Internships helped alumni progress to pharmacy schools

Dominican alumni Brandi Tacdol ’15 and Scott Grigsby ’14 are different in age and come from different backgrounds, yet they had the same purpose as they went to pharmacy schools.

“I want to make a meaningful impact on patients and the community,” said Brandi before pursuing her doctorate in pharmacy at the University of Pacific’s Thomas J. Long School of Pharmacy.

“I feel strongly, even more so as I’ve gotten older, that I have an obligation to use my good fortune for the benefit of others,” said Scott, then a 43-year-old a father of two before becoming a doctor of pharmacy candidate in the University of California San Francisco’s School of Pharmacy. “I’m fascinated by molecular biology and biochemistry, so pharmacy offers an avenue for me to help others, while allowing me to indulge my love of science.”

Scott, a stay-at-home dad for four years, came to Dominican through its adult degree completion program in 2010. He had experience as an Information Technology systems and network administrator, yet yearned for a career that would combine his interests in science and medicine.
At Dominican, Scott and Brandi, now a Pharmacy Intern at Walgreens, followed similar paths and took advantage of real-world opportunities. They were inspired by their mentors, Dr. Maggie Louie and Dr. Graciela Carranza, in the Department of Health and Natural Sciences, and served internships at the Buck Institute for Research on Aging. Brandi also interned with Ross Valley Compounding Pharmacy from her sophomore to senior year.

“After earning a job there, I understood the important role pharmacists played on the healthcare team and how vital they are for the community being the most accessible health provider to patients,” Brandi says. “This is what gauged my interest in wanting to attend to pharmacy school.”

Based on her two semesters of pharmacy school, Brandi plans to either pursue a residency in ambulatory care or pediatrics, or work in a retail setting. However, she says this may change due to the variety of rotations she will have during her second and third year.

“It’s my goal to be connected directly to the patients, to maintain a pharmacist-patient relationship and to be an advocate for the future of the profession,” said Brandi who, as a biology major at Dominican, also participated in an international biology field trip to Bali in 2014.

After pharmacy school, Scott intended to do a two-year residency and then be a practicing hospital clinical pharmacist. Once his children are grown, Scott also plans to join Doctors Without Borders and work internationally.

“My primary areas of interest are emergency medicine, pediatrics, and infectious disease, especially the development of treatments for endemic infections in third-world countries,” he said.


April 26, 2016