The graduates from the doctor of pharmacy Class of 2016 are pursuing a wide variety of exciting opportunities - from a fellowship at the preeminent pharmaceutical company Eli Lilly to a residency at Stanford’s Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital. As Commencement approaches we asked them to take a moment and reflect on their time at Pacific and their path ahead.
Utsav Patel ’16 has been matched with a Postgraduate Year One (PGY1) managed care residency at Kaiser Permanente Central Valley in Stockton. “I am looking forward to continuing to develop my skills in the field of managed care, as well as add on to my clinical knowledge as I rotate through the ambulatory care rotations offered in this program,” shares Patel. The connections that he made while at Pacific were influential in leading him to this residency. He explains, “I was able to speak with managed care pharmacists that I had connected with when I was a student. They were able to offer me great advice for the different managed care programs available in California.”
Professor who had a profound impact: “Dr. James Uchizono. I have known him since my time as an undergraduate and as such he has had a great impact on me professionally and personally. We would meet occasionally and talk about everything ranging from school to personal life and he would always have great advice, which pushed me to aim higher in everything I pursued.”
Professional goals: “I hope to design and implement a clinical program related to mental health that can be widely adopted.”
Favorite Pacific memory: “My time spent in the Medicare Part D elective, especially during outreach season. Being able to go out into the community and practice what we have learned through the Medication Therapy Management interventions and also helping the beneficiaries cut down on their prescription drug costs.”
Saranpreet Nagra ’16 has been matched with a visiting scientist fellowship in the Clinical Innovation Department at Eli Lilly in Indianapolis, Indiana. “I am looking forward to being immersed in a company and environment which fosters innovation,” shares Nagra. “Eli Lilly, and specifically their innovation department, is very well known for being very forward-thinking and being open to pursue ‘long-shot’ ideas.” He adds, ” I was able to learn about this specific fellowship position through references from recent alumni and peers.”
Professor who had a profound impact: “I’ve been extremely lucky during my short time here to have multiple mentors, both faculty and alumni, who were willing to go above and beyond to help me reach my potential. One of my mentors, Dr. Sachin Shah, has always been willing to do whatever possible to help me reach my goals and has served as an amazing guide in helping me to navigate the opaque process of applying to fellowships.”
Professional goals: “The biggest thing I hope to contribute to the profession of pharmacy is the idea that the value of the PharmD is far reaching and can supersede the traditional roles in the pharmacy.”
Favorite Pacific memory: “One of my favorite memories during my time at Pacific was our chapter’s APhA-ASP Operation Immunization winning National First Runner Up at the APhA 2016 Annual Meeting and Exposition. It was amazing to see our team and university get some national spotlight for the countless hours our committee put in to help make our communities healthier through direct patient care and education.”
Martina L. Rigmaiden ’16 has been matched with PGY1 pediatric pharmacy residency at Stanford’s Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital in Palo Alto, California.
Professor who had a profound impact: “Dr. Joel Wagner has been my constant support system throughout my time at Pacific.”
Professional goals: “I hope to bring awareness to the pediatric population and continue to be an advocate for health-system pharmacy and those who wish to pursue a residency to grasp the inpatient clinical aspect of pharmacy.”
Favorite Pacific memory: “When a professor came up to me and said, ‘I can’t believe your performance on the final exam.’ [I was terrified, but] the professor revealed that out of the whole final exam I had only missed half of a point. It was very rewarding to know that all the hours, sleepless nights and office hours consulting with my professor paid off and I completely grasped the concept.”
Sophie Hoang ’16 has been matched with a medical affairs fellowship at Novo Nordisk in Plainsboro, New Jersey. “I look forward to learning about the pharmaceutical industry and how new products are launched to create a global impact,” said Hoang. “Participating in various projects, organizations and committees have helped me to create long-lasting relationships with professors and mentors. Not only have they recommended me to potential employers, but also supported and guided me along the way.”
Professor who had a profound impact: “Dr. Ed Sherman served as the National Community Pharmacists Association (NCPA) advisor during my time as president of the NCPA Pacific Chapter. He opened my eyes to the world of independent pharmacy and encouraged me to participate in the NCPA Student Business Plan Competition.”
Professional goals: “I hope to create a global impact through the launch of new medications, better access to care in rural communities and to ultimately improve patient outcomes across the world.”
Favorite Pacific memory: “One of my proudest moments was planning the Alternative and Integrative Medicine Committee Health Fair in collaboration with the Tzu Chi Foundation.”
Tinh An “April” Nguyen ’16 will be the inaugural fellow of the global regulatory program at Biogen in Boston, Massachusetts. She has also been offered an adjunct position at Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences. “I can’t wait to face so many new amazing opportunities, apply what I’ve learned from the California Pharmacists Association to the Massachusetts Pharmacists Association, make a difference and expand Pacific’s legacy!” exclaims Nguyen.
Professor who had a profound impact: “I was a research coordinator with Dr. Sachin Shah for a study on energy drinks and their cardiovascular safety, which was recognized nationally and internationally across multiple news media, including CBS, NPR, UK Daily Mail and Times of India. I’ve been fortunate to work with a mentor who built my foundation of technical skills in the pharmaceutical industry and cardiovascular clinical research.”
Professional goals: “I want to continue to make a difference in the lives of the patients we serve and be an advocate for the profession of pharmacy.”
Favorite Pacific memory: “Staffing the inaugural Rx Boot Camp with students from 12 schools of pharmacy across California inspired me to become the 2016 Rx Boot Camp Director in the state’s first student-led pharmacy conference, which is focused on collaborative practice and communication. I also have fond memories of organizing the first APhA-ASP Health Fair at the Midtown Farmers Market which provided services to 400 community members in Hmong, Spanish and Vietnamese.”
James Wall ’16 has been matched with a clinical operations oncology fellowship at Roche Group in San Francisco. In addition, he has been offered an adjunct faculty position at Ernest Mario School of Pharmacy at Rutgers University in Piscataway, New Jersey. “I am looking forward to expanding my knowledge in the area of oncology,” said Wall. “This opportunity will allow me to pursue my interests in oncology therapeutics while simultaneously allowing me to contribute to the development of novel treatments.” He adds, “I would not have this opportunity without the guidance and support of the faculty at University of the Pacific.”
Professor who had a profound impact: “Dr. Marcus Ravnan [’94] had a significant impact on my development as a pharmacist. I thoroughly enjoyed his therapeutics courses due to his unique style of teaching. His residency/fellowship elective course should be considered by any student with the desire to pursue post-graduate training. Dr. Ravnan continued to make himself available as a mentor during my clinical rotations.”
Professional goals: “Over the past few decades the pharmacy profession has changed dramatically, expanding to include more clinical functions. I would like to continue this expansion and enhance the pharmacist’s role in both the acute healthcare environment and the general medical community.”