February 2023 OPA Extern Profile: Olunife Akinmolayan
Name: Olunife "O" Akinmolayan
Pharmacy School: University of Findlay
Undergraduate degree/institution: University of Findlay
Rotation Month at OPA: February 2023
How did you get interested in the profession of pharmacy?
Dating back to when I attended daycare, I knew I wanted to serve the world as a healthcare provider. Initially my passion led me towards becoming a neurosurgeon but quite frankly as I grew older, the time investment became less attractive. My family background played an instrumental role in my career path decision making. Given my father's background owning a small pharmaceutical business in Nigeria and my mother's ability to connect with diverse backgrounds through her work as a counselor, I trusted their guidance to embark on a six-year journey towards a PharmD. However, this decision would serve as phase one of two. It was in high school that I had discovered my passion for persuasion, communications, and presentations. It was also where I began to dream of what the life of a doctor-lawyer would look like. The only question that remained was which step first, pharmacist-lawyer or a lawyer-pharmacist? Ultimately, after finding out that there are not many legislators or rule makers that have a scientific background yet making healthcare related decisions, I decided to pursue the path that would be most time effective and beneficial to people I've always wanted to serve, patients. I understand that the journey requires a lot of patience, but I have always seen advocacy as a lifelong personal and professional responsibility. I'm forever grateful to the University of Findlay for their support and guidance through phase one of my road to PharmD, J.D.
Why did you choose OPA as a rotation site?
In my mind, completing such a rotation would serve as a full circle moment given my history with OPA when I first began my pharmacy training. It was with open arms that I was welcomed as a student trustee back in 2019 and the relationships I made back then have still been fruitful today. I knew going into the application process for the rotation that this would be an opportunity for me to give back to some of the leaders who have supported me from the beginning and inspired me to advocate for positive change within the profession and healthcare overall. As I worked my way through pharmacy school, OPA always maintained a significant presence in shaping the practice of pharmacy across the state and around the nation, so I was well aware that completing a rotation with OPA would grant me a front row seat at one of the most prominent state associations in pharmacy. I would be remiss if I did not take the time to thank OPA for their support in my professional development, preparation post-graduation, and their continued dedication to uniting the profession of pharmacy.
What was the most significant or surprising experience at OPA?
During my experience at OPA, I was fortunate to be precepted by Amy Bennett, R.Ph., who serves as a wealth of knowledge. In her role as editor for the Ohio Pharmacist journal, she thankfully trusted me to proofread and write articles for the statewide publication. Such a process is more intensive than the reader may think and requires a unique sense of detail. It was quite fascinating discovering new lenses to read, edit, and proof work for Ohio Pharmacist journal CE articles, Member Spotlights, and association emails. You further come to realize that everyone interprets and reviews literature differently, but it all works together to create a well-polished, award winning journal that seeks to inspire its readers. Now, I find myself becoming more meticulous in my own personal writing and attentive to how different forms of communication can be presented to your audience while maintaining the joy of writing.
Why I think it’s important to maintain my OPA membership after graduation.
Student pharmacists should always keep in mind that they provide a glimpse into the future of pharmacy. Being engaged as a student early on is important to gaining an understanding of the profession's current landscape. Students are encouraged to explore as much as they can while undergoing training to discover where they personally will be able to provide value to the healthcare system. OPA engages student pharmacists by providing opportunities to develop professionally and network collaboratively both within the state and across the country. It is important to maintain an OPA membership following graduation not only because Ohio is a known trailblazer for the profession but because OPA is never afraid to accept new ideas and solutions that challenge the current profession of pharmacy. This is especially important as we approach a pivotal time for the profession following a pandemic that would not have been resolved without the efforts of pharmacists, student pharmacists, and pharmacy technicians. An OPA membership will keep you abreast of the information necessary to sustain, appreciate, and influence the profession of pharmacy in addition to keeping you connected with the Ohio pharmacy "pharmily".
What other pharmacy associations/organizations do you belong to?
- American Pharmacists Association- Academy of Student Pharmacists (APhA-ASP)
- Student National Pharmaceutical Association (SNPhA)
- Nigerian Association of Pharmacists and Pharmaceutical Scientists in the Americas, Inc. (NAPPSA)
- American College of Clinical Pharmacy (ACCP)
My goals after graduation include more engagement with associations/organizations outside of pharmacy that work on health policy and other regulatory stakeholders to increase pharmacist representation.
Music has and always will be a major part of my life. I was exposed early in my academic career to music and music literature. Playing, listening, and learning new music has always been a passion of mine having picked up four instruments over the years with my favorite being the drums. In my free time, you may find me learning about content creation, marketing, and business but when the weather is nice you may find me outside skateboarding through my neighborhood, listening to music.