Alumna Uses COSAM Foundation to Prepare for Career as a Pharmacist
Auburn College of Sciences and Mathematics (COSAM) alumna Yasmin Causby uses her biomedical sciences background to pursue a Doctor of Pharmacy.
A 2018 Auburn graduate, Causby not only partook in rigorous COSAM courses, but also involved herself in various student organizations while on the Plains – opportunities and experiences that continue to benefit her today as a graduate student at the University of Georgia.
Causby returned to her home state of Georgia over a year ago, and is now a part of the UGA College of Pharmacy 2+2 Program. This program allows students to spend their first two years on the university’s main campus, then their final two years on one of three satellite campuses. Causby pursued this unique opportunity because she enjoys traveling and experiencing what different places have to offer.
Many of Causby’s graduate classes require working in diverse teams – something a pharmacist will almost always have to do throughout their career as they interact with doctors, nurses, physical therapists, social workers, and other professionals. Causby credits her previous involvement with Auburn’s Pre-Pharmacy club, Alternative Student Breaks (ASB), and Tau Beta Sigma band sorority for instilling the teamwork and leadership skills needed in a pharmaceutical career.
COSAM courses such as biomedical physiology, immunology, organic chemistry, and others prepared Causby for pharmacy school’s strenuous workload, taught her how to handle and overcome adversity in the classroom, and equipped her for the adjustment to graduate school.
“During my fall semester, I had to take immunology and pathophysiology. Even though immunology was a little different and harder at UGA, I was able to grasp the main concepts and do really well on exams because I had taken immunology at Auburn. The same goes for pathophysiology. I really hated biomedical physiology when I was going through it because it was a lot of material and it was hard, but all of what I learned from that class I was able to apply to my pathophysiology class and do really well on exams,” Causby said.
Most days, Causby is in class from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., although, no two days are the same. If she is not in class, Causby is most likely partaking in Introductory Pharmacy Practice Experience (IPPE). IPPEs include traveling to an assigned location and performing jobs such as administering flu shots, checking patients’ blood pressure, refilling medications, and counseling patients about their medication, among other tasks.
“I took a class where I would go to the Mercy Health Center, a clinic in Athens which serves the uninsured and underinsured individuals of five surrounding counties, and work with psychology students to manage primary and mental health care of patients,” Causby said.
Causby also spent the previous summer as a pharmacy intern with Walgreens, and is now in the process of applying for a two-year internship with UGA’s College of Pharmacy at a satellite campus in Augusta, Georgia. This internship would allow Causby to not only take classes, but also work at the Augusta University Medical Center and begin research.
However, the biggest challenge Causby faces while pursuing her degree is time management.
“There are a lot of moving pieces in pharmacy school,” Causby said.
Classes may be entirely different than they were the day before, and IPPE deadlines can often be a roadblock to moving along in the program. Causby keeps up with exams, paperwork, and projects by maintaing a phone calendar and constantly tracking what needs to be done and when. After completing her degree, she hopes to pursue a residency and become an ambulatory care pharmacist.
Causby’s advice to those interested in following pharmaceutical careers is to do your research, seek out shadowing opportunities, and be aware that a lot more goes into this career than one may think.