By Julia Sexton ‘21
Ryan Quinn graduated from UVM in 2016 and is now in his 4th and final year at the Colchester, VT campus of Albany College of Pharmacy and Health Science (ACPHS). In May, he’ll receive his Doctor of Pharmacy (PharmD) degree. A fun fact about Ryan is that he met his wife on UVM’s Trinity campus during his sophomore year.
While at UVM…
Ryan majored in biochemistry and (not surprisingly) completed a minor in Pharmacology. During his first two years, he was on the UVM Crew team. He describes that as “an awesome experience [that] I would recommend to anyone who likes early mornings, great exercise and team building experiences.”
Ryan knew since he was young that he wanted to help people. By the end of sophomore year, he realized that a career in the lab wasn’t for him, and he began to explore other options where he could put his biochemistry background to use. After some research and with help from his academic advisor, he narrowed it down to medical school or pharmacy school. A toxicology course in junior year was the introduction to pharmacy he needed to fall in love with the field. That motivated him to apply for a job as a pharmacy technician at a local pharmacy, and “the rest is history.”
3-year program vs 4-year pharmacy program:
PharmD programs vary in length from 3 – 4 years. The shorter programs generally require summer sessions. ACPHS offers a 4-year curriculum in Albany and a 3-year accelerated path in Colchester (although when Ryan began, both programs were 4 years in length). Ryan says that for him, a 4-year curriculum was the right choice. He weighed the appeal of finishing a full year earlier, with the tradeoff of a heavily increased workload. He opted to decompress the training to give him more time to spend with his wife and the ability to keep working part-time.
Favorite part about pharmacy school?
Ryan’s “absolute favorite” part of pharmacy school is the ability to take what he learns during class and immediately be able to apply that knowledge at work, which he finds “incredibly satisfying” and an efficient way to retain information. He also is excited to experience the constantly evolving nature of pharmacy and the opportunity for daily learning.
After graduation from ACPHS?
Ryan will have to take and pass certifying exams to become licensed to practice pharmacy. He plans to find a position in a community pharmacy, ideally in the Burlington area, and is excited to make a difference in his community.
Advice for an undergraduate considering a career in pharmacy:
Ryan offers this advice: “Pharmacy is an incredible, multi-faceted career path… Getting a job as a pharmacy technician is a great first step…It will be a fantastic way to make sure you enjoy the work you will most likely end up doing one day.” Not only that, having interactive experiences with pharmacists and customers will help you create a compelling and genuine application that showcases your motivation for the career and your understanding of the joys and challenges that come with it.