First-Year Pharmacy Student Publishes Children’s Book About Pharmacy

After noticing that there were few, if any, children’s books on the subject, Katrina Zearley wrote and published I Think When I Am Older I Might Be a Pharmacist!

In an interview with Pharmacy Times, first-year student at the University of Arizona R. Ken Coit College of Pharmacy Katrina Zearley discussed why she decided to write a children’s book about pharmacy. After noticing that there were few, if any, children’s books on the subject, Zearley wrote and published I Think When I Am Older I Might Be a Pharmacist!

Aislinn Antrim: Hi, I'm Aislinn Antrim with Pharmacy Times, and I'm here today with Katrina Zearley, author of the children's book I Think When I Am Older I Might Be a Pharmacist! to discuss what inspired her to write that. So, to get started, can you introduce a little bit about yourself?

Katrina Zearley: Of course! My name is Katrina Zearley, as you said. I'm a student at the University of Arizona [and] I recently graduated with a Bachelor of Science in pharmaceutical sciences and a minor in Spanish. I'm an incoming P1 at their pharmacy school, and during my time at the University of Arizona, during my undergrad, I've had the opportunity to publish now 2 independent and self-published books, one of which is my children's book that we'll be discussing today.

Aislinn Antrim: Wonderful. What inspired you to write a children's book about pharmacy?

Katrina Zearley: Well, I noticed that I did a little bit of research and there really aren't many children's books about pharmacy, not ones that describe the job or what we do, but more so just using the profession to figure out math, like can you count how many pills are in this picture? And I've noticed, even in my own pharmacy and my own work, that a lot of patients—not even children, but sometimes adults—will come in and they don't really understand what it is that we do. So, I figured that if I could write a book about it, and my experience, and from what I've learned, I can teach others about what we do and why we're so important to the world of health care.

Aislinn Antrim: Absolutely. Can you kind of give an overview of the book? What is it? What does it teach? You know, if a kid is reading this, what do they get to read?

Katrina Zearley: Yeah, absolutely. So, the general story follows a young girl who wakes up and finds that she doesn't feel well. And she doesn't really know what's going on, but her parents decided to take her to the doctor, who eventually gives her a prescription and they head to the pharmacy. But once in the pharmacy, she's kind of wondering, well, there's so many questions I have for the pharmacist, and I need to know what's going on here. Because you know, it's just a pharmacy, I don't know what's going on. So, she asks a pharmacist a whole bunch of questions, and the pharmacist goes into detail about what it is that we do, how we are critical to the world of health care, not just the middleman that dispenses medications, and how there's so many opportunities in pharmacy, that is not just retail, but the entire world. It also rhymes. So that was fun, too.

Aislinn Antrim: Absolutely. That always makes it fun to read. As you alluded to, when we ask kids what they want to be a lot of the time they'll say firefighter or president or an astronaut. Why do you think pharmacists should really be on that list?

Katrina Zearley: Well, from my own experience, as a child, when you're growing up, you don't really know how many jobs are out there. And the pharmacist’s role is absolutely critical to any job that you could have. I particularly enjoy all the aspects of pharmacy that help, you know, from the small details of drug interactions to the bigger details of patient interaction. And that's super beneficial to just have in public health. So, definitely, I didn't even know that I wanted to be a pharmacist, but I think that even writing this book was really locked in for me.

Aislinn Antrim: Yeah, wonderful. Well, speaking of your plans for being a pharmacist, what are your plans?

Katrina Zearley: So, I'm hoping that pharmacy school kind of helps me figure out what role in pharmacy that I want to be in because there's just so many. I'm currently in retail as a technician, but I don't think that's where I'm going to stay. I would like to try hospital, possibly ambulatory because I know there's so many aspects of pharmacy that even I only briefly discussed in the book, but I know that there's so much more and so much opportunity for me, so I'll see where pharmacy school takes me.

Aislinn Antrim: Absolutely. Is there anything you want to add?

Katrina Zearley: For sure. They're both on Amazon right now under my name, Katrina Zearley. If you look that up, then you'll get probably a link to both of the books, available on Amazon right now. They’re Prime, you can get it next day.

Aislinn Antrim: Wonderful. Perfect. Thank you so much for telling me about this. Good luck in all of your endeavors.

Katrina Zearley: Absolutely. Thank you for having me.