Unlike many students in high school, Andrew Masatoru Abe ’11 knew exactly what he wanted to be when he grew up: a pharmacist. He, a fourth generation Japanese American from Hawaii, was accepted at Pacific in the three-three pre-pharmacy program and recently graduated with a doctor of pharmacy in 2011.
His inspiration to study pharmacy came from observing a local community pharmacist. “He seemed to know everyone that came in, knew about their problems, and truly cared about their health and wellbeing. He was a healthcare professional that was actively involved in his community. I knew then that I wanted to be part of a profession that cared so much for the community that they served,” said Andrew.
Andrew is among a unique group of graduates who secured a fellowship right after graduation. Currently, he is the Fellow of Drug Information and Evidence-Based Practice at Creighton University. In addition to responding to drug information questions from healthcare professionals, conducting research in pharmacy practice, and preparing monographs and class reviews for Creighton University Medical Center (CUMC) Pharmacy and Therapeutic (P&T) monthly meetings, he is also an instructor of pharmacy practice.
What motivates him to work hard is his parents. “They have been supporting me throughout everything and have never pushed me to be more than I am. I just want to make them proud by doing well in everything I do,” commented Andrew. Doing well will also help him accomplish his goal to grow as a healthcare professional so that he can better serve his patients and be a reliable source for other healthcare providers.
Other individuals also played an important role in shaping Andrew into who he is today. Although he says all of the professors were caring and concerned about each student’s professional career, Dr. James Uchizono, Assistant Dean and Director, Pre-Health Programs and Associate Professor, Department of Pharmaceutics and Medicinal Chemistry, “was always willing to listen and discuss topics related or unrelated to his class.” “He is an example of the caliber of instructors at Pacific and someone I look up to as a role model, a professional which I could emulate.”
During his Advanced Pharmacy Practice Experience (APPE) rotation, Dr. Sachin Shah, Assistant Professor and Regional Coordinator-Travis AFB, also served as a mentor to Andrew. Dr. Shah is credited with encouraging Andrew to seek out options after graduation and “really helped me develop as a professional.” “Without him, I would not be where I am now,” added Andrew.
In his free time, Andrew enjoys cooking and trying new recipes. “When I was little, I told my mom that I would be a full time chef and a part time doctor. She started to laugh until she realized that I was serious. She then told me to switch it around and become a full time doctor and a part time chef. I guess she finally got what she wanted!”
By Dua Her '09