PharmDigest Fall 2020December 3, 2020
PharmDigest is published by the PCOM School of Pharmacy Student Council.
A Message From Pharmacy Student Council President Amanda Aid
Greetings, My name is Amanda Aiad and I am in my third-year at PCOM Georgia currently serving as President of Pharmacy Council. On behalf of Pharmacy Student
Council, I would like to officially congratulate and welcome the first-year class,
as well as returning students, on completing this term in unprecedented times. Pharmacy
Council serves to act as an advocate for the student body of PCOM School of Pharmacy. The Council works to ensure cohesion and unity between students, organizations,
administrators and faculty. Pharmacy Student Council is composed of students elected
from various classes uniting together for one common cause—to empower the profession
Despite being in tough times right now, I would like to share some words of encouragement.
Remember, we are all here to serve a specific purpose by choice rather than by chance.
We all got accepted into pharmacy school because there is something unique about us
that made us stand out among other applicants. We are capable of becoming the future
providers of the healthcare profession that we all desire to be. Now is the time to
showcase those qualities and potential that makes us exceptional. In the process,
we also must not forget to take care of ourselves and our mental health as well as
rewarding ourselves along the way.
I wish everyone great success this academic year!
A Message From Andrew Wilson, Class Representative
My name is Andrew Wilson and I am the representative for the Class of 2024. I was
born and raised in Alpharetta, Georgia and have worked for 15 years as a pharmacy
technician and compounding technician nearby at Dunwoody Pharmacy. In my time at Dunwoody
Pharmacy, I have found a passion for both sterile and nonsterile compounding. My favorite
thing about compounding is the wide variety of patients we service. It is amazing
to have the ability to customize medications that meet the specific needs of everyone
ranging from minor illnesses to cancer patients, cats/dogs, or even a Rhinoceros.
Outside of pharmacy, I am a drummer and played on the drumline at both Centennial
High School and at the University of South Carolina. I received a Bachelor of Science
in General Biology from Kennesaw State University. I am an eagle scout. I enjoy hiking,
nature photography, latin dancing, and playing on a tennis team.
My goal as representative is to see everyone in the Class of 2024 succeed. We face
obstacles never before seen due to the coronavirus, and navigating these difficult
times requires teamwork and making sure our voices are heard so that we receive equal
opportunities as previous classes. As class representative, I am here to voice any
and all concerns that arise from the class, promptly deliver important information
from teachers and administration, and provide direction so that nobody is left behind
as we experience pharmacy school together. I feel that success in pharmacy school
is a collaborative effort and I will do my best to foster unity and communication
among the class of 2024. I could not be more proud of the ability of the class of
2024 to come together through media and shared resources despite our lack of face
to face communication and I am honored to be the voice of this amazing group of people.
Congratulations to All Pharmacy Students
From Lawrence Uwaeke PharmD '20, Former Council President
Congratulations to everyone for making it to this point in your respective educational
careers. You have worked hard to reach your current level and deserve a moment of
applause for your efforts. However, it is important to not take too long breathing
in that sigh of relief, because there is still more work to be done. Remember that
your goal was not to make it into pharmacy school, it’s to become an actual pharmacist.
To do that it’s important to continue demanding more of yourself, and the fact that
you’re reading this right now means you’re capable of doing so. However, what’s different
from what you may be accustomed to is that simply demanding more of yourself in the
classroom is no longer enough. You’re now in professional school, which means that
you will be faced with professional realities, and part of that reality is that your
network determines your net worth as much as your education does. Having knowledge
without the network or network without the knowledge limits the potential of your
future, and thus why I am giving you this advice now. Understanding the options you’re
now privy to (there are many), choosing your path, and developing your network are
now concepts equally important as grades. Luckily, you’ve chosen to attend a pharmacy
school that has the faculty, staff, and alumni equipped to assist you in these endeavors.
That doesn’t mean you won’t experience your highs and lows, but it does mean that
for every low you experience there’s a hand ready to reach out and pull you up. Hopefully,
when you leave this institution, you’ll be able to see the beauty in the struggle.
Congratulations and good luck!
