South University, Savannah 2010 Doctor of Pharmacy graduate Sonia Patel is helping to educate the next generation of pharmacists, while also treating the needs of patients battling a serious health crisis.
Patel is an assistant professor of pharmacy practice (oncology) at the Suwanee, Ga. campus of the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine School of Pharmacy. When she isn’t teaching, Patel works as a hospital pharmacist to fill the medication needs of patients fighting cancer.
“My day depends on if I am at the school or hospital,” Patel explains. “In a heavy teaching semester, I am at the school every day except for one or two days of the week I am at the hospital. In a light teaching semester, I am at the hospital every day with students on rotation for their elective oncology rotation…at the hospital, I round with the oncologist in the morning and then wrap up things with the patients, and then assist the clinical pharmacist with their patients and reports until lunch.
“After lunch, I work on various projects for the hospital…or developing programs or research/scholarship that I am required to do. At the school, I am either preparing for lectures or teaching, or working and preparing for things.”
With a schedule like Patel’s, time management is crucial. She says that is just one of the many ways South University prepared her for her career.
“Being in a fast-paced, accelerated year-round program really helped me with organization, time management, and prioritization skills which are useful for any career—not just pharmacy,” Patel says.
Patel admits the program had its challenges, and credits the faculty and staff at South University with helping her succeed.
“Both staff and faculty were very opening and welcoming and willing to help. It felt like a small community, and I always felt at home.”
Now Patel is the teacher, guiding a new group of students into her chosen profession. But, Patel’s impact doesn’t stop there. She is also researching ways to improve how medications and pain control are delivered to hospitalized cancer patients, using her South University education to help improve the lives of those who need it most.
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