Student Spotlight: Brian Phan

Meet fourth-year pharmacy student Brian Phan, who was recently recognized with a Student Leadership Award by the California Society of Health-Systems Pharmacists. He shares his experience as a leader in the American Student Pharmacy Alliance (APSA), talks about his plans after graduation, and describes why prospective pharmacy students should choose USC.

Brian Phan Headshot
Brian Phan

Why did you choose USC School of Pharmacy?

I chose USC School of Pharmacy because of its excellent reputation in both pharmacy education and practice innovation. I wanted to attend an institution that helped define the pharmacy practice of tomorrow. As a prospective student, I remember learning about Dr. Steven Chen’s CMMI work and SB 493, a piece of legislation USC had championed; I was thoroughly impressed at the caliber of USC and I knew it would be the right choice for me.

How have the resources and faculty available at USC helped you with your studies, learning, and growth?

The faculty at USC have been a critical part of my development, both personally and professionally. Always going above and beyond in teaching and guiding students, they help me understand firsthand the meaning of the Trojan family. I am very fortunate to have been mentored by many of them under various roles. Dr. William Gong and Dr. Melissa Durham were very supportive in offering their advice and guidance throughout my time in the American Student Pharmacy Alliance (APSA) from being a first-year representative to co-president. Dr. Susie Park has helped me tremendously in conducting a research project through a summer fellowship. The resources provided at the school are also unparalleled in shaping my growth as a student pharmacist.

What is one of the best experiences you’ve had at the school so far?

Since my first year at USC, I have been involved with APSA, one of the largest student organizations on campus, comprised of major national and state pharmacy associations. Together with Maya Ballis, I had the privilege of leading APSA last year and witnessed many amazing accomplishments of USC student pharmacists throughout the years. With the vision of uniting student pharmacists to advocate and advance the profession, APSA has done an outstanding job on many fronts, from patient care projects to legislation and advocacy.

It was through APSA that I was able to find my passion for the profession. I am very grateful to have met and worked with many individuals who have continuously inspired me and reminded me to live my “why”.

Why should prospective students consider USC School of Pharmacy?

In addition to its reputation as the nation’s first and one of the best PharmD programs, USC School of Pharmacy has always been at the center of innovation and excellence. There are many reasons one should consider USC School of Pharmacy. We offer an exceptional and progressive curriculum, along with remarkable extracurricular activities that cannot be found elsewhere. The school prides itself in having an extensive alumni network and professional organizations that can help students identify their niches or areas of interest in pharmacy. The school is truly committed to the success of its students by constantly innovating itself and offering a very enriching learning experience.

What are your plans after graduation?

I plan on pursuing a PGY-1 residency in acute care to strengthen my clinical and interpersonal skills. The experiences I gained through working and rotations have really shaped my interest in critical care and emergency medicine. I hope to practice at the top of my license in optimizing care and advocating for my patients as a clinical pharmacist.

What is the importance of USC’s alumni network?

The alumni network of USC is very strong and expansive, especially in the small world of pharmacy. It is definitely very encouraging to see many USC alumni holding key positions in the profession today. I would encourage both current and prospective student pharmacists to get to know our alumni; they have a lot to share about their career paths in pharmacy to their fellow Trojans.