Nontraditional PharmD program opens door for graduate
When Dr. Tracy Lovejoy decided to pursue her PharmD in 2002, she knew she wanted to do something different than retail pharmacy, but was unaware of her options. At the time, Lovejoy, a pharmacy manager for Longs Drugs in Huntington Beach, Calif., knew she wanted something more… something different, but couldn’t put her finger on what that was. “I had no concept of what I could do as a pharmacist that didn’t include a white coat,” says Lovejoy.
During one of her experiential rotations in the PharmD program, she was paired with a preceptor at Allergan, Inc., who arranged several meetings with people from various line functions throughout the company. One of those meetings changed Lovejoy’s life and career path.
Lovejoy met with a medical writer and was immediately intrigued, “It seemed a perfect marriage of my love of pharmacy, science and writing.” A few months after the rotation and a year prior to her 2008 graduation from the Nontraditional PharmD program (NTPD), she submitted her resume and was hired as a senior medical writer for Allergan.
Lovejoy enthusiastically credits the NTPD program with much of her newfound success. “My experience with the program prepared me for this new career path. My expertise in drug information and disease states and their first- and second-line treatments has definitely contributed to my success as a medical writer,” says Lovejoy. What drew her to the program was its flexibility. “Not having to be present at the computer at a specific time of day or even on a specific day was so convenient.”
For Lovejoy, the PharmD program opened up a world that she never knew existed. “I believe in preparation and opportunity. The rotation and the program itself was a collision of those,” says Lovejoy.
Two-and-a-half years later, Dr. Lovejoy has found her niche. She says, “I feel blessed to have found what I love doing. It’s an extremely rewarding job that somehow perfectly aligns with not only my education, but my experience, skill set, and personality. At this point, I can’t imagine doing anything else.”