The UT College of Pharmacy is proud of its exceptional graduates who contribute to the profession and to public health wellness in a variety of different practice settings. We are excited to feature some of our alumni on this page to show how our very own Longhorn pharmacists are changing the world. If you are interested in being profiled on this page or would like to recommend someone to be profiled, please contact us.
Isidro Ramirez, Jr., Pharm.D.
Class of 2003
1) What is your current position?
Director of Pharmacy, Rio Grande Regional Hospital in McAllen, TX
2) What attracted you to the pharmacy profession?
My older brother had cerebral palsy and was on various medications throughout his life. My family would frequent Lino's Pharmacy in Roma, TX and Lino Perez, the pharmacist, would always be there to help my parents out. He would even open the store in the middle of the night if we needed a new prescription for my brother. I gained a lot of respect for the pharmacist and the pharmacy profession because of that. When I was accepted to UT and started researching career options, becoming a pharmacist was still one of my top choices. After learning of the prestige and high ranking of the UT College of Pharmacy, as well as its faculty, I felt that it would be a great fit for me. Sure enough, attending UT and the College of Pharmacy is one of my proudest achievements.
3) What is your fondest and/or most vivid memory of being a pharmacy student?
While you are a pharmacy student, life is tough. The program is rigorous and you spend a lot of time studying and focusing on doing well in class. But looking back, I have nothing but the fondest of memories from my time in the program. I was able to be President of UT-ASP, I was on Pharmacy Council, MAAPS and various other student professional organizations. The lessons learned from those groups and from faculty advisors has proven invaluable. And I would be remiss if I didn't mention that I can count on my hand the number of games I have missed at DKR since my graduation. I am positively an obsessed Longhorn fanatic and I go to all of the home games every year. Blue sky, green grass, on Saturdays in the fall. If that's not a take away from my days at UT, I don't know what is.
4) What are some of the biggest challenges in the pharmacy field today?
The changes in the health care system and how reimbursement is determined has changed some of the way healthcare as a whole is practiced, including in the pharmacy world. We need to advocate for the roles of pharmacists in health care teams at both the inpatient and outpatient level. Many of our professional organizations are advocating that pharmacists become recognized providers, and as a profession we should definitely support that. Traditional dispensing, along with the expanded roles we are qualified for, need to be highlighted to our healthcare peers and our national leaders so that our profession remains strong.
5) What are your plans or goals for the future?
My professional goals will always be to be the best pharmacist I can be. I left UT with the goal of being a practicing clinical pharmacist in a hospital, and I'm now a pharmacy director. Administration is very different as compared to clinical patient care, but in the end I'm happy the way my career has developed. We just have to do our best and the future will take care of itself.
7) Anything else you'd like for us to know?
On April 18, 2015, I will be marrying a fellow UT pharmacy alum, Valerie Patterson, and a new personal chapter in my life will begin. So along with work and home, life is good and the UT College of Pharmacy has a lot to do with that.
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Katherine Perez, Pharm.D., Class of 2010, has been named recipient of the 2013 Literature Award for Innovation in Pharmacy Practice.