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Focus on PharmD Graduates With Hanna Burgin

Focus on PharmD Graduates With Hanna Burgin


Congratulations to Hanna Burgin ('17) on earning her PharmD...  

What is your background?

I am originally from a small town called Chaplin, Kentucky and have a strong agriculture background. I graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Agricultural Biotechnology from the University of Kentucky (’13). My family and friends have made me the person I am today through their endless support and encouragement. My parents have always taught me that the sky is the limit and that has played a large role in what motivates me to achieve goals I set for myself. Considering I grew up on a farm, at a young age a good work ethic and passion for what I love was instilled within me. Throughout my journey in pharmacy school, I served as the Kappa Psi Pharmaceutical Fraternity Beta Phi chapter regent and vice regent of philanthropy, along with holding positions at a province (regional) and national level. I also served as the American Pharmacist Association (APhA-ASP) chapter policy vice president where I gained experience with policy and legislation, and I held the role of vice president for the Phi Lambda Sigma Alpha Omicron chapter. I have continued being extremely involved in Sigma Alpha Agricultural sorority during my undergraduate and graduate careers. I have always believed and will continue to believe it is my responsibility to assist in paving the way for the advancement of pharmacy by serving as an advocate for my profession.

Why did you choose pharmacy and why UC?

My passion for pharmacy stems from a personal experience.I had an uncle who received a heart transplant and an artificial heart transplant, in addition to numerous open-heart surgeries. My tightknit family spent many hours in the hospital with him, especially the ICU. While there I was inspired by the empathy and kindness shown by the pharmacists and other health care professionals when caring for my uncle. I would ask the pharmacists questions about the medications and their jobs. From that moment on I knew I wanted to become a pharmacist. I chose to be a Bearcat, because my visit to tour the college and interview for admission to pharmacy school were experiences I will never forget. I had a pleasant interaction with every person I came into contact with, and I felt like an individual rather than a number needed to fill a class roster. From day one, I would be greeted by name as I walked down the hallway.
What aspects of pharmacy are you most interested in pursuing?

Throughout my future endeavors I anticipate involvement in copious leadership roles to assist in advancing the profession of pharmacy. I enjoy collaborating with other health care professionals in order to determine the best plan of care for complex patients. I will use my past experiences, especially those involving legislative actions and policy combined with patient interactions, to seek a future for pharmacy that expands our scope of practice. When considering other aspects of my career, I plan to become a clinical pharmacist in an area I am passionate about, such as emergency medicine, critical care, and academia. In time, I want to continue developing my career by excelling within my practice and on a professional development level as well by traveling down the road less traveled.

Do you have a job already?

I will be starting my career as a pharmacist serving as a UC Health  West Chester Hospital PGY1 Pharmacy Resident. I became interested in West Chester Hospital after completing one of my Advanced Pharmacy Practice Experience rotations in the emergency department. This particular rotation pushed me outside of my comfort zone and I can honestly say my knowledge as a pharmacy student increased exponentially. My appreciation and growth that developed from this rotation has been life-changing. I have used the experiences, such as performing chest compressions and participating in presentations, in numerous aspects my life including residency interviews.. The encouraging environment and positive attitudes of the employees is phenomenal. 

What is your favorite memory at Winkle College? Who inspired you there?

While there are many, my favorite memory while attending the James L. Winkle College of Pharmacy has to be going to numerous pharmacy conferences, such as APhA annual meeting and exposition, Kappa Psi Great Lakes Province Assembly, and the Ohio Pharmacists Association annual conference and trade show. I have always been told that pharmacy is a small world and there has never been a statement more true. Being able to attend these conferences and network with other pharmacists and student pharmacists with the same interests as me was incredible. I have not only gained more knowledge about different aspects of pharmacy and how to be an advocate, but I have also made friendships that will last a lifetime. My involvement in numerous organizations and attendance at these conferences was inspired by assistant professor Mike Doherty, PharmD, director of experiential training of clinical pharmacy practice. He is part of the faculty at the college of pharmacy and serves as the advisor of APhA-ASP. He always encouraged me to pursue my dreams and would provide guidance when needed. He is an outstanding individual and someone that has influenced my life more than he knows.

As I reflect on my experiences in pharmacy thus far, there are many occurrences that solidified I was on the correct career path. However, there is one experience in particular that has and always will remain prominent in my mind that occurred while on rotation at West Chester Hospital while I was on Dr. Cait Pfaff’s rotation, whom I also consider an inspiration. I was nearing the end of the day of my emergency medicine clinical rotation when a code was announced. The patient was in cardiac arrest and the trauma team was working efficiently and tirelessly to revive the patient. After a few rounds of chest compressions Dr. Pfaff challenged me to help in the efforts. Without a second thought I jumped in with the team. After I completed my round of chest compressions, the patient successfully achieved a pulse. As I reflected on my experience, I realized how much of an impact not only one person, but an entire health care team can make on patient care. The feeling I acquired afterwards was indescribable, and it reassured me once again that I had chosen the best profession to call my own. This enlightening experience would not have happened without Dr. Pfaff’s encouragement and guidance. Whether it is collaborating with other pharmacists and student pharmacists to assist in the growth of pharmacy or reflecting on unforgettable patient interactions, there are numerous reasons I am motivated every day to put forth the utmost effort in becoming a confident pharmacist that assists in making pharmacy services an integral part of health care.

Do you plan to give back…in what way? 

I am a strong believer in giving back to communities and those that have impacted my life and made me the person I am today. The Winkle College of Pharmacy is no exception to that belief. I plan to be a dedicated alumni member of the college. I want to become a preceptor for students on rotations, contribute to volunteering in Skills Lab, and overall impact the lives of future pharmacists.


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