Most students go about their days worrying about how they are going to balance their studies with their social lives. Pang Moua ’12 has a different challenge—school or family?
Moua is challenged with balancing the demands of not only being a pharmacy student, but being a wife and a mother of two. “I had my second son two weeks before the first semester of pharmacy school started, so it was quite challenging to balance time at the beginning with school, family, sleep, and studying,” she said. Despite the challenge, Moua exceeds her duties as a student and a mother and never has to choose one over the other.
This year, Moua was recognized as one of the National Community Pharmacists Association (NCPA) Student Chapter Outstanding Members of the Year. “Coming into pharmacy school with a background in independent and community pharmacy, NCPA was the right organization for me to expand my knowledge and leadership skills.” Moua was NCPA’s Vice President of Finance and her responsibilities included budgeting and issuing reimbursements.
However, she does not regard that as her biggest accomplishment. The humble mother of two is just glad that she finished the didactic portion of pharmacy school. “It may sound silly, but as a mother of two boys, balancing time for school and time for my kids can be challenging at times, especially when they are sick during midterms or finals and I have to be up with them during the night” Moua said.
While most students will never know what it’s like to do well in school while taking care of their own children, Moua uses her experience to thrive during her rotations. “I believe that being a mother has helped shaped me into the person that I am today and in developing my professional career,” she said. Motherhood has given her a valuable perspective in treating her patients. “Whenever I am at work and parents ask questions regarding which medication is best for their child, I am grateful that I am able to relate and help them out. It makes me see pharmacy in a totally different way.”
With a little more hard work, Moua is months away from graduating and closer to achieving her career goals in community pharmacy and owning her own independent pharmacy. “My goal is to someday open an independent pharmacy and help bridge the gap between western medicines and traditional Hmong medicines. I believe that preventive medicine is an important concept/idea that many patients don’t understand and is something that I would like to empower my patients with,” she said.
Moua is a role model among her peers. Despite her status as a mother and full-time student, she continues to excel and enjoy her journey. She encourages her fellow students to make the most out of their experience in pharmacy school. “Study hard and enjoy pharmacy school because three years go by quickly. Try to get involved in as many campus activities, organizations, and health fairs as you can because it provides you with opportunities to grow both personally and professionally.”
By Ana Gabriel ’12