In 1975, the anti-communist republic government was abolished as the communist forces in North Vietnam reigned over the south. My father, who served for the South Vietnamese Army, was seized of his belongings and left homeless for years. In 1989, my parents immigrated to the United States to search for better opportunities. There were initial hardships transitioning, but with hard work and perseverance our family grew accustomed to the new lifestyle.
In hindsight, I admired my father’s relentless work ethic in providing for his family – working long hours at multiple restaurants to now a night shift technician of 22 years.
Mirroring my father’s work ethic, I am determined to fulfill my dream to become a pharmacist as I continuously work full time, volunteer, and attend school. My parents’ sacrifices and my father’s tenacity inspired my pursuit for higher education, but through my experiences I discovered a passion to help others safely and effectively through a career in pharmacy.
My fascination for science began in college and has encouraged my pursuit for pharmacy, as I enjoy the concept of how manufactured medicines affect specific organ functionality.
My undergraduate courses have strengthened my science background, communication and writing skills. In conjunction with my skills from school, I developed my leadership, team, and professional skills working as a lead delegating tasks amongst my team. My jobs required attention to detail and conscientious application to handle patient samples under HIPAA regulations. My experiences exemplified leadership, teamwork, professionalism, and meticulousness – accompanied with my science disciplines – has equipped me with the skillset to excel in pharmacy school.
At UCSF Medical Center, I continued to refine my communication skills as I understood the importance it has between patients, doctors, and health staffs. Here, I educated patients on preventative strategies to minimize their risk for falling and learned to effectively communicate important information. Moreover, I cultivated relationships with patients as I conducted weekly rounds: offered grip socks, shifted obstructive materials, and discussed life stories. The gratitude and appreciations expressed by patients was heartwarming and gratifying, as I made it a mission to alleviate stress during their tough times. As I pursue my pharmacy career, I will continue to emanate the same compassion using my interpersonal and communication skills.
One of my most impactful experiences at SF City Impact involved a patient who suffered from colon cancer, scabies, and alcohol addiction. The patient, who I will call Jon, had difficulties performing daily living activities. Jon and I developed a rapport as I assisted him with weekly health/medication checkups and escorted him to chemotherapy visits. As a patient advocate alongside Jon, I observed the effect of treatments and medications on an amazing recovery including a shift in demeanor to a jubilant and motivated character. Witnessing the use of medication, I realized the magnitude it had on human health. A moment that’s unforgettable, empowered my interest in pharmacy as I was instantly captivated by the capability of drugs to heal.
My health expedition led me to volunteer at pharmacies, where I gained first-hand experience working with pharmacists. I learned the workflow of dispensing prescriptions as it is processed, filled, and verified before it is administered to the patients. At Pleasant Care Pharmacy, I observed Dr. Phan’s consultations, pharmaceutical knowledge, and work ethic to run a pharmacy. Dr. Phan is an outstanding role model and mentor, and the epitome of a great pharmacist that I strive to become. Through volunteering, I realized the profound role pharmacists play in providing preventive healthcare services; not only was I inspired, but I developed a deeper devotion to learn more.
As a Doctor of Pharmacy, I plan to serve a diverse community instilling the importance of quality health through safe and effective pharmaceutical medicine. Not only to serve as a pharmacist, but as a medical counselor, an educator, and an advocate. I am excited at the prospect to explore and expand my knowledge in different pharmacy industries such as ambulatory care, research, and clinical. I understand the difficult task ahead of me, but I fully embrace this journey as I am committed and excited for the opportunity in a lifelong learning career as a practicing pharmacist