Van Anh Vu was one of 1,215 new healthcare professionals, educators and researchers to graduate from Oregon Health and Sciences University (OHSU) in 2020. She obtained a Pharm.D. degree from the OSU/OHSU College of Pharmacy. The latter awarded 79 degrees to a new generation of pharmacists entering the profession at a very critical time to work at the frontlines of the pandemic.
Vu grew up in Portland, where she shadowed a pharmacist who showed her how to dose vancomycin using calculus. Because math and chemistry were her favorite subjects in high school, this experience solidified her career choice.
"Receiving the honor to graduate early to help those in true need of health care in the midst of a pandemic defines what it means to become a health care professional."
As a 12th-grader, she was accepted into the College of Pharmacy as part of the college’s Early Assurance Program and completed her bachelor’s degree in biohealth sciences and international studies at Oregon State University. As part of her undergraduate studies, Vu studied global health in Geneva, Switzerland, where she learned what it meant to be a United Nations pharmacist during the Syrian refugee crisis.
When she returned to the U.S., she enrolled in the college’s dual Pharm.D./M.B.A. program. As a pharmacy intern, Vu served patients of all backgrounds and grew to love direct patient care.
“Becoming a pharmacist was the best decision that I have ever made,” Vu said. “Receiving the honor to graduate early to help those in true need of health care in the midst of a pandemic defines what it means to become a health care professional. As a pharmacist, I am able to advance health care alongside other professionals and make an impact on patients’ lives every day.”
Given the pressing need for health care workers during the pandemic, Vu is among 85% of the college’s Class of 2020 who were able to graduate early on May 6 and prepare to take their licensing exams earlier than usual. She is a graduate intern with Fred Meyer in Portland.
Many pre-pharmacy undergraduates at Oregon State University choose majors in the College of Science. BioHealth Sciences with a Pre-Pharmacy Option is a highly sought-after major by students with an interest in pursuing pharmacy careers. College of Science students with a pre-pharmacy focus receive specialized pre-professional advising and access to resources and opportunities to help them succeed in gaining admission to pharmacy school.
Read complete article: OHSU celebrates more than 1200 new graduates