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Shifting Perspectives

Published on 18 December 2019

Since graduation, Faith Byland, Pharm.D. ’16, has experienced massive transitions within her career. From community pharmacy to a hospital setting in Evansville, Indiana, to now working in one of the largest and oldest teaching hospitals in the nation, The Mount Sinai Hospital in New York, Byland has had to continuously adapt as she strives to provide exceptional patient care no matter where her career takes her. 

“The main reason I went into pharmacy was because I wanted to help people,” Byland said. 

Byland initially became interested in pharmacy during high school, and once she stepped foot on St. Louis College of Pharmacy’s campus for a tour, she knew it was home. Her decision was further solidified when she realized John A. Pieper, Pharm.D., FAPhA, FCCP, president of the College, knew her – and seemed to know every new student – by name on the first day of school. It was the first indication of the tight-knit community she found at the College.

“My time at the College was such a personal experience for me, and that’s what I think made me the pharmacist I am today,” Byland recalled. “The College is so focused on helping students not only get through school but also ensuring that they thrive and have a solid understanding of pharmacy. In the profession, it’s a team-based effort, and we are all working together.”

Her view of patient care was forever changed during one of her advanced pharmacy practice experience rotations at the St. Louis County Jail. 

“My experience at the jail changed my perspective on how I approach patients – without judgment, no matter the situation,” Byland said. “The inmates were some of the nicest patients I have ever encountered, and they knew that we were there to help. It opened my eyes and taught me to never judge or assume things about patients.” 

Now, as a pharmacist in one of the nation’s most diverse cities, Byland uses this preparation as she sees patients of different backgrounds, ethnicities and races, who speak different languages and are often accompanied by translators. 

“Through my experiences, I have been able to stretch the way that I see patient care again and again,” Byland said. “That development really started at the College. They showed me there isn’t just one perspective to bring to patient care. It’s different with every patient and in every setting.” 

In her current position, Byland has opportunities to put many different skill sets into practice. Through her variable shift position, she works in many different settings within Mount Sinai. Whether it’s verifying orders and compounding in the pharmacy, working alongside emergency department physicians to clarify orders and provide counsel, or providing direct patient care and medication management to psychiatric patients, every day is different and provides new opportunities to care for patients. 

"Pharmacy is just incredible to me,” Byland said. “From when I first started the program at the College to now, it’s not what I thought it was. It’s so hands-on, and the way patient care is directly impacted by pharmacists is amazing. Every day is a new opportunity to make a difference, which I love.” 

Byland credits her adaptability to her time at the College and the broad-based education she received. And now, she makes sure to give back to pharmacy students by acting as a preceptor. 

"My rotations made me a well-rounded person,” Byland said. “Working with different preceptors, I got to see different perspectives on pharmacy and how patient care is approached in different institutions. Now, it’s a way to give back. I believe it helps students to grow when they can learn and see these different perspectives. It helps them gain a better understanding of pharmacy.” 

Even from across the country, Byland still feels connected to the tight-knit community at the College. She stays in contact with professors, staff, former classmates and even current students at the College.

“Those connections will always be there because it was like a family at the College,” she said. “I gained so much from my experience, and I believe the least I can do is give back to the school and students as much as I possibly can.”

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