Pharmacy is a Family Affair
The extended Nguyen family all grew up in the Rochester area, and have been close their entire lives. So when it came time for brothers Thomas and Daniel Nguyen and their cousins, Michael and Thuy Nguyen, to start considering their education and career goals, it came as no surprise that they ended up pursuing the same path – pharmacy. This year, the St. John Fisher College Wegmans School of Pharmacy has one member of the Nguyen family per class: Thomas is a P4; Michael is a P3; Daniel is a P2; and Thuy is a P1, entering her first year of pharmacy school.
Before coming to Fisher, Thomas completed his undergraduate studies at the State University of New York (SUNY) at Geneseo; Michael earned his bachelor of science degree in biology from SUNY Brockport; Daniel completed two years of pre-pharmacy courses at the University at Buffalo; and Thuy just graduated in May from the Rochester Institute of Technology with a bachelor of science degree in biomedical sciences.
Among the four of them, they applied to a total of six pharmacy schools, including the Wegmans School of Pharmacy. But there was something about Fisher’s program that helped them make their decision. When asked why they chose Fisher, they all had similar answers: they loved the campus and wanted to be close to home. As the last one in the group to enroll here, Thuy was the lucky one. She had her cousins to rely on for advice.
“I always knew I wanted a career in health care. After going through my undergraduate program, I became really interested in pharmacy because of all the opportunities the field has to offer,” she said. “My cousins influenced my decision to study pharmacy because they gave me really positive feedback about Fisher’s program, and pharmacy as a profession.”
Brothers Thomas and Daniel say their father influenced their decision to pursue pharmacy. He is a data analyst at Excellus Blue Cross Blue Shield, and often works with pharmacists.
“I had always enjoyed math and science, and my father suggested this career path,” said Thomas. “Ultimately, I decided to give it a shot.”
Daniel says he always had a strong interest in science and the medical field. After shadowing pharmacists, and volunteering in clinical, retail, and hospital pharmacies, he knew it was something he wanted to do for a living.
Going through such a rigorous program can be tough, and the Nguyens acknowledge that they are lucky to have each other through it all.
“Having my cousins here is great, and definitely a great support system. We study together all the time,” said Michael.
Daniel, who is also a saxophone player in his own band (The Daniel Nguyen Band), says his brother and cousin Michael are two of his best friends.
“They provided me with so much support and guidance throughout the admissions process and through my first year; I am so grateful for them,” he said. “I felt extremely comfortable knowing that they would be here every day with me. Having Tommy and Mike, and now Thuy, will make this journey not only easier, but more fun.”
As to where they will end up? They all have different ideas in mind. Whether they will be doing research, or work in community, retail, or independent pharmacy is still unknown. But one thing is for certain, they are glad they chose Fisher.
“I have my family with me, I have made so many close friends, and the curriculum here is really designed to help you succeed, which is very important to me,” said Michael.
From L to R: Thomas, Michael, Daniel, and Thuy Nguyen.