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.
Brandon Patterson, Pharm.D.
Class of 2008
1) What is your current position?
Assistant Professor of Pharmacy
Department of Pharmacy Practice and Pharmacy Administration
Philadelphia College of Pharmacy, University of the Sciences
2) What attracted you to the pharmacy profession?
I was growing up in a small town and participated in my junior high school career day. I met the local pharmacist (Kenneth Blaschke ’53) and shadowed him at work. It was very interesting. Everyone in town knew him and he was well regarded as a community leader. I had several members of my family that were in health professions, including my mother Cheryl who was a nurse. All of these things factored into building my interest in the profession. I did some more reading on my own and learned that pharmacy was a career that was changing to be more progressive in patient care. That was my initial attraction to the profession. I ended up working as a technician at that small town pharmacy a little during school. This is probably a better answer than I gave to Dean Ridings-Myhra during my admission interview so many years ago.
3) What is your fondest and/or most vivid memory of being a pharmacy student?
There are a ton of memories that flood into my mind from pharmacy school. Most were absolutely amazing, but there were a few where I wished I had made better decisions. My best memories were with APhA-ASP. We always struggled with how to make meetings interesting while being informative. I remember a few meetings where I jumped on the table, put a bag over my head, or dressed up like a cowboy just to keep the meetings exciting. The best memories were those made with others in school. Members of my class and the other classes around that time were hard working and knew how to have fun. They were great people with which to share the experience of surviving pharmacy school.
4) How did you end up in academia?
I ended up serving as the APhA-ASP National President while at UT, which afforded me many opportunities to discuss the profession of pharmacy at a high level. There were a lot of discussions about advancing the profession where we could have used more evidence. I also had really strong mentoring at UT with Dr. Lawson and Dr. Wilson. Pharmacy administration research interested me and seemed like an avenue to help create some of the evidence we needed to push the profession forward. As I met people around the country, I also learned of the strong community pharmacy practices in Iowa. That is where I went to obtain my Ph.D. in Pharmaceutical Socioeconomics with Dr. Bill Doucette as my major advisor. Academia is very appealing for me. I want to give back to the profession with some strong mentoring of pharmacy similar to what II received at UT. At the same time, I need a venue for conducting research and helping contribute to the evidence base underpinning our profession.
5) What are some of the biggest challenges in the pharmacy field today?
Not enough space on the webpage for all the threats to pharmacy. Sometimes it is easy to get lost in the weeds and to think about every little problem our profession confronts. Fortunately and unfortunately it is that attention to detail that is in each of our pharmacist DNA. From that perspective you can talk about reimbursement, scope of practice, provider status, certification, school accreditation, credentialing, quality, and the list just goes on forever. Sometimes lost in all the nuances of the individual challenges we lose sight of fundamental paradigm issues. The profession is still severely divided in national representation and that hurts us now and in the long run. We still have people running around saying pharmacy is at the crossroads and there is big decision in being a business or a profession, myself included; things that have been said for well over 200 years. That is a challenge no one person could ever possibly answer. We need to accept the notion that we are professionals that must provide billable services so that we may maintain our provision of those valuable services. That is the challenge. What do people value that pharmacists can provide? That is a question every pharmacist attempts or should attempt to answer every day in their practice.
6) What are your plans or goals for the future?
Since I finally just started my first job, keeping it is a pretty big goal right now. I want to keep improving my personal life, deepen my relationship with my girlfriend, strengthen my relationship with my family, and do a better job at staying in touch with my friends old and new. Professionally, the sky is the limit. Making a positive impact in the life of students I help mentor and teach is the primary goal of my career in academia. I also want to help build that evidence base for pharmacy and provide others tools so that they may also engage in that work.
7) Anything else you'd like for us to know?
No, I have said too much already. Others need a voice in this profession just as much as I do.
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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.