September 2013 OPA Extern Profile: Matt Alexander
Name: Matt Alexander
Pharmacy School: Ohio Northern University
Undergraduate degree/institution: none; direct entry to ONU Pharm-D program
Rotation Month at OPA: September 2013
How did you get interested in the profession of pharmacy?
I enjoyed science classes through high school especially anatomy. I was given direction by my mother, who is a pharmacist, that pharmacy is all about how drugs work with the body and that I should look more into it as a career. The spring of my sophomore year, I participated in a mentorship program where I spent 40 hours shadowing a pharmacist. After the mentorship program I knew pharmacy was what I wanted to go to school.
Why did you choose OPA as a rotation site?
I am passionate about the profession of pharmacy and know that being active in legislative matters is important for pharmacists to continue serving our patients. I was a member of ASP for several years at ONU which helped create an interest in legislative issues concerning pharmacy. Hearing Ernie Boyd speak at ONU also spiked my interest at how influential and essential it is for members of our profession to build relationships with our Congressmen and explain to them what we do. I knew that a rotation at OPA would allow me the opportunity to meet with legislators and share with them how important pharmacists are within the healthcare team and within the community, assist with current legislative pharmacy issues, and learn more about being a future independent pharmacy owner.
What was the most significant or surprising experience at OPA?
My most significant experience during this rotation was spending time with my state senator Cliff Hite. I have had a previous relationship with Cliff Hite when he was my high school football coach and as a pharmacy intern at the store where his family gets their medications filled. It is amazing to see how our relationship has changed over the years. Senator Hite now sees me as an informed constituent and a future pharmacist. Having a relationship with your legislator allows you the opportunity to educate them on topics that you feel are important. I am looking forward to continue being politically active wherever my career will take me.
What other pharmacy associations/organizations do you belong to?