MU | Alumni Notes
Passion , creativity and drug information
M ake it quirky – not like your standard kind of article ,” said Judy Truong ’ 22 , Pharm . D ., during a phone conversation in early September . “ I want it to be unique ; maybe include some weird responses in there .”
Folks who know Truong may not be surprised by these instructions . And if you don ’ t know Truong , it quickly becomes clear while speaking to her that she is happy to forge her own path and isn ’ t afraid to think outside the box .
Her mentor , Robert D . Beckett , Pharm . D ., would know . As the director of Manchester ’ s Drug Information Center , he created a special award for her .
“ That was something I had never done before ,” said Beckett , an associate professor of pharmacy practice and assistant dean of assessment in Manchester ’ s College of Pharmacy , Natural and Health Sciences , “ It was an award for her passion and enthusiasm for drug information . She ’ s passionate about this content in a way that is very uncommon . And she ’ s good at it .”
Truong is currently immersing herself further in the realm of drug information as she works to complete a one-year residency program at Creighton University .
“ I was interested in pharmacy early on ,” said Truong . “ I thought it was interesting to learn how drugs work in the body and the mechanisms by which they work . I also thought being surrounded by pills was fun and interesting . All the different colors attracted me , and it just felt like a calming environment . I know that ’ s weird to say .”
Truong , who earned her undergraduate degree in biology-chemistry at Manchester University ’ s North Manchester , Ind ., location , returned to her hometown of Fort Wayne to study pharmacy . She said it wasn ’ t until her fourth year – and her rotation with Beckett – that she knew drug information was the path for her .
“ The field of drug information is important because it forms the foundation of everything you do as a pharmacist , no matter what setting you ’ re working in ,” Truong said .
Knowing what resources to use and where to look for medical information is an important and necessary skill for a pharmacist to have , she said .
“ You might not know the answer to every drug or interaction question that ’ s asked of you , whether it ’ s from a patient or a prescriber ,” explained Truong . “ But knowing where to look for the answers – I feel like that ’ s more important .”
Truong ’ s passion for drug information is evident , as Beckett can attest .
“ I think we can do more to advance drug information itself by being more creative ,” Truong said . “ Taking Drug Information classes can be really intimidating , but one of my goals is to instill creativity and uniqueness as a way to make it not as scary for students .”
Truong works directly with students as part of her residency program , she said , which has been a fulfilling experience so far . Every five weeks , a new group of six fourth-year pharmacy students rotate in , and Truong has a chance to impart her knowledge and experience .
“ We guide them through the process of answering a drug information question and provide them with feedback ,” said Truong . “ There will be more teaching involved later in the program , but right now it ’ s a lot of guiding and mentoring students and I really enjoy that .”
Still , Truong isn ’ t ruling anything out for the future as she weighs pursuing a career in an academic environment versus striking out on an industry path .
Whichever path Truong ends up on , it ’ s safe to say Truong will bring her passion , creativity and flair for the unique wherever she goes .
by Matt Walker
22 Manchester University | ManchesterRx