Leading by Example

Pharmacy Times, April 2015 Respiratory Health, Volume 81, Issue 4

During her studies at the University at Buffalo (UB) School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, Madeline Waldron has demonstrated a natural aptitude toward leadership.

During her studies at the University at Buffalo (UB) School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, Madeline Waldron has demonstrated a natural aptitude toward leadership.

As the president of her school’s Student Association, Waldron oversaw all professional organization activities, a task that enabled her to grow as a leader and learn from her peers. The 2015 PharmD candidate did much to help her fellow students and the patients they serve, including organizing networking events, improving organization standards, and strengthening the outreach program of her school’s wellness clinic.

“My goal during my time as president was to improve the community outreach from our school,” Waldron told Pharmacy Times.

Waldron expressed particular pride in her peer’s volunteer efforts, with the organizations she oversaw recording a total of nearly 10,000 community outreach and service hours during her presidency. Not one to lead from afar, Waldron volunteered her time at a free clinic, an experience that tested her skills and inspired her to do more for her community.

“It is such a humbling experience to see such poverty right in my own community,” said Waldron. “I would love to go on mission trips around the world, but I do believe if you aren’t able to do that, you can certainly still find people in need close to home.”

Driven by a passion for pediatric cancer care, Waldron also volunteered with organizations such as Relay for Life, the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, and Rides for Roswell. As she moves forward in her studies and her career, Waldron plans to continue integrating her passion for pediatric oncology into her work.

“I hope to continue all of these efforts in the future and tie my passion for improving cancer care into my career,” said Waldron.

Q: Why did you decide to become a pharmacist?A: I spent a lot of time considering what field might fulfill my desire to pursue medicine and allow me to work within the community and serve families in need. It has always been important to me to have a balance in my career and my life. I was fortunate to spend some time with a few pharmacists early in my college career at a cancer hospital in my community. My time with the pharmacist on the pediatric unit opened my eyes to some of the many important roles pharmacists can have in both the community and inpatient setting. Patients and families become dependent on pharmacist intervention, sometimes without realizing it. We have so many opportunities in our field to make an impact on our patients and the medical community at large. With so many changes every day, it is an exciting time to be a young person in the medical world.

Q: What do you think is the most important issue in pharmacy today? Why?A: I believe provider status will be the most important issue for pharmacy for the next several years. As the need for more midlevel practitioners increases, pharmacy needs to be ready to fill that void. We have to prepare ourselves both clinically and strategically to be ready to step into the next generation of medicine. Health care is continuously changing, so we need to continue to be innovative members of the health care team. During my leadership positions, it was important to me to continue to find support for students to attend conferences and lobbying events to help move the field in a positive direction.

Q: Has a specific patient or colleague taught you something that will help you be a better pharmacist?A: A person in this field who continuously inspires me to become a leader and has supported me 110% is Professor Karl Fiebelkorn. From day one at UB, he has believed in my leadership abilities and encouraged me to volunteer and succeed. He believed I could accomplish my goals even when I wasn’t always sure. I was also fortunate to receive mentorship from Dr. Bill Prescott. He has encouraged me to always look for opportunities to become a leader and has helped me to groom my leadership skills for becoming a successful pharmacy leader. Having mentors like these 2 professors is necessary to become a successful pharmacy leader. They have taught me to learn something new every day, be positive, and always work to improve the lives of others.

About the School

The University at Buffalo School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences offers a traditional PharmD program and several joint programs that allow pharmacy students to also earn a PhD, MS, MPH, MBA, or JD. The school also offers an Early Assurance program, which allows students to enroll in its PharmD program directly from high school.

About RESPy - Brought to you by Walmart and Pharmacy Times

The RESPy (Respect, Excellence, and Service in Pharmacy) Award is presented to the student who has made a difference in his or her community by demonstrating excellence in pharmaceutical care. For more information, please visit www.PharmacyTimes.com.