Only a year and a half after graduating from the University of Findlay, Farah Terrill, Pharm.D., ’17 has been putting her doctorate of pharmacy to good use. As pharmacy director and junior regional director for Advanced Pharmaceutical Consultants, she now spends her days traveling to hospitals in Ohio, Michigan, and Indiana where she oversees management staff, ensures regulatory compliance and metrics are being met, and manages patient care services.
As to how she advanced to leadership positions so quickly, Terrill believes it was the preparation she received at Findlay that made her a knowledgeable and confident professional. “Six years of practicing skills such as communicating with patients and other healthcare professionals, handling tough questions, presenting before an audience, evaluating literature, properly dosing a patient, and practicing cultural competency was evident in my confidence in dealing with these daily situations,” she said. “I was productive very quickly, whereas others required more remedial training. I credit this starting differential for providing me with the opportunity to quickly advance to a leadership position.”
Terrill was drawn to the smaller class sizes, emphasis on diversity, and well-rounded approach to teaching pharmacy at the University’s College of Pharmacy. Every Findlay pharmacy student is required to take the pharmacy core coursework, but each student can individualize their curriculum through pharmacy electives and Advanced Pharmaceutical Practice Experiences (APPE). These experiences are what helped Terrill discovered the direction she wanted her career to take.
It was a required course on therapeutics of neurologic and psychiatric disorders, as well as an elective in substance abuse disorders that invigorated a passion she had for mental health and its sequelae – mainly, drug abuse. Additionally, she used an APPE rotation with Pharmacy Director Neil Creasey, Pharm.D., at Holzer Health Systems to explore an interest in hospital management. “His influential leadership, in conjunction with my own strengths and interests, confirmed my desire to aim for a managerial role,” she said. These experiences solidified her choice to begin her career at a behavior health hospital.
Being able to witness the transformative abilities of proper medication management is what keeps Terrill passionate about her job. While many disease states require tracking lab values or follow-up examinations to gauge progress, in psychiatric medicine, assessing the benefit of medications goes beyond those objective markers. “There’s so much gratification in seeing a patient who previously wouldn’t lift their gaze from the floor smile and say ‘hi’, or watching a detox patient dedicate themselves to a recovery program and rebuilding their life,” she said. She was first exposed to these types of transformations during her time at Findlay, when she was given the opportunity to attend an open meeting of Narcotics Anonymous as an observer. That experience provided her with an insight into addiction and the understanding that addiction is a disease that deserves treatment.
For students looking to make their college choice, she encourages them to look at what a school can do for them. She believes that factors such as curriculum structure, access to mentorship, research opportunities, on-campus organizations, dual-degree offerings, licensure pass rate, and job placement statistics are important to consider. Even though financial components shouldn’t be overlooked, she encourages students to look for scholarships and not disregard a school because of the tuition. “Find a school that offers a learning experience inline with your future goals,” she said. “Graduating with a sense of satisfaction and preparedness will be well worth your investment.”
To learn more about Findlay’s College of Pharmacy, visit www.findlay.edu/pharmacy.