Reflection #1: Thuy Khong, PharmD Candidate 2019
Dr. Ma is such a motivational speaker because he started out small and eventually climbed up the ladder. Dr. Ma began as a floater pharmacist, accomplished success with his cosmetic line, and then moved on to the pharmaceutical industry. The Pharma industry is a rapidly growing field and is another avenue that is opened to pharmacists. Thus, we are not limited to just the traditional retail and hospital pharmacy settings anymore. This is great to hear because pharmacists are becoming so saturated, especially in Southern California.
Dr. Ma also offered us advice that can help us later on in our career. He told us that we should always strive, work hard, and don’t be afraid to fail! Put passion into whatever we do and we will be able to love what we do. Lastly, we should always push to find out what our potential is. If we settle for what we think is good enough, we will never realize what we are capable of. I would definitely look into the pharmaceutical industry more and try to explore the options that will be out there for me once I graduate.
Reflection #2 Patrick Potives, PharmD Candidate 2019
Dr. Long Ma presented new opportunities to me that I was not aware of that I can pursue as a PharmD. I was under the impression that having a career in the pharmaceutical industry only meant that I was going to do laboratory bench work. I had no idea that there were sales involved and meetings that were conducted in order to educate other pharmacist about the products that your companies have to offer. What I was having a hard time distinguishing was how this job was different from a pharmaceutical sales. At the very least I was able to determine that, due to our expertise in the medication, a PharmD’s job is more about education as oppose to actually selling the product. What was also interesting to me was that there were so many benefits involved with this field of work. In turn, I still have a very uneasy feeling about buying food and lunches for doctors/pharmacist in order to initially get their attention. It seems a bit forceful to me. Although I feel like my future lies in other fields of pharmacy, specifically law, I am very intrigued at this new opportunity.
Reflection #3: Uyen Truong, PharmD Candidate 2019
Today, Dr. Long Ma was here to talk to us about the pharmaceutical industry and about his life in general. He explained how he started off in community pharmacy, but took some time off to help his brother with his dental business, which is thriving currently. After a while, Dr. Ma decided that he had much more to offer. So he decided to go into another field. He could see that he had much more potential. After explaining a little bit about himself, Dr. Ma gave us some pointers. He told us to be confident, have passion, and be humble.
What stuck with me the most was to be confident. He explained that in order to be confident, you have to educate yourself. How can you speak confidently in something if you know nothing about it? That’s why I’m in pharmacy school. I want to educate myself and find the tools to educate myself later so that I am confident. It’s been hard, though. I’ve already started rotations at a community pharmacy, and my confidence is obviously wavering. But I have to keep reminding myself, I’m here to learn so that I can have the confidence to help others.