Reflection #1: Mary Youssef, PharmD Candidate
Today I attended a talk given by Dr. Keith Yoshizuka, which was called “opportunities as an expert witness in forensic toxicology”. Dr. Yoshizuka has a PharmD and a JD, so I thought that was pretty cool. He talked to us about being an expert witness and what disqualifies you from being one. One way that you can be discredited from being an expert witness is if you make more than 50% of your income from testifying. This is because this makes you not trustworthy and a conflict of interest. He also mentioned that doing a residency would be helpful (not mandatory) in becoming an expert witness. One interesting point he brought up was that in pharmacy school, we don’t really learn what happens to a drug once the body dies. He used potassium as the example. He explained that once the body dies, everything goes through entropy (basically equilibrium). I found this talk very interesting. It made me realize the many options I have as a pharmacist and that basically every field (that have nothing to do with pharmacy) has some sort of opportunity to work as a pharmacist.
Reflection #2: Vincent Truong, PharmD Candidate
This presentation focused on how to become an expert witness. An expert witness is someone who are selected to participate in a trial to provide his or her expert evaluation of the evidence relating to the trial. An expert witness in the field of pharmacy must have extensive knowledge of drugs and how they affect the human body. Dr. Yoshizuka emphasized on the importance of the knowing how drugs interact with the human body after an individual has been deceased for an extended period of time. For most trials, medical expert witnesses have to read data/lab reports of individual who are deceased, and most autopsies are conducted usually at least a week after death. Student pharmacists who are considering getting into legal consulting are encouraged to have competitive resumes, research legal topics related to the field of pharmacy, and residencies always make a resume more competitive during the process of seeking a job.