Dual PharmD ’11 MSCR ’11 alumna Nicol Brown lends helpful advice to new students

Name: Nicol Brown

Degrees & Graduation Year: 2011

Current Job Title: Senior Manager of Clinical Pharmacy Strategy and Operations

Practice Site: Davita Medical Group, Denver, Colorado

Job Description: I assist the National Pharmacy & Therapeutics Committee in reviewing clinical effectiveness on drug classes, especially specialty drugs. I help create effective communication, drug information and educational tools for providers. I also work with the team that develops clinical criteria for review of non-preferred medications and clinical edits for adjudication.

How did CPHS impact you as a person: The rigors of the program seemed overwhelming at the time, but have taught me how to be flexible, persevere, and problem-solve. Within my positions, I have always had a lot of freedom to mold the work into what I enjoy. These skills, and God’s blessings, have allowed me to be extremely successful.

How do you use the skills you learned from CPHS to get your current job: The dual degree (PharmD/MSCR) has been key. I have to use therapeutics and pharmacology, but I also have to understand research. Drug information has been crucial as well! I have to know how to pull the literature and evaluate it.

Favorite CPHS memory: Seeing my classmates again the week before graduation, after rotations were complete. It was so fun to talk about all of the things that we had experienced and how we had put all of our academic years into practice.

What advice do you have to incoming first year CPHS professional students: I have three pieces of advice. 1. Take the time to learn, not memorize. You will be amazed what comes out of your mind years later without even thinking about it 2. Become a critical thinker. I have found I contribute the most to any situation when I think critically.  This mentality sets me apart from many of my co-workers. 3. Set aside 30 minutes every day just for you. Everyone needs time for refreshment and reflection. Having a cup of coffee, reading a morning devotional, praying, or just simply enjoying the quiet can be very helpful and mitigate frustrations and feeling overwhelmed.

What do you miss most about Buies Creek: Walking! Now that I am “office bound” I miss getting to walk around campus and enjoy the outdoors.

Most impactful CPHS faculty/staff member/preceptor: Wow. This is VERY hard to narrow as I have such respect for all of my instructors and preceptors. Each of them contributed in different ways. Dr Al-Achi taught very difficult courses, and he always was so patient. I remember sitting outside his office for hours re-working problems that I had missed on his exams.