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College of Pharmacy

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    A blog from the Gamecock Student Pharmacist Perspective

Finding my purpose beyond pills

Embarking on the path to pharmacy school was a journey for me marked by uncertainty, exploration, and a deep-seated desire to make a meaningful impact on people's lives.

My story began at Augusta University as a biology major, a choice I made simply because I hadn't yet discovered my true calling during high school. Augusta University didn't have a pre-pharmacy track, so I found myself navigating a sea of courses without a specific direction. But sometimes, it's in the ambiguity that clarity begins to form.

I spent my high school summers exploring various health care fields through programs like the Student Educational Enrichment Program (SEEP), gaining exposure to the stark realities of health disparities.

One college course during SEEP altered my perspective entirely. Health disparities became more than a subject; it became a catalyst for my passion.

Understanding how minorities and low-income individuals lacked access to basic resources like food and health care opened my eyes. It became evident that pharmacies were often the first point of contact for those in need.

Motivated by this realization, I delved into research on common American diseases, discovering the profound impact of movement and nutrition. This newfound awareness prompted a shift in my academic focus. Transitioning from biology to kinesiology with a concentration in nutrition allowed me to align my undergraduate studies with my burgeoning passion for holistic well-being.

However, my heart was set on pharmacy, and nothing was going to deter me from my dream school, the University of South Carolina.

As a pharmacy student, my perspective has evolved rapidly. Initially, I envisioned a conventional path, working perhaps at a local independent store or a retail giant like Walmart or CVS. Little did I know that my journey was leading me to a profound

My pivotal moment came through inspirational figures like Robin Barnett and Bobby Price, pharmacists who advocated for the idea that "food is medicine." Their approach went beyond the prescription pad; it embraced lifestyle changes.

Suddenly, my view of pharmacy expanded.No longer did I see myself settling into a 9-5 routine; instead, I envisioned owning a pharmacy that not only served minorities but also uplifted low-income individuals lacking access to essential health care.

This vision stemmed from personal experience. My family, like many others, grappled with common American diseases like obesity, diabetes, and high blood pressure. Determined to make a difference, I embarked on my own journey of lifestyle modification and witnessed remarkable results.

Pharmacy school, with its specialized courses like Self-Care and Patho/PCT, further fueled my passion. Discussions on lifestyle modifications as a primary therapy resonated deeply. It wasn't just about dispensing pills; it was about empowering individuals to take charge of their health through nutrition and exercise.

Today, as a P3, I stand on the cusp of realizing my dream. I founded a company, Beyond Pills, to provide resources like meal prep, education, healthy snacks, juice cleanses, and exercise classes - tools that go beyond traditional pharmacy offerings. My goal is clear: to contribute to community initiatives, focusing on wellness and providing resources to transform lifestyles positively.

As I near the end of my academic journey, I look back at the pivotal moments like the health care disparities course, the shift in my major, and my courses in pharmacy school. They weren't just steps; they were milestones leading me to my true passion.

The journey from an undecided biology major to a resolute pharmacy student has been transformational, and I'm ready to channel that burning passion into creating smiles, promoting wellness, and, most importantly, making a tangible impact on the health of individuals and communities.

Topics: Student ExperiencePharm.D. Program2023-24 Creators@COP

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