By Julie Wilson, Director, Cardinal Health Women in Pharmacy Initiative
Miss America 2020, Camille Schrier, has been a proud, self-described “science nerd” for as long as she can remember. When she graduates with her Doctor of Pharmacy degree from Virginia Commonwealth University in 2021, she plans to work in the pharmaceutical industry, preferably in business development or as a medical science liaison. We caught up with Camille to get a student’s perspective on the future of the profession.
Q: What excites you most about the field of pharmacy?
As pharmacists, we have the opportunity to make a tremendous impact in the lives of others, every single day. The idea of using my love of science to improve the lives of others is what really drew me to the field.
I’m also excited about emerging fields of study and emerging technologies within pharmacy, which really have the potential to dramatically improve patient outcomes. For example, pharmacogenomics, which uses science to help determine whether a specific medicine is likely to have a better impact on a patient than another, based on that patient’s genomic makeup. Or emerging technologies that can increase medication compliance and reduce medication errors, so patients can experience better outcomes.
Pharmacists are also expanding their roles in many new ways to expand care to their patients. For example, in some states, laws are being passed to give pharmacists “provider status,” so they can both prescribe and dispense medications.
Q: Knowing that more than 60% of graduating pharmacy students are women, what would you want them to know about careers in the pharmacy profession?
A: I’d want to tell fellow students that this is a profession that offers many diverse career tracks. There are pharmacy roles in government, research, community health centers, business sectors and specialized fields, like nuclear medicine. And that’s in addition to more traditional roles, like working in a hospital setting or as a retail pharmacist.
I love the idea of independent pharmacy ownership as a career – especially for those who have a strong business acumen and are also passionate about pharmacy. I can think of few other careers that could better enable you to create your own destiny than to own the community pharmacy where you practice. I also think that community pharmacy is an exciting profession because it’s one that enables pharmacists to practice at the top of their profession and really serve as an extended part of a patient’s healthcare team.
Schrier says that she’s not sure where her official duties as Miss America 2020 will take her on #WomenPharmacistDay, October 12, 2020, but she’ll be sure to celebrate it by raising awareness of the important role women pharmacists play in the delivery of healthcare. To learn more about Schrier, her perspective on careers in pharmacy and her experiences as Miss America 2020, check out the replay of this Cardinal Health Women in Pharmacy webcast, entitled “The future of pharmacy from the perspective of a future pharmacist”, which was recorded earlier this year.