Alumni Spotlight: Steve Dohi, PharmD ’84

Dohi will receive the Distinguished Alumni Award at the 2024 USC Mann School’s Alumni Awards Gala on February 25.

Meet Steve Dohi, PharmD ’84, director of pharmacy services for L.A. General Medical Center since 2018, recipient of the 2024 Distinguished Alumni Award at the upcoming USC Mann Alumni Awards Gala.

In few sentences, please describe your career trajectory, including your current work. What are you most proud of in your career so far?

I am most proud of working here at the L.A. General Medical Center with an amazing team of pharmacists and pharmacy technicians, along with doctors, nurses and other medical professionals, to provide service to our patients. Each day, we have opportunities to impact our patients’ lives, and we witness the efforts of all team members. This was best exemplified during the height of the pandemic when the procurement team worked to ensure that we had adequate inventory. At the same time, the outpatient team worked to increase mail-order participation so our patients could receive their prescriptions without venturing to the facility, and our inpatient team kept abreast of therapies and worked with other professionals to provide high-quality care.

What originally attracted you to your field? Any particular moment(s) that made you stop and think, “This is the path I want to take?”

I was working with the anticoagulation pharmacist at L.A. General Medical Center many years ago during a holiday season, and one of our clinic patients came by to see her pharmacist. The pharmacist was a bit surprised to see her since there was no appointment scheduled. She came in and gave her pharmacist a holiday present: a small plastic bag containing un-popped popcorn. The look in the patient’s eyes said everything. While she may not had much financially, it was important to her to express her gratitude to her pharmacist. It was truly a gift from her heart: a gift of appreciation, and a gift of admiration. This was my “a-ha” moment that defined the real-life impact of a clinical pharmacist.

How did your early experiences as a student at USC guide your career?

The USC Mann School’s faculty was an amazing team with their collaborative focus on education and hands-on training. In my P4 year, I participated in the acute care Advanced Pharmacy Practice Experience (APPE) and trained with Dr. Tom Gilman at the old General Hospital. I also had access to Drs. Mark Gill, Jack Kern, Jean Noguchi, Dan Robinson, and Agneta Hurst. Every preceptor I met was always receptive to my many questions.

What advice do you have for students who may be interested in following a similar path to yours? Why do you think students should consider attending the USC Mann School?

I advise students to explore various pathways to help them determine their best career. I was fortunate when I initially started as a pharmacist, my supervisor allowed me to have a schedule in several work areas, including pharmacy distribution, anticoagulation service, pharmacokinetic dosing service, oncology service, pediatrics and others. The experience gave me an appreciation for the various facets of pharmacy practice and the department-wide integration of services. This was my foundation for electing pharmacy management as my career goal.

What does the phrase “Trojan Family” mean to you?

When I went to USC, there were three pharmacy schools in the state, and USC was the only program in Southern California. As a newly graduated pharmacist, there was a comfort in working with other pharmacists with a similar background. Over the years, the school has always operated a quality program. For me, “Trojan Family” means working with a team of professionals who place the patient first in their commitment to care.

Tickets for the 2024 USC Mann Alumni Awards Gala can be purchased by clicking here. For more information, visit the event website or contact Cheryl Stanovich, chief development officer, at