Words of Encouragement to Pharmacy Students
By Lawrence Uwaeke PharmD '20, Former Council President
I remember greeting the new students two years ago as Pharmacy Council President and
saying that the starting begins upon entrance to pharmacy school. While that still
holds true, the fact of the matter is that even I didn’t understand the gravity of
what that meant. The world of pharmacy is currently at an impasse due to our roles
as healthcare providers evolving and a saturated market where 300 people compete for one
open position (not an exaggeration). It is to a point where conversation is about
whether the PharmD is simply an introductory level certificate now. While that may
sound grimacing, rest assured that I am not painting a picture of hopelessness. It
is Dr. Ghilzai’s job to scare you, not mine (Sorry, Dr. Ghilzai). Instead, my job
with this article is to tell you that with clarity and adaptability; you will be able
to be where you want to be despite everything I said. As a pharmacist there are numerous
fields for you to work in; that means it is important early on in your pharmacy school
career to gain clarity in what avenue(s) to pursue. Adaptability comes after clarity
because once you figure out the places where you want to go, you start planning how
to get there.
Unfortunately, the path of least resistance to gain both clarity and adaptability
is to increase your workload. As I mentioned, obtaining your PharmD is now introductory
level. That means using it to create the type of living for yourself you want, or
to work in a space where you desire requires more than simply graduating. This is
true even for the students who want to pursue a job in general such as retail pharmacy
and thought that simply doing the minimum would be enough. Grades and what occur inside
of the classroom are important, but just as important are the steps you take outside
of the classroom to build your understanding and network.
As a P1 and P2, you should spend some of your free time researching the various roles
a pharmacist can have and narrowing down your choices of fields to go into. Gaining
your clarity early-on affords you time to talk with professors and your advisor on
how to navigate your future easier. Start figuring out requirements, certifications,
internships, fellowships, and everything in between earlier rather than later. If
you do this now, it will put you into a position where your PharmD means more than
the other 15,000 students who graduated with the same degree applying for the same
As a P3, it’s not too late to start leveraging your position but the clock is ticking.
Ideally, you’ve already begun to flesh out your network and developed your plan. However,
if you haven’t; then it becomes even more important for you to utilize your resources
within the school (i.e. faculty, staff, clubs, etc.) to accelerate your development.
The goal I would recommend is to get to a point where you’re able to choose 4th year
rotations with a purpose in mind of what you want to accomplish.
Lastly, for the current P4 students, if for some reason you’re still struggling putting
things together; then the age-old rule of “It’s who you know, more than what you know”
means even more in your case. Develop good relationships with your preceptors, reach
out to alumni from the class before, and that can help bridge some of that gap. Pharmacy
is evolving, hopefully the advice I gave will help prepare you to stay ahead of the
Regards, Lawrence Uwaeke, PharmD Class of 2020
Summer Internship With the NCPA Organization
By Ganiat Asuni, Class Representative of 2022
I was super excited when I realized I will be moving to Arlington, VA for about two
months of the summer but unfortunately COVID had it’s part to play. Gratefully, my
internship wasn’t canceled rather it became a remote internship. I worked with lots
of great pharmacists learned a lot about research, policy, and more about NCPA as
an organization. It opened lots of doors for me to network with the pharmacist and
the CEO of NCPA.
I decided to apply for a internship with NCPA because my friend from a different school
told me it will help me see a different side of pharmacy. I was never in a office
setting apart from the usual hospital, clinic, and retail setting. I also wanted to
put my name out there. Starting my second year of pharmacy school, I started becoming
unsure of the area of pharmacy I wanted to go into at that point I felt it will be
a great opportunity to help me see another aspect of Pharmacy. My main goal, before
pharmacy school was to start my own pharmacy. My internship opened lots of knowledge
like finally knowing NCPA can help create a business plan for my business, look for
business partners with same interest as me, and they have different seminars to help
in the process of opening my pharmacy.
One of my best pharmacy experiences I have come across so far! I was on the NCPA E-board
on campus last year and I told myself I will do something different during the summer
as a student pharmacist. I love to challenge myself in anything I do and I never give
up in anything I do. I was discouraged by few people because no one from PCOM ever
got the summer internship. If you know me you know I love to prove people wrong and
put in the work so I can make it.
I can’t wait to join the NCPA team at some point of my career after pharmacy school.
My internship opened so many opportunities. I am thankful to the PCOM NCPA organization
for opening doors for me to have such a thrilling experience. I encourage those who
are interested in a Pharmacy ownership to apply to join NCPA and apply for their summer
Also in the Fall 2020 Edition:
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