Children's Book Characterizes Pharmacist's Role

To cure Maddie's strep throat in time for her birthday party, all the little girl needs is some medicine and encouragement from her pharmacist in the children's book Maddie Visits the Pharmacist.

To cure Maddie’s strep throat in time for her birthday party, all the little girl needs is some medicine and encouragement from her pharmacist in the children’s book Maddie Visits the Pharmacist.

Author Donna Keissami, PharmD, who earned her degree from the University of Southern California, told Pharmacy Times that it was her life-long dream to write a children’s story. She was also inspired to write the story so that she could read it to her 2-year-old son, Dean.

When she had trouble finding a children’s book involving pharmacists, she realized she could write her own—with a pharmacist as a leading character.

“We, as pharmacists, are important health care providers because we’re typically the first health care professional that patients visit,” Dr. Keissami told Pharmacy Times. “So…a story [with] a pharmacist being a main character seemed obvious to me.”

The story begins with Maddie, a dragon-loving little girl, counting down the days until her seventh birthday party. Maddie and her mother prepare for the party by buying dragon-themed party decorations one day after school.

Five days before the big day, however, Maddie starts to feel hot and tired, and she develops a sore throat. Maddie’s doctor prescribes antibiotics, but the little girl feels anxious about taking the medication. Her pharmacist helps relieve her fears, and Maddie is in for a surprise at the end of the book.

Dr. Keissami said reactions to the book, available on Amazon, have been positive, and she has heard anecdotes about children finding encouragement in the book to start medication, just like the main character. She said she loves to hear about kids asking their parents to read the book to them and receiving photos of children reading the book on their own.

“My pharmacist friends enjoy that the book is an easy way for them to share a little bit about what we do as pharmacists with their children,” Dr. Keissami said.

Dr. Keissami, who is about to start a part-time pharmacist position at an independent pharmacy, said she thinks the subject matter resonates with readers because many children are hesitant about taking medication. She said it might be helpful for some kids to read about Maddie overcoming her fears. When her own son needs to take medication, Dr. Keissami reminds Dean about Maddie and then he is more willing to accept it.

“My hope was to help children learn more about pharmacists and to help them understand the importance of taking their medication in a fun and easy-to-read book,” Dr. Keissami said.