By: Steve Soman, PharmD Candidate c/o 2013
Q: I see that you got your PharmD at the University of the Pacific. Looking back, what made you choose pharmacy and how has this changed over the years of your practice (if it has)?
A: I became a pharmacist because I like to care for others and I also saw the unique role and value of pharmacists in healthcare. Even before acceptance to pharmacy school, I knew I would be a clinical pharmacist. The diverse roles and career opportunities that a PharmD provides was also very attractive.
Q: Since you are a Rho Chi member from 1993, what do you think of Rho Chi Post and our mission? Do you believe Rho Chi Post is a viable student publishing platform?
A: Rho Chi Post is an innovative idea and a great platform for students to learn and share knowledge. Fostering communication, learning, and promoting the pharmacy profession is the responsibility of every pharmacist. I commend your school for instilling these values in their students and the Rho Chi Post editors for their effort.
Q: You have spent a few years in the pharmaceutical industry. How did you transition over to the industry? What was the driving factor in pursing that practice after receiving your PharmD?
A: My first opportunity after completing a residency was in academia and clinical practice. After a few years, I decided to explore other career opportunities and the pharmaceutical industry seemed interesting and full of promise. I was curious about how drugs are discovered, produced, and made available to patients.
Q: You have held various administrative roles in Bristol-Myers Squibb (BMS), Baxter BioScience, and The Medicines Company. Can you describe your experiences throughout your years in these companies and any advice you would offer new students that would be looking to join the industry?
A: There are many opportunities for pharmacists beyond retail or hospital practice. Students should be curious, ask questions, read and learn about all the possible career opportunities, and connect with people who can provide insight. There are many different types of jobs for pharmacists in the pharmaceutical industry. Students who are interested should spend an elective rotation at a pharmaceutical company and should strongly consider completing a fellowship or residency program. Read Pharmaceutical Industry Jobs for Pharmacists and similar articles published on RxEconsult for more information.
Q: What made you leave the pharmaceutical industry? What was the driving factor in the creation of RxEconsult?
A: I took a break from the pharmaceutical industry to pursue an idea, which became RxEconsult. I believe that healthcare businesses and professionals need their own network to help increase their visibility, for collaboration, learning, and to find opportunities.
The RxEconsult premise is simple―share what you know and people will find you, learn about you, and follow you. RxEconsult helps members establish their professional and business identity and greatly expand their network, leading to opportunities. Simply stated, share knowledge and be discovered. The focus of the RxEconsult community is the exchange of healthcare knowledge through publication of articles and other content. It is a diverse community open to all healthcare professionals or students and it is free.
Q: How can RxEconsult serve as a conduit for professional growth and development for pharmacists, and more specifically, the pharmacy students?
A: RxEconsult provides an opportunity to network with pharmacists from all areas of pharmacy practice and other healthcare professionals. RxEconsult provides an opportunity to educate other healthcare professionals about the pharmacy profession because it is a community of all healthcare people.
By publishing articles, students and professionals can showcase their knowledge, educate others, and greatly increase their visibility. Students and professionals who have published articles on RxEconsult are reaping the rewards of increased visibility and building their resumes.
Students can use the RxEconsult healthcare job board to find pharmacy jobs posted across the internet.
Q: What makes RxEconsult different or unique from other medical information websites such as WebMD?
A: RxEconsult is a fully developed professional healthcare social network. Content on RxEconsult is member generated and as the website grows the collective depth and breath of knowledge in the community should surpass healthcare information websites.
RxEconsult is a platform where all healthcare people can share their knowledge, be experts, increase their visibility, network, and find opportunities. Our focus is professional and business development.
Q: What do you think is the role of social media in pharmacy or in healthcare in general as the world becomes more dependent (and interconnected) via the internet?
A: Social media is a platform for pharmacists to share, learn, network and collaborate. It enables information to be easily distributed and digested by many. We can leverage social media to change the perception of the pharmacy profession and increase our visibility. There is a gap in quality healthcare information on the web. Pharmacists can help bridge these gaps by publishing on websites like RxEconsult.
We are conducting a pharmacy faculty/student survey about use of social media. Please complete the survey.
Thank you for the opportunity to share RxEconsult with students and faculty of St. John’s University College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences. Rho Chi Post editors and contributors exemplify the entrepreneurial spirit that will advance the pharmacy profession. I look forward to following your careers.