Scholarships support a new career in helping patients

Scholarships support a new career in helping patients
Scholarships helped Marcia Lewis ’16 PharmD. change careers to directly serve patients.

Like many Wayne State University students, Marcia Lewis ’16 PharmD. took an unconventional path in her education. After earning a bachelor’s degree, she worked for 10 years in a hospital laboratory before deciding that she wanted to work directly with patients to improve their health.

When she enrolled in the Doctor of Pharmacy program in the Eugene Applebaum College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences, Lewis was in her 30s. Pursuing a new career was a difficult and uncertain prospect.

“I couldn't continue to work full time once I started the program, but I still had the same bills, so money was tight,” Lewis said. “Without scholarships, I really can't tell you what I would have done.”

Lewis received the Sidney Barthwell Endowed Scholarship all four years she was in the program. A pair of additional scholarships in her final year ensured her graduation in 2016.

With her new degree, Lewis was hired by Walgreens as a community pharmacist. She rotates among pharmacies in the metropolitan Detroit area and has discovered the rewarding experience of serving patients.

“I didn't realize how much people rely on their pharmacist for guidance and information about their health,” she said. “They always seem so grateful for the advice that you give them, and that feels really good.”

Through she values her Wayne State education overall, Lewis said it was the pharmacy program’s intense focus on clinical experiences and professional faculty that prepared her most for a successful career.

“The fact that we’re so close to all of these health systems here and that a lot of our faculty are practicing pharmacists really enhances the learning experience,” she said. “I had access to so many different aspects of the profession at Wayne State.”

She credits the generosity and kindness of the Barthwell family with helping her achieve a meaningful and fulfilling career.

“I met with the family at a donors and scholars luncheon my first year, and we stayed in contact the entire time that I was at Wayne State,” Lewis said. “Having that support along the way, having people believe in you, it was just a blessing.”

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