Patrick Wieruszewski

Patrick Wieruszewski
Class of 2016, Jacksonville Campus

In His Own Words

What attracted you to the UF College of Pharmacy in Jacksonville?
Before pharmacy school, I was in a different field. I knew that Jacksonville had a robust health care system, so once I started pharmacy school I really wanted to immerse myself in that kind of network. There are community hospitals, teaching hospitals and large health centers. So there are a lot of opportunities to connect with health care providers in Jacksonville.

What are the strengths of the curriculum?
The curriculum certainly supports learning, and learning with others, but it is really focused on patient care. We are not learning how to treat a textbook. We are learning how to treat patients, and that is the most important thing. If we are on an inpatient rotation in a hospital, we actually get to interact with patients, talk with patients and educate them about their medicines. We get to follow the pharmacists and work with the team, so hand-in-hand with physicians and nurses to provide patient-centered care. The most important thing about patient care is being able to do it as a team. You have to understand where the other providers are coming from, understand your role, and once you master that it is just collaboration.

How has being a student at UF College of Pharmacy opened doors for you?
Pharmacy is a really small world. I have noticed it everywhere I go — on rotations, extracurricular activities — I always run into someone who went to UF, or they know someone who went to UF. It’s definitely well-respected around the country. I was able to do an internship at a large academic center in Virginia. While on rotations, I was able to go to Indianapolis to work at a large pharmaceutical company. Being able to have those opportunities and talk to pharmacists out there, it made me realize that pharmacy is not just working in a hospital or a store. There is so much more out there, and I have the University of Florida to thank for allowing me to see that. I was fortunate to be able to go abroad and interact with pharmacists, professors, researchers, and students in Scandinavia. Networking with professionals and learning first-hand about pharmacy and health care in other countries was a truly unique experience.

What are your career interests and how has UF prepared you in pursuit of those interests?
My career plans are to pursue a residency, primarily in a critical care field. I have ultimate goals of going into hospital leadership, so I can have a greater impact on a system-wide level and be able to affect all patients. I think my degree here at the University of Florida has prepared me well to be able to serve patients. They train you really well here to be a clinician and interact with patients, physicians and nurses.

What is your favorite part of living in Jacksonville?
Everyone loves the beach. It’s beautiful here. Having the beach so close, while still having that urban, large city feel is something special.