PharmD Alumni Returns To Educate Future Pharmacists

Becoming a pharmacist was Professor Marc Salvatus’ way of making a difference. One particular event that inspired him to pursue healthcare was when his dad suffered a heart attack. The moment inspired Marc to pursue a career in healthcare, but it wasn’t until he was in college that he decided on pharmacy.

“Thinking back to my dad and how I could have maybe done something if I knew what his medication was for, I gained a curiosity for pharmacy. I volunteered here and there and got some insight into the field. Pharmacy felt like a place where I could actually contribute,” Salvatus said.

Pharmacy turned out to be a great career choice for Marc. He says the profession is currently going through a pivotal transformation.

“It’s a developing profession. Pharmacists are no longer seen as medication dispensers. We’re educating patients on the front lines. We are making recommendations to physicians, nurses and other healthcare professionals,” Salvatus said. “We are seen as the medication experts, so we’re taking a more involved role in the healthcare team.”

Not only did Marc earn his doctor of pharmacy degree at West Coast University, but he also decided to come back to teach future generations of pharmacists.

“When I first started the position, I was like ‘Wow, this is really interesting to see from the other side.’ It was a whole different ball game,” he said. “Being a professor has a different skillset, a different set of requirements, compared to practicing pharmacy.”

When researching pharmacy schools, why did you decide to study at WCU?

WCU was one of the newest schools at the time. I really have to go back to filling out that application. A couple of days later, a representative from WCU reached out to me and we had a nice conversation about pharmacy and my motivations. And we looked at my prerequisites and figured out what satisfied which prerequisite.

So, it was really that personal touch that shifted my eyes towards WCU. That sense of getting to know you as a person really resonated with me even through the interview process.

What was your experience with the interview to get into the PharmD program?

Of course, I looked up online common interview questions and things like that. But what really helped was honing in on those personal experiences and those soft skills.

I believe that whenever you’re going through tough times you have to realize, “Why am I doing this in the first place?” And that really just sets the stage and guides you through whatever questions may come up during the interview process.

How did it feel to come back to WCU as a faculty member?

It was nice being able to work with some of my professors. Since I had already established that kind of rapport, it was great to work with them again, bounce ideas off each other and see each other as co-workers.

That feeling of getting to interact with students and making an impact in the classroom, impacting the potential future of pharmacy with these students is really a fulfilling thing. 

WCU provides career guidance and assistance but cannot guarantee employment. The views and opinions expressed are those of the individuals and do not necessarily reflect the beliefs or position of the school or of any instructor or student.