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Pharmacy Student Awarded for Substance Use Disorders Public Health Work

By Nicole Carrera

Published on December 21, 2021

Jasmeen Kaur PharmD'22When looking for the right school to pursue a degree in pharmacy, Jasmeen Kaur PharmD’22 was drawn to USciences for its small class size and opportunities after graduation. As she nears the end of her academic career, Kaur recently received the Excellence in Public Health Award at the 2021 Philadelphia College of Pharmacy White Coat Ceremony.

Kaur’s work in public health has focused on harm reduction in patients with substance use disorders. She worked with George Downs,PharmD, professor of clinical pharmacy, shadowing at a syringe exchange program in Philadelphia to see the role of pharmacists in the public health realm. .

“I was inspired by the unique role of the pharmacist in this field, and the role they can have on healthcare on a larger scale,” said Kaur. “This was the first step in my academic career that led me to my current passion for public health. I’m currently working on a commentary piece regarding my experiences.”

In addition to her public health work with Dr. Downs, Kaur interned for a summer with the Pennsylvania Pharmacists Association (PPA). She worked at a local, independent pharmacy that emphasized the expanding role of pharmacists in retail settings. Kaur worked to conduct patient care services, and presented her outcomes with other student interns at a PPA conference. 

“It was an amazing opportunity to really see the impact of a pharmacist’s clinical expertise within the real setting and look at the growing and expanding role of community pharmacists,” said Kaur.

Recently, Kaur has accepted an early commitment into a post-doctoral fellowship program in health economics and outcomes research at the University of Illinois at Chicago in conjunction with Takeda Pharmaceutical Company.

Kaur encourages others thinking about pursuing a career in pharmacy to keep an open mind about the various nontraditional roles and career choices. Her ultimate goal is to work in industry.

“I was able to obtain this fellowship with all the unique opportunities I experienced during my time at USciences,” Kaur said. “USciences encourages students to be unconventional and find unique opportunities for education and training. Speak up about your interests to your professors and faculty, they truly care about your success!”

Categories: News, Philadelphia College of Pharmacy, Pharmacy, Students, Awards and Honors