Name: Mary-Russell Laurent
Degrees & Graduation Year: PharmD, MSCR, CPP, BCPS ’17
Current Job Title: Clinical Services Pharmacist
Practice Site: Carolina Family Health Centers, Inc. (Wilson, Elm City & Tarboro, NC)
What does Women’s History Month mean to you? Women’s history month provides an exciting opportunity to highlight what women are doing in pharmacy, and how far women have come in this profession. During my time at Campbell, several female clinical pharmacists inspired me.
When I began pharmacy school, I wanted to change lives as an ambulatory care pharmacist. Life did not stop while I was pursuing my dreams. During my first year of pharmacy school, my healthy, 54-year-old, father went in to septic shock. He had group A strep which tragically resulted in the loss of all four of his limbs.
A few months later, I found out that I was pregnant. I gave birth to my son Brody five days before final exams during my P2 year. I struggled to find a balance between life as a student and life as a mother. I sought the advice and guidance of female clinical pharmacists who were also mothers. I clung to their inspiration and pressed onward toward the completion of my degrees.
I want young professional women to know that achieving dreams is always possible, no matter what. I speak from personal experience when I say you are resilient, loved, and will be immensely supported by your CPHS family, who will do whatever it takes to see you succeed.
Women’s history month is a time to appreciate all of the women who have come before us. It is a time to acknowledge, thank, and love the women in our lives who support and motivate us. It is also a time to empower those who follow behind us. Serena Williams said, “The success of every woman should be the inspiration to another. We should raise each other up. Make sure you’re very courageous: be strong, be extremely kind, and above all be humble.”
How did CPHS prepare you for your current position: Campbell’s dual degree programs afforded me a unique skill set. I am able to use both of my degrees in my current role as an ambulatory care pharmacist.
Through life-changing service opportunities, Campbell reinforced my desire to give back to the community. These service opportunities allowed me to become more empathetic and humble. Serving the community ultimately helped me build impactful, life-long relationships with my patients in rural North Carolina.
How did your connections and experiences from CPHS guide you to your current position: Networking offers exposure to different fields of pharmacy. This is very helpful when deciding a career path. I completed my ambulatory care rotation at CFHC with Dr. Jennifer Smith. While I was on this rotation, I fell in love with the patient population, and the company. I jumped at the opportunity to return to CFHC, when I was offered a full-time position, and even utilized my connections during the hiring process.
What were you involved in at CPHS: Phi Delta Chi, APhA-ASP, SSHP
What advice do you have to incoming first year CPHS professional students: It is important to start every day with a positive outlook. Remember your WHY- what brought you here? Why do you want to practice as a pharmacist? Graduate school is going to fly by! Embrace any and every opportunity to grow in knowledge, wisdom, patience, and compassion.
Network with pharmacists who work in a wide variety of settings. You never know where your path may lead you! Make an effort to build lasting relationships with classmates. When you are out in practice, you will want and need those friends! My classmates and I are constantly bouncing ideas off of each other and keeping each other relevant by discussing recent updates in clinical practice.
Most impactful CPHS faculty/staff member/preceptor: I have been blessed with the opportunity to connect with many awesome, impactful CPHS faculty, staff and preceptors. Dr.Bill Taylor has and always will be the person who impacted me the most.
Dr. Taylor’s constant support, guidance, and encouragement inspired and motivated me to pursue my masters in clinical research followed by residency training. His wisdom and guidance pushed me to be resilient during difficult times. I was able to stay focused on my professional goals while also taking on new roles in my personal life. I am so very thankful for the support of Dr. Taylor!