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MCPHS PharmD student Kerilyn Petrucci.

Student Spotlight: Kerilyn Petrucci PharmD ’19​

  • After her first year in college, Kerilyn Petrucci PharmD ’19 knew she was ready to make a change.

    “I was looking to transfer schools, and I was looking for a program that was fast-paced and would provide the opportunity for me to keep my spot in the program until graduation,” said Petrucci.

    She found exactly what she was looking for in the Doctor of Pharmacy program at Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences (MCPHS). “Since MCPHS is a ‘zero to six’ pharmacy program and doesn’t require reapplication for entrance into the professional phase of the program, I knew this was what I was looking for,” said Petrucci.

    And, the University’s location in the Longwood Medical and Academic Area (LMA) was a big draw for Petrucci: “With MCPHS being located in the LMA, I knew I would have some of the best hospitals in the nation within walking distance and that I would gain experience I wouldn’t be able to find at other universities.”

    Petrucci’s advice for students considering transferring is to explore and take the next step.

    “My biggest tip is to follow your gut!” said Petrucci. “I was on the fence when I was applying because I didn’t know if transferring was the right decision, but I followed my gut feeling and took the leap.”

    For Petrucci, the decision was one of the best she’s ever made. “I’ve never once regretted my decision to transfer to MCPHS,” said Petrucci. “I am definitely the student, leader, and future health professional that I am today due to MCPHS.”

    We sat down with Petrucci, who currently serves as president of the MCPHS chapter of the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP) and secretary and treasurer of Phi Lambda Sigma, to hear more about her experience transferring to MCPHS and her insight into the PharmD program.

    What was it like to transfer to MCPHS?

    My experience as a transfer student was surprisingly easy! I transferred into the first year of the PharmD program and lived on campus, so I was able to participate in all the activities and lived in a dorm with other students in my classes. I was nervous coming to a new school since I didn’t know anyone, but the moment I stepped on campus, I was in an atmosphere where all my peers were going through the same thing.

    What is your biggest piece of advice for someone thinking about transferring into a health sciences program?

    Explore all your options and make the decision that is best for you and your goals in the future. I knew I wanted to become a pharmacist, and taking advantage of the networking and professional opportunities provided by MCPHS made the most sense in terms of enabling me to accomplish my goal. MCPHS is very academically focused and professionally driven, which is exactly what I was looking for after transferring schools.

    What was it like to live on campus during your first year at MCPHS?

    I lived on campus my first year as a transfer student. Transferring into the first year of a program and being in classes with the students who lived in my dorm allowed me to feel comfortable with my transition. Some of the best friends I have made throughout my time at MCPHS actually lived on my floor my freshman year! I am grateful to have had the opportunity to live on campus.

    Why do you recommend an MCPHS education?

    MCPHS provides an environment that is structured around academics and professionalism. There are a variety of academic resources on campus to supplement your learning and provide assistance to those who need it. The faculty at MCPHS are absolutely incredible, and they are a big part of the reason I am the student I am today! The caring and support provided by the faculty, and the passion they have for helping students succeed, are unlike anything I have ever experienced. I would highly recommend an MCPHS education to anyone who is serious about the medical field and wants to be exposed to opportunities that they didn’t even know were out there.

    You are now in the fifth year of the PharmD program. Tell us about your experience. What are your classroom and lab experiences like?

    The mock pharmacy lab at MCPHS provides us with a great learning experience and helps us prepare for various situations and hands-on activities that we will encounter in the real world. One aspect of the lab that I enjoy the most is the integration between students in the third year and fifth year of the pharmacy program. During modules in lab, the third-year students take on the role of the pharmacy technician/intern, while fifth-year students take on the role of the pharmacist.

    How has that helped you grow as a student?

    Working together allows students to learn from each other and enables you to provide guidance to a younger student who is in the shoes you were in just a few years ago.

    What topics are you covering during these modules?

    Through our community practice and institutional practice modules we are able to learn and practice skills that we will be using each and every day as pharmacists. The lab practice is supplemented by guidance from adjunct faculty members who help out with lab on lab days and work at their respective jobs on other days. These faculty members provide us with insight into the real experiences they go through on a day-to-day basis. That really helps bring a practical perspective to the activities we complete in lab.

    What have your clinical rotations been like?

    So far, I have completed two clinical rotations during my time at MCPHS. I had the opportunity to complete one rotation at an independent pharmacy in my hometown and another at a large hospital in Boston. Given the location of MCPHS, students have the opportunity to train at some of the best hospitals in the country. At the same time, we’re given the freedom to express a preference for clinical sites that align with our postgraduation goals.

    What’s up next for you?

    Since I’m heading into my sixth and final year of the PharmD program, I will be completing various rotations at sites such as Lahey Hospital, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, and Boston Medical Center. Students at MCPHS have access to amazing practice sites, and we complete our rotations with the support of faculty members who are there to help us succeed.

    Whether you’ve decided to change course in your educational path or you’ve already earned a degree and are interested in pursuing a new career, transferring to MCPHS is the first step toward making your dream of becoming a healthcare professional a reality.