Like Mother, Like Daughter
Back in May, Megan Monahan proudly watched her mom, Paula, receive her Doctor of Pharmacy degree from the Wegmans School of Pharmacy. And just last week, Megan started her own journey at the school, becoming a member of the P-1 class in pursuit of her own Doctor of Pharmacy degree.
Paula graduated from Cedar Crest College with a degree in Genetic Engineering Technology, and worked for Proctor and Gamble's pharmaceutical research division in Cincinnati. She also worked as a research assistant at the National Institutes of Health and National Cancer Institute. When it was time to start a family, she decided she'd put her career on hold and be a stay-at-home mom to raise Megan and her two brothers.
She had always been interested in medical professions and research, and as her kids were getting older, she knew it was time to figure out what to do after they were fully grown. She began to work part-time in a community pharmacy, and she credits that experience as the catalyst for her love of pharmacy.
"I decided that whatever I was going to do, it had to be something I was passionate about and would help my family, since this was going to be a big change for everyone involved," she said.
At first, she considered enrolling at the University at Buffalo. But, with what she knew would be long hours along with a commute, the option was not a viable one for her or her family. When the Wegmans School of Pharmacy opened its doors, Paula came for a visit, and she found her fit.
"I did my undergraduate studies at a small liberal arts college, and Fisher had a similar feel. The faculty and staff were very approachable and helpful," she said.
Fast-forward four years, and you can find Paula working as a pharmacist in the inpatient pharmacy at Rochester General Hospital where she was hired immediately following graduation. And you can find Megan taking classes in the Wegmans School of Pharmacy, which she was first attracted to after hearing more about the program from her mother.
Megan didn't always want to be a pharmacist. Her passion lies with film and video, and all through high school, she wanted to work in the film industry. She applied to schools with well-known film programs, and even did an internship her senior year of high school at a local video production company. It was then that she realized video was her hobby, and that she needed to find another niche that would become her career.
While in high school, she took AP Chemistry and enjoyed it, so her focus turned to science-based careers.
"Eventually, pharmacy became my choice because of its mix of science and biology, combined with helping the community," she said.
Megan attended the University at Buffalo where she completed the prerequisites for the pharmacy program. Her mother was attending the Wegmans School of Pharmacy at the same time, so the two would share class stories and talk about other opportunities each school offered. When Megan started hearing about the medical mission trips that are offered at Fisher, she sent in her application.
"I am very interested in medical mission trips. Last summer, I traveled to Ecuador and volunteered there for two weeks while living with a host family," she said. "It was a great experience, and I look forward to being able to use my pharmacy skills to help people through the medical mission trips here."
While her mom chose hospital pharmacy, Megan is keeping her options open for now. Or perhaps, there will be a Monahan Family Pharmacy in the future!