Ms. Sax is a freelance writer based in Chevy Chase, Md.
Brianne Dunn, this month's RESPy Award winner, received the recognition thanks to her selfless dedication to community service. In her fourth year at the Medical University of South Carolina's (MUSC) College of Pharmacy, Dunn is known as a tireless volunteer. "Among her peers within the college, she ranks in the highest percentile for volunteer service," said Arnold Karig, PhD, campus dean of the MUSC College of Pharmacy.
Dunn has been an active participant in many community service activities. One significant experience was her 2-week service on a medical mission to Oradea, Romania, when she was a third-year pharmacy student. "The majority of volunteers were physicians and nurses, but I was 1 of 2 pharmacy students who went to set up a makeshift pharmacy as part of a traveling clinic," said Dunn. She found the experience eye-opening. "When the people heard the American doctors were coming, they spent hours getting to the clinic to be seen."
Dunn also has served as the volunteer coordinator of the Harvest Free Medical Clinic, a volunteer clinic staffed with firstto fourth-year students who donate several hours of their time 1 night a week to see underprivileged patients in the area.
Medical University of South Carolina
The South Carolina College of Pharmacy (SCCP) was formed in 2004 through the integration of the colleges of pharmacy at the University of South Carolina (USC) in Columbia and the Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC). The integrated college combines the nationally recognized faculty, staff, and resources of a major academic medical center and a large comprehensive university to create a state-wide approach to pharmacy education.
The combined college is prepared to provide its students with state-of-the-art education, along with opportunities found nowhere else in the country. The SCCP offers expanded pharmacy education and service throughout the state, provides national leadership in residency programs, and conducts pioneering research that leads to new and improved treatments for common diseases. The full 4-year PharmD program is offered to pharmacy students on both the USC and MUSC campuses.
Working with student government also is something that Dunn is passionate about. "At MUSC, as vice president of the MUSC Student Government Association, Brie represents the College of Pharmacy on many committees to bring awareness about the pharmacy profession to student health professionals from nursing, medicine, dentistry, and health professions," said Dr. Karig.
Dunn also excels scholastically. After graduating with a degree in chemistry and working for 2 years at a lab at a chemical company called Milliken, Dunn decided to pursue a career in pharmacy. She said that she has enjoyed every rotation and is leaning toward completing a residency. "I just finished community pharmacy and really enjoyed the patient counseling aspect of that rotation," she said.
Dr. Karig said that Dunn has demonstrated a high level of effort to advance the pharmacy profession through her academic accomplishments. She was selected by the faculty at MUSC as a 2006-2007 MUSC Presidential Scholar.
"The Presidential Scholars are an interdisciplinary student group made up of representatives from the MUSC Colleges of Medicine, Pharmacy, Nursing, Dentistry, Health Professions, and Graduate Studies," said Dr. Karig. "Working under the guidance of faculty advisors, the Presidential Scholars spend a year of intensive study on a chosen health care issue, such as health disparities."
The experience has helped shape Dunn's view that it is very important for pharmacists to work closely with other health care professionals as an interdisciplinary team. "The field of pharmacy is constantly changing, and in order to best serve our patients, we need to have a good relationship with other disciplines."
While Dunn is not yet sure what direction her career will take, she is excited about the opportunities available. "I want to continue to be a voice for the profession," she said. "I have had great mentors and I am very appreciative, so I definitely want to become a mentor for upcoming students and pass that experience along."