Service and Gratitude

By ANNE STEGEMAN | UMKC Class of 2013 | APhA-ASP Publicist | NCPA Public Relations

Remember that important oath we took as student pharmacists the first day of orientation and the night we received our white coats? Do you remember exactly what it says?

Pharmacist Oath

I promise to devote myself to a lifetime of service to others through the profession of pharmacy. In fulfilling this vow:

1. I will consider the welfare of humanity and relief of suffering my primary concerns.

2. I will apply my knowledge, experience, and skills to the best of my ability to assure optimal outcomes for my patients.

3. I will respect and protect all personal and health information entrusted to me.

4. I will accept the lifelong obligation to improve my professional knowledge and competence.

5. I will hold myself and my colleagues to the highest principles of our profession’s moral, ethical and legal conduct.

6. I will embrace and advocate changes that improve patient care.

7. I will utilize my knowledge, skills, experiences, and values to prepare the next generation of pharmacists.

8. I take these vows voluntarily with the full realization of the responsibility with which I am entrusted by the public.

Are you keeping your promise?

As student pharmacists we are very busy. We have a lot going on: school, student organizations and fraternities, family, friends, and let’s not forget that other thing … What’s it called again? Oh yeah, a job!

A wise friend once told me, “You’re blessed to be stressed.”

We sometimes feel frustrated with all our requirements and commitments but in reality we’re the lucky ones. We are so fortunate to be in the position we are, lucky for the opportunities presented to us, regardless of the degree of difficulty, just because we are in school, and pharmacy school at that. We’re lucky to gain the experiences we have available to us while in school and the support to keep us going all the while.

Many times we take it for granted how much we have at our fingertips … to be on campus with our class and the convenience to provide community service to patients in our town.

Weird to think of it that way, huh?

Meet Christina Stafford
Class of 2012

She joined the army reserves her senior year of high school as a way to help pay for college. She was deployed to Kosovo 2000-2001. Later that year, she was deployed again after 9/11 to fill in for those soldiers that were sent to Afghanistan.

In 2002, she took a leave after her mother was diagnosed with cancer but rejoined after receiving her acceptance letter to pharmacy school.

She was slated to go to Iraq a couple of years ago, but fortunately, her unit got pulled from that mission.

Current deployment- her unit is being sent to the Sinai Peninsula of Egypt to provide medical and logistical support to the soldiers there. They are part of MFO (Multinational Force and Observers), an independent international organization with peacekeeping responsibilities in the Sinai. She will be utilized part of the time as the pharmacy tech and will be called on for other pharmacy duties as needed. With the intense election scene in Egypt, her unit must still be proficient as combat soldiers. She is set to return sometime in August, 2012.

Feeling a little more lucky now? I challenge you to rededicate yourself to your promise of service this year. This is what you worked so hard for to be here today. Don’t forget it. So I encourage you to act with intention, serve with respect, and advocate for improvements.

Oh yeah, and the Gratitude part?

Don’t take these opportunities for granted. Not many are called to the position we are, so let’s make the most of it. And don’t forget to tell those serving us a big “Thank you!” even if it’s a simple smile.

Have you shown gratitude to those serving you in your pharmacy career path?

Whether it be a boss or mentor who wrote you letter of recommendations to apply and get accepted into school, maybe an upper classmen giving you advice on how to approach studying for a class, or maybe all the faculty and staff at school that have helped prepare you for your future.

A kind comment or small note can go a long way. Sometimes we get so consumed in taking care of our patients that we forget to take care of each other. One of these days, you will be the one serving pharmacy students and that small token of appreciation can light up your world… even far away in Egypt.

Thank you Christina Stafford for keeping the promise to devote yourself to the service of others. ϖ


  1. dlamini queen says:

    you know sometimes we fail to do our duties s pharmacists, as we went for the profession to get money not for what we called for. it sounds so bitterly to see a professional not doing his/her job forgetting the oath he/she took.

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