institution, inspired by the dedicated, compassionate healthcare providers, I am more than excited to return as a Resident Pharmacist.

Q: What is your favorite memory from school? 

A: I can’t say I have a single favorite memory, having experienced so much over the four years I have been in pharmacy school. What’s at the forefront of my mind is the opportunity of having met so many wonderful, new people. I have learned and grown exponentially from all those I have had the opportunity to meet and develop professional relationships with. These many encounters have helped me realize that no matter who you meet, they have a unique story and background and might have something to teach you.

Q: Do you have any words of advice for students who may be thinking about pursuing their PharmD?

A: Learn to embrace the challenge. My favorite quote is from the cartoon Avatar: The Last Airbender, “Pride is not the opposite of shame, but its source. True humility is the only antidote to shame”. This quote is a reminder to myself to be fearless; it is okay to be wrong and fail. By embracing challenge and reframing failure as growth, we can become better versions of ourselves no matter the outcome.


Story by: Gracie Lordi