Pharmacy Alumna: ‘Remain Open to the Many Possibilities!’

Alyssa Strohbusch PharmD '18Alyssa Strohbusch PharmD ’18 didn’t grow up dreaming of a career in pharmacy. But today, two years after completing her doctor of pharmacy at Pacific University, she is a neuro-oncology specialist at the Miami Cancer Institute. She encourages future students to keep their options open and explore new possibilities. She offers some advice for students in the Pacific University School of Pharmacy:  

What did your path after graduation look like?

Following graduation from Pacific, I received my PGY-1 training at Intermountain Healthcare. During this time I was introduced to precision medicine, which ultimately spurred my interest in oncology and the utilization of targeted therapies to treat malignancy. I then completed my PGY-2 training at Baptist MD Anderson Cancer Center, and it was the presentation of my research at the annual HOPA conference that caught the attention of my current employer. Which goes to show, good work pays off!

What make Pacific University School of Pharmacy special to you?

First and foremost, they gave me a chance. Unlike many of my classmates, I had zero experience within the world of pharmacy. I was never a technician, the profession itself wasn’t something that ran in my family lineage, and to be completely candid, becoming a pharmacist was never an aspiration of mine growing up. What I did possess, however, was a desire to learn and to try new things. Pacific gave me the opportunity to experience a variety of specialty pharmacy settings and perhaps even more influentially, within a variety of different healthcare systems. I will forever be grateful for these pivotal exposures and the genuine character of the School of Pharmacy faculty. 

What advice would you give current pharmacy students?

Remain open to the many possibilities! Not only are the roles of pharmacists evolving, but the arenas in which pharmacists practice also continue to expand. I highly encourage current students to seek out new opportunities — take elective coursework that you may have previously known nothing about, volunteer for events that you may have otherwise opted of. Without the willingness to try new things, you’ll never know what you may be missing out on! 

Wednesday, Dec. 16, 2020