A Passion to Serve Others Through Pharmacy

Right in the middle of Pharmacists Month is Women Pharmacist Day , a perfect time to share a little bit about one of our partner pharmacists, Dr. Behnaz Sarrami, and her passion to serve others.

Behnaz Sarrami, MS, PharmD
PharmD, Creighton University
Staff Pharmacist, CelebrationPointe Integrated Dual Diagnosis Clinic
Director of Consulting – Missouri Pharmacogenomics Consulting

What was it that motivated you to become a pharmacist?
When I was younger I watched my grandmother struggle with managing her medications, often just missing a dose altogether, and interacted with many others just like her as I grew up. I decided I wanted to be their advocate in making sure they could take autonomy over their own health and avoid the devastating effects simple non-adherence could bring. I wanted to stop that cycle. That is where the world of pharmacy became the light for me!

How do you think you do the most good as a pharmacist? Or what do you really focus on as a pharmacist that maybe others don’t?
My main focus as a pharmacist is to educate my patients so that they have autonomy and control over their own health. I believe if people know why they are taking a medication and what side effects to look for and when to take it, there would be less gap in medication therapy and increased adherence. 

What does you practice focus on?
With the current collaboration with a psych clinic, I do a lot of pharmacogenomics testing along with MTM and managing chronic care. I am always expanding the avenues available for pharmacist to do more. We are more than what we can bill or are “allowed” to bill. 

What do you see for the future of your practice?
I see the future of my practice reflecting what I believe the pharmacy profession should be: physicians integrating pharmacist as part of their team and assigning their patients a pharmacist to have access to. Any medication related questions, refills, pre-authorizations, how to utilize a diabetic meter or a new inhaler, etc. is automatically directed to the pharmacist. 

What do you see for the future of the profession?
What pharmacists can do is endless. We just need to think outside the box, recognizing that retail locations and hospitals are not the only locations where pharmacists provide real value. Pharmacists are currently in different roles: MSL, clinical researcher, nuclear pharmacists, pharmacovigilance, medical writers, pharmacogenomics, functional medicine, academic teachers, and more.  

What words do you live by?
This phrase is what I have lived by and believe we all should: 

“Find what sparks a light in you so that in your own way you can illuminate the world.” – Oprah Winfrey