Professional Advice / Opinions:

Student Pharmacist Star of the Month: Jay Chadderwala

By: Marie Huang

Each month, Rho Chi Post has the wonderful opportunity to sit down with an inspiring leader among the student pharmacists here at St. John’s University – someone who is not afraid to stand apart from the crowd and can be the change he or she wants to see in the world.  This January, Jay Chadderwala, a 5th year PharmD candidate and last year’s National Patient Counseling Competition delegate for St. John’s, talks about the future, the secret to his perpetual happiness, and Franklin D. Roosevelt.

Q: I hear that you have participated twice in the National Patient Counseling Competition run by APhA-ASP!  It seems like you involve yourself in a variety of extracurricular activities.  What has been the most rewarding moment or project of your college career?
A: If I had to pin down my most rewarding project, it would be the National Patient Counseling Competition.  When I was representing St. John’s University in Seattle, I was able to meet other students and pharmacists who were proudly promoting our profession in multiple ways just as I was.  However, I must say, in general, the greatest reward comes whenever I am able to use the knowledge I have acquired from school to help patients with their medications.

Q: Patient interaction and counsel undoubtedly plays a vital role in our profession.  At times, does working in a hospital limit a pharmacist’s connection with the patient in your opinion?  What are you looking to do post-graduation?
A: No, I do not feel that working in a hospital limits a pharmacist’s connection with patients.  In many institutions, I am seeing an expansion in the role of hospital pharmacists.  During my IPPEs rotation at Winthrop Hospital, I saw pharmacists going to patients and asking about prior medication allergies, and now at NewYork-Presbyterian (NYP), I see pharmacists being part of the daily rounds.  After graduation, I have my sights on completing a pharmacy residency because I feel the experience and knowledge I will get will help my patients in both the community and hospital setting.

Q: Your peers know you as a mentor – someone who is willing to help and is always smiling from ear and ear.  How do you maintain what appears to be lower stress levels yet still find the time to help others?
A: My dad has a PhD in organic chemistry – for as long as I can remember, no matter how tired or busy he would be, he would always take the time to help me with my science homework assignments and with studying.  I guess it was then natural for me to help my peers even though I was in the same ‘boat’ as them.  As for the smile and low stress levels, I owe all of that to my pharmacy mentor, Joseph Thomas.  When I first met him, he kept telling me, “Time will always pass at the same rate.  Regardless of how bad things seem, put a smile on and ride it out.”

Q: Which rotation of yours are you looking forward to the most?  Where exactly do you see yourself in ten years?
A: I am looking forward to the pharmacy education rotation with Dr. Kanmaz.  After completing a residency, I would be interested in teaching at St. John’s University.  I have been fortunate enough to have professors who have gone out of their way to help me understand a topic, and I think the best way to thank them is by continuing to pass on their teachings and their methods.  Ten years from now, I see myself working as a clinical faculty member and a clinical manager.

Q: If you could choose one public figure, alive or dead, to have a fireside chat with, who would it be?
A: That is a hard question, but Franklin D. Roosevelt would be at the top of the list.  The reason being: he had the courage to become president during one of the worst, if not THE worst, economic meltdown this country had ever faced.  He expanded the role of the federal government, was Commander-in-Chief for the majority of WWII, and did all of this while being paralyzed from the waist down.

Q: If you were only allowed to have three drugs on a stranded island, what would they be and why?
A: I would take Augmentin as my broad-spectrum antibiotic, Benadryl for allergic reactions, and Aleve for pain in case I hurt myself.

Q: Great answer – and now for the most important question of all: Would you rather be able to walk on water forever or fly for three hours on three different occasions in your life?
A: When I was younger, one of my hobbies involved building model airplanes. Even though there is a limitation in being able to fly, I would prefer it to walking on water. Actually, having a limitation only makes the moments I use my flying ability more cherished, whereas if I could walk on water at anytime, I might just take that ability for granted. I guess it all comes down to too much of anything being just as bad as too little of something.

Q: Thanks for sitting down with us! It has been a pleasure. Do you have any last words for our readers?
A: Thank you for the interview, and as for last words, another phrase my mentor often says is, “Time waits for nobody.” I encourage everyone who has the opportunity to learn and experience more, whether related to pharmacy or life in general, to take the opportunity!

If you have any additional questions for Mr. Chadderwala, you may contact him at [email protected]

Published by Rho Chi Post
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