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Job Shadow Experience Electrifies Dream for Pharmacy Student

Brett Smith
3rd Year Doctor of Pharmacy Student
St. Louis College of Pharmacy

When Brett Smith was 16, he job shadowed his uncle, Ollie, for a class project for a day. It was a day that would change is life.

Ollie Smith has been a pharmacist in the Paris Community Hospital for nearly 40 years. The job shadowing project that brought Brett to his workplace showed him how to fit his love for math and science into a career path for his future.

Today, thanks to the help of a Christie Foundation scholarship, Brett is a third year pharmacy student at the St. Louis College of Pharmacy, studying to become a doctor of pharmacy. He chose the school over others because of its unique and singular focus on pharmacy, and the opportunity to get the resources and support he needed as he worked through his six years of college.

“Pharmacy is a great fit for my interests, and I’m thankful to the Christie Foundations for their scholarship support over the years.”

His days are busy with classes that include pathopysiology, therapeutic physiology, pharmaceutics, microbiology, and professional communications. He’s learning everything from making ointments and solutions in lab classes to giving talks and interacting with patients in communications courses.

In high school, Brett volunteered to help transport x-ray patients at Carle Hospital and spent summers working in the Paris CVS pharmacy, running the register, filling prescriptions, and taking and entering orders. In college, he’s just as active serving on the Campus Activities Board and the Student Pharmacists Association.

After graduation, he hopes to become a compounding pharmacist, someone who makes and mixes the drugs that pharmacies use.

“To me, it’s extremely interesting to learn how drugs can help treat and cure medical issues,” says Brett.