Get My Job: Spotlight on Pharmacy
In this Nexus series, Get My Job, we interview alumni and faculty from one of the University’s 160-plus undergraduate and graduate professional programs. To honor American Pharmacist Month, the latest installment features population health pharmacist Dr. Julie Dally. Through skills she learned at Jefferson, the 2016 alumna helps to manage the chronic diseases for people throughout the Delaware Valley.
What did you major in at Jefferson, and how did this program best prepare you to enter the field?
I earned my PharmD from Jefferson College of Pharmacy. This program specifically aided me in learning the role of a pharmacist within the healthcare team. Throughout my time at Jefferson, I developed crucial skills to not only communicate with my colleagues in other medical professions, but also with patients and their families to fully understand their healthcare journey. In particular, lessons learned from the Health Mentors Program, pharmacy labs, hotspotting, and introductory and advanced practice pharmacy experiences have stuck with me in my career.
Throughout my time at Jefferson, I developed crucial skills to not only communicate with my colleagues in other medical professions, but also with patients and their families to fully understand their healthcare journey.
What was your career path to land in your current position?
Following Jefferson, I pursued a PGY-1 ambulatory care pharmacy practice residency at University of California San Diego Health. The primary care and specialty clinics I rotated through were progressive environments that allowed me to practice to the top of my license as a pharmacist. After residency, I returned to the East Coast for a transitions of care position at a Philadelphia hospital.
Throughout these experiences, I recognized that my true passion was working in the outpatient clinic setting to help manage patients’ chronic disease states. I now work as a clinical pharmacist in population health, which allows me to achieve my career goals as I help manage chronic disease states for over 100,000 patients in a local accountable care organization (ACO).
Please describe your core job responsibilities today?
I currently provide care to patients at CareVio, a Delaware Valley ACO that includes several healthcare systems, private primary care practices, and employer and insurance plan groups. My role entails working within an interdisciplinary team of physicians, pharmacists, nurse case managers, social workers and respiratory therapists to provide comprehensive disease state management for patients