The vital role pharmacists play in health care is more visible than ever. With a fellowship at the US Food and Drug Administration’s Division of Pharmacovigilance, Michael Phan (Pharm.D. ’18) is helping to ensure that the drugs we take are safe.
Along with his work at the FDA, Michael is on the faculty of the Chapman University School of Pharmacy, and serves on the CUSP Alumni Advisory Board.
Keep reading to learn more about Michael’s time at Chapman.
Who was the most influential person for you at Chapman? Why?
Dr. Sun “Coco” Yang. She was my mentor from my time as a Pharm.D. candidate and after when I was an assistant research professor at CUSP. She had a tremendous role in guiding me to my successes and was very nurturing as she saw my strengths and potential.
If you could go back in time and experience one moment again from your time at Chapman, what would it be? Is there anything that you would do differently?
Going to Sacramento to present to the California Board of Pharmacy about my capstone project. We argued that additional regulations were needed to help with the disposal and handling of hazardous drugs in the outpatient setting. This was a project that was mentored by Dr. Yang when I was a Pharm.D. candidate. That experience vitalized my enthusiasm for tackling public health issues through research and dissemination.
What do you wish you knew at the time of your graduation that you know now? What advice can you give to the students and/or recent graduates of today?
Be forthcoming with your intentions and goals, but also have space to allow for change and modifications. Recognize that big life decisions need to be deliberated over time and that your stance may waver from day to day. Allow yourself and others to have the opportunity to change and grow.
How did Chapman prepare you for your career? For life? How did your experience prepare you for the real world?
I learned how to direct myself and not rely on instructions to get things done. A lot of my learning came from the projects I was involved in, which ranged from very guided experiences to entirely independent work. Direct communication and strategic actions are necessary to keep things moving forward effectively.
Were there any major societal issues in our country/world that you recognized or faced as a young college student? What was your perspective or how did you get involved? Have your opinions on these issues changed or stayed the same?
We have a bigger potential to impact our communities than most people realize. There are so many ways to do this — speaking to decision and policy makers, working with community/grassroot organizations, relaying information and messages. I think these roles are necessary to pick up if we want to maintain or grow a healthy community.