Reflection #1: Yuan Zang, PharmD Candidate:
In today’s seminar, Dr. Thomas Addison gave an overview of the role of pharmacists at
the federal level. He talks about the surgeon general’s priorities, such as nicotine and tobacco cessation, drug addiction, and mental well-being. The USPHS works closely with the Indian Health Services (IHS) to provide help for the underserved Native American population. There are several opportunities available for students who are looking to get involved in the USPHS, including student rotations, extern programs, and residencies with IHS, NIH, and the BOP. Pharmacists in the USPHS traveled to Africa during the Ebola and Zika outbreak to help out. That caught my interest because I remember when these outbreaks happened and caused a huge commotion in the news. Although this career field seems very interesting and rewarding, I feel like it may not be aligned with my interests. However, I do find that the information in this
session can be beneficial to someone who is looking to work for the federal
government or wishes to serve the underserved population.
Reflection #2: Vincent Truong, PharmD Candidate:
Commander Addison’s presentation touched on the opportunities available to pharmacists by the federal government, he also mentioned his career path and how he became a pharmacist working for the IHS. Under the executive branch of the federal government, there are a variety of positions a pharmacist can take on. Pharmacists can work for one of the armed forces, the FDA, the bureau of prisons, NOAA, and many other organizations under the executive branch. Commander Addison is currently serving the US Navy, he is working for the civil service in the Indian Health Service. He held numerous positions in federal government agencies as a pharmacist and is currently with the IHS. He gave advice on the qualifications and skills needed to work as a federal pharmacist. Lastly, Commander Addison touched upon the pay and benefits working for the federal government, he stated that compared to the civilian sector, pay and benefits are highly competitive.