Professional Advice / Opinions:

Journey to a PharmD

By: Jacqueline Chirico; Pharm D Candidate c/o 2016

The reasons behind the choice to study pharmacy here at St. John’s University vary from student to student. Some are interested in helping patients, while others are interested in the science behind how drugs affect the body. For me, it was the experience that I had growing up with my parents. Pharmacy runs in the family.

As the daughter of two registered pharmacists, my choice to become a pharmacist seems like a fairly predictable one. People aren’t surprised when I say “I’m studying pharmacy.” Many people think the profession was forced upon me as a way to “carry on the legacy” that my parents started. However, my decision to become a pharmacist was one I made entirely on my own.

When I first stepped foot behind the counter of my parents’ pharmacy, I realized that this was what I was meant to do. Experiencing what pharmacists do in community setting, pharmacy school was the only choice that made sense to me. The fact that my parents were pharmacists motivated me even more. It encouraged me to learn all that they know and to be as interested in the profession as they are.

Following in the footsteps of my parents may sound easy to those who believe I have my parents’ knowledge at my disposal. But the arduous journey to becoming a pharmacist taken alone. Having pharmacist parents doesn’t automatically provide you with a “way in.” All of what my parents have accomplished since graduation is a testament to the long journey that lies ahead of me.

Sometimes, because of the similarities in our situations, I am often forced to compete with my parents as pharmacy students and licensed practitioners. It would be a long while until I even come close to the professionals my parents are. Still, I want to step out of their shadows and carve my own path while in pharmacy school.

You and my other fellow pharmacy students know that the journey to earning a pharmacy doctor degree is not an easy feat. Finishing the PharmD program requires a high dose of focus, drive, and effort. The degree is not something gained by all who work for it. PharmD is something you must be passionate about.

So here is what I want to say to my colleagues in pharmacy school who decided to enter the profession for a million unique reasons: make the most of your college experience, and be as involved in your profession as you can. This will surely make you more passionate about being a pharmacist. Even though many patients may not understand or appreciate us, you know that being a pharmacist is more than counting pills and following orders. It is about being proactive and keeping in touch, always learning and looking into the ever-changing world of pharmacy. It is about being a health professional who holds his/her own as an important part of patient health. Of course, this is not the easy way out. However, I think that becoming a pharmacist is most worthwhile in the end. Having parents who are pharmacists taught me this much. And knowing all of this, I am up for the challenge… Are you?

Published by Rho Chi Post
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