Edith Mirzaian, assistant dean of curriculum and associate professor of clinical pharmacy, was chosen as the recipient of the 2019 Community Pharmacy Residency Excellence in Precepting Award by the American Pharmacists Association (APhA). The national award — which recognizes excellence in precepting, mentoring, leadership and community pharmacy residency program administration — was presented at APhA’s Annual Meeting and Exposition in Seattle on Saturday, March 23, 2019. The APhA Awards and Honors Program is the most comprehensive recognition program in the profession of pharmacy.
“I had amazing mentors who believed in me and gave me the confidence to push forward,” Mirzaian says, of her commitment to mentoring the next generation of pharmacists. “I feel it’s my professional responsibility as a pharmacist and educator to pay it forward.”
A USC faculty member since 2005, Mirzaian has been deeply involved with the USC community pharmacy residency program for the past 15 years, starting as a community-based pharmacy practice resident, then as the site coordinator, and most recently as the residency program director.
Mirzaian’s involvement in the community pharmacy residency training program at the USC School of Pharmacy has led to its recognition as one of today’s leading training programs in the country.
“She has built our community pharmacy-based clinics from the ground up and has developed them into thriving, successful clinical practices that serve as valuable learning sites for students and residents,” says associate professor of clinical pharmacy Melissa Durham, whom Mirzaian mentored during her own residency in community pharmacy practice.
To students, residents and faculty members alike, Mirzaian is known to lead by example. She represents the profession at its highest caliber and knows when to allow residents to be independent and when to provide more hands-on guidance, says Tam Pham, PGY-1 resident in community pharmacy practice.
“There’s a lot of strategy involved in mentorship and education because each resident and student learns differently,” Mirzaian says. “You have to listen carefully to identify what their goals are and help guide their training so they can achieve their unique goals.”