by Erika Baral
Q: How did you become interested in becoming a pharmacist?
A: In high school I wanted a career that was people-oriented and I was very interested in biology. Furthermore, I didn’t want to be a doctor because I wanted to have a family and being a doctor is very time consuming. I applied to USC and as an undergrad, I worked on the main campus pharmacy. This decision reinforced my love for being involved in pharmacy. Afterwards, I went to USC School of Pharmacy.
Q: What do you love about your job?
A: I love that everyday is different. You are presented with different questions, different problems, and different people. I really like the problem-solving aspect. It keeps me on my toes.
Q: What is the greatest thing about being a pharmacist?
A: I’m the one who brings patient and doctor together. The doctor diagnoses and prescribes, then we explain the treatments and make sure the patients are properly educated about their medication. We explain the composition of the medicine, what time to take the medicine, what to eat with the medicine, and the like.
Q: What advice can you give to pre-pharm students?
A: I would strongly recommend to have some sort of a pharmacy experience. They should consider volunteering at a pharmacy or getting licensed as a pharmacy technician. Pharmacy school is a huge commitment and the last thing you want to do is to get into it and realize that you are not passionate about it.
Q: Do pharmacists have to do residency?
A: Currently it is not required. However, a lot of job positions will require a residency. The state doesn’t require it, but the profession is moving more towards requiring a residency. Residency is becoming more and more required because the job is becoming more clinical.