When you imagine a pharmacy career, what comes to mind? Is it the pharmacist at the retail store pharmacy, the pharmacist at the hospital, or the pharmacist at your local community pharmacy? At first glance, many may not realize that there is a vast array of career opportunities in pharmacy. Dr. Christine Nguyen ‘10 shares her story and why she chose to participate in the doctor of pharmacy/master of sciences in business administration (PharmD/MBA) dual-degree program.
Dr. Nguyen received her PharmD/MBA from Pacific in 2010. Today, as trade relations manager at Envision Pharmaceutical Services, a pharmacy-benefit management (PBM) company, she manages manufacturer contracts and rebate administration operations.
Many companies are turning to PBMs to act as third party administrators for their prescription drug benefits. Dr. Nguyen saw this growing industry and jumped at the opportunity to seek a career that will allow her to practice pharmacy and business.
“My area leverages relationships with prescription drug manufacturers such as Pfizer and Astra Zeneca to provide drug cost savings and key disease management programs for our members. It is an exciting and challenging way to incorporate pharmacy knowledge and business skills,” said Dr. Nguyen.
She admits that the journey to obtain her PharmD/MBA was a bit tricky because of the areas of focus in her courses but was excited about how the two subjects provided different sets of challenges for her.
“I knew two things for sure: that an MBA would open doors not otherwise available to me and that I was very capable of handling a larger course load than was outlined in the pharmacy program,” commented Dr. Nguyen. “At the end of the day, the two areas of study make for a very well-rounded educational background,” she added.
Dr. Nguyen believes that a PharmD/MBA also sets her apart from other pharmacists who chose to only pursue a doctor of pharmacy because she enjoys the flexibility of having opportunities outside of the clinical areas of her company. In addition, she feels her educational background in business has not only benefited her in her professional career, but personal life as well.
As a student who sought to find the right career path, Dr. Nguyen believes student pharmacists should explore opportunities that play to their strengths and passions. “There are so many career options available in the pharmacy profession. You won’t regret it,” she said.
In her spare time, Dr. Nguyen enjoys cooking, running half marathons (she has completed three), and listening to news radio in the morning.
To learn more about the PharmD/MBA dual-degree program, click here.
By Dua Her '09