Pacific Jumpstarted Alumna’s Career

Irene CatalanIrene Catalan PharmD ’15 has wasted little time on her path from her home to San Diego to Hillsboro to Medford, Ore. Today, she is an inpatient pharmacist at Providence Medford Medical Center, where she specializes in providing pharmaceutical care for cardiovascular patients. 

After earning her undergraduate degree in biology, Catalan accepted a grant from the National Institutes of Health to research HIV-associated dementia. Then she entered Pacific’s School of Pharmacy, which helped launch her into her successful career.

“I felt I received a well-rounded education to get me jumpstarted into my career as a hospital pharmacist right after graduation,” she said. “Because I’d already received my bachelor’s degree and had worked in research for a few years, the three-year program was a great way to start my pharmacy career sooner than I anticipated.”

She said she benefited from going through the School of Pharmacy’s accelerated program because it helped her finish sooner while allowing time for friendships and networking.

If she was advising people considering the PharmD degree, she said, “know your study habits and what you want your overall experience to be,” because the coursework will demand it.

“Pacific's accelerated program will challenge you to change your study habits if you're a ‘casual’ studier,” she said. “You'll learn to intensify your studying habits and some will learn that studying will be prioritized over working during the three years of training. I worked as a pharmacy intern every other weekend during my P2 year however still felt it was difficult to focus on my studies.”

It all paid off for Catalan, who says she enjoys hiking and shopping southern Oregon’s thrift stores while being a “high reliability coach” in Providence Medford’s pharmacy department. She’s been able to use her training to help educate other pharmacists and help the department adopt industry-best practices.

“I'm passionate about forging and sustaining relationships and creating an environment that promotes interprofessional collaboration,” she said. “With the support of my pharmacy team and hospital staff, I'm able to work at the top of my license and provide my patients with a safe hospital experience with enhanced outcomes.”

May. 20, 2019