“Choosing PC School of Pharmacy was honestly a really easy choice for me,” first-year pharmacy student Merritt Hardee said. “Many other schools I looked at had strong focuses on research and other areas of pharmacy that I am not extremely interested in.
“The motto here is ‘care for the community,’ which obviously is a passion of mine.”
Hardee discovered while earning her pre-pharmacy degree at USC that her passion for the pharmacy profession stemmed from service. Of all the rotations she was involved in as an undergrad, she most enjoyed the ones spent in independent community pharmacies.
“A community pharmacy,” Hardee said, “is one that provides the most needed or beneficial health care services for the people in that specific community. In this setting I was really able to see, and even experience, relationships grow between the patients and me.”
Hardee’s desire to serve others is so great that she is focused on beginning her own pharmacy practice after she earns her Pharm.D. degree. This drive recently won her the JM Smith Scholarship, which recognizes students with entrepreneurial ambition in pharmacy.
“I am interested in owning my own pharmacy because there is not a pharmacy in my hometown that really offers the services that I think the people in my community could use,” she said.
Hardee believes that many people, like ones in her hometown of Darlington, SC, could benefit from compounding and delivery services from their pharmacy.
“Also, making sure that patients adhere to their medication directions is part of a pharmacist’s job,” Hardee said. “Being able to own my own pharmacy means that I can implement whatever programs I think would help this and other issues.”