2021 Grad Stories: Poonam Patel

2021 Grad Stories: Poonam Patel

Local Grad Hopes to Open Pharmacy in Bakersfield

When Dr. Poonam Patel, CHSU College of Pharmacy graduate, moved to the United States in 2016 from India, she had her sights set on a doctoral pharmacy program. She had already earned her Bachelor of Pharmacy in India and moved to Bakersfield, CA with her husband to build a career in pharmacy and health care. One challenge she had to overcome was refining her use of the English language.

Grad Story Patel 1“In the beginning, I wasn’t very fluent in English and I was self-conscious about speaking in English. My husband helped me refine my English which helped for the interview with CHSU and for the intern pharmacist interview with Kaiser. Now I have no fear of public speaking,” said Dr. Patel.

She was accepted into the CHSU College of Pharmacy program and she started working at Kaiser Permanente as an intern pharmacist where she gained further experience in pharmacy.

During the last four years at CHSU, she spent a lot of time with her peers working on class projects and would often spend long hours with her team preparing for exams. She cherished that time she had to bond with her classmates and has many fond memories of those late-night study sessions.

In addition to her studies, she participated in SAFE (Senior Awareness and Fall Education), a program developed by the Department of Physical Therapy at California State University, Fresno that partners with CHSU to reduce falls among older adults by raising awareness, establishing a network of services and advocating on their behalf.

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In her pursuit of higher education, Dr. Patel matched with the Kaiser Permanente Residency Program in Bakersfield where she will build experience in ambulatory care. As an ambulatory care pharmacist, she will meet with patients who suffer from chronic conditions and help manage their medications under the supervision of a physician.

“I was an intern pharmacist with Kaiser and I love working there, so my goal after completing my residency is to be hired on as an ambulatory care pharmacist,” she said.

She also hopes to help her husband, also a PharmD, open an independent pharmacy in Bakersfield or in the Fresno area – a dream of hers since she first moved to the United States.

Dr. Poonam Patel will be graduating Summa Cum Laude this Saturday, May 15, 2021 with her Doctor of Pharmacy (PharmD) from CHSU.

The 2021 Grad Stories is a series dedicated to honoring our California Health Sciences University (CHSU) Doctor of Pharmacy graduates and showcasing their accomplishments throughout their time at CHSU while earning their PharmD degree.