Shannon, Class of 2009

  • Hometown: San Diego, California, USA
  • Previous institution: San Diego State University


As the only person in my pharmacy who could speak Spanish, the patients would pour their hearts out to me.

Shannon could see the importance of cultural understanding when she worked one summer in San Diego at a Walgreens pharmacy where the customer population was heavily Latino. "None of the employees, except the store manager, could speak Spanish. When I would come over and speak Spanish, the patients would pour their hearts out to me," Shannon said. "This is important in pharmacy because people often feel more comfortable when they are helped by others who are like them."

Shannon, who was raised in San Diego, earned a bachelor of science in biology from San Diego State University. As a UCSF PharmD student 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."

Next perspective: Sophia

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