Ever since I was young, I have had an interest in health care. Even when my peers would talk in horror about their doctors’ appointments, mine fascinated me. It was almost magical, the way they would be able to look at me and know right away how they could help, writing down their prescription for me on their pads. However, what most piqued my curiosity was the way my medicines could keep me healthy and even heal me. When I left the doctors’ offices, I always knew the next step was the pharmacy. Going to see the pharmacists was like meeting the dragon that guarded the gates to piles of gold, and I always asked my pharmacists questions. Rather than rush through the answers to move on to the next task, they seemed to always have the patience to explain pharmacy to me. I could learn what medications were for what symptoms, and learned to pronounce medicine names like a foreign language.This was made even more true when I came to the US at the age of 15 years. I and three of my family members were in search of newer and better opportunities, and I knew that education would be especially important in helping me achieve my goals. I took as many science classes as I could in high school while balancing two part-time jobs. They were crucial to helping our family stay afloat, but they also taught me important skills. When I worked in the service industry, I saw how easy it was to let my personal feelings and temporary annoyances affect the job that I did. If I had a bad interaction with a previous customer, my first instinct was to go into the next interaction with a poor attitude. However, this almost never turned out well. I realized that people needed to be heard, and to have conversations. They wanted someone to attend to their needs. In addition, it was important for me to communicate often with my coworkers. Even though most of the time we had our own responsibilities, there were times when I had to draw on their help. There were also times that we had to cover for each other, and I worked deliberately on building rapport with my coworkers so that we could provide a smoother service. It was comparing the difference between the isolated workplace and that of consistent communication that helped me solidify how crucial it was to stay updated with what my coworkers were doing.As I look forward to my future, I knew that I would have to approach everything with the same amount of patience and transparency with my team. These interpersonal and professional skills are crucial to being a pharmacist in particular. It was in part because of this that I knew pharmacy was the health care profession that I wanted to pursue.Though I did not realize it at the time, pharmacists are the most accessible health care professional. They have expertise that they are willing to share, and are more transparent than other care providers. When I went to the pharmacy as a young boy, I knew that I would learn something new. My father noticed this curiosity in me, and encouraged me to pursue it. He made me promise that I would continue studying pharmacy, and it is something I have kept in my mind since he was killed back in 2008. For that reason, pharmacy is not only a field that can help me pursue my own dreams of working to serve others, but also a field that draws me closer to my father.To help myself prepare for my future as a pharmacist, I focused on my science classes. I took as many as I could; they covered the prerequisites for pharmacy school and more. What I enjoyed the most about these was seeing how classes like organic chemistry and biology could be directly relevant to evaluating medications and working with patients to help them understand the importance of taking their prescriptions as recommended. Through this program, I hope to be able to complete my degree in pharmacy after four years of pre-pharmacy studies at a community college. I know that working with patients and other health care professionals will improve their well-being significantly, and allow them to fulfill their personal and professional dreams. For the long term, I believe that I can make a difference in the health of my community as a whole. By increasing understanding of medications, when they are appropriate for use and, often more importantly, when they are not, I will be able to advocate for my patients. Over time, I know that I will be able to make significant contributions to the health community as a whole and will work tirelessly to improve it.


I'm James!

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