Shannon, who was raised in San Diego, earned a bachelor of science in biology from San Diego State University. As a student pharmacist at the UCSF School of Pharmacy she is busy learning not only about basic science and therapeutics but also about the career options for pharmacists. And the options are many: hospital pharmacy and complex underlying systems associated with the dispensing, tracking, and safety of medication use; poison control pharmacy; pharmaceutical sales; drug development; health policy; and many more.
Connecting with people in the community pharmacy
But what Shannon finds most fulfilling is working in the community setting where she can interact with people. "Everything I learned in books needs to be applied, and you can do that in the community pharmacy setting where you go out and talk with patients."
Shannon remembers one community pharmacy patient who was so grateful for the help Shannon gave as a student intern that the patient sought her out for help. "She had a backache; she had used Bengay, which gave her no relief. She asked me if there was something else she could try that was not a medication," recalls Shannon. "I found a heating pad, and went over the instructions carefully. Then she came back and asked what I thought about other over-the-counter medications."
When Shannon graduates, she hopes to work in a community setting for a broad range of people. "I like working for the public in general. It's always nice when there's that one senior you know you're helping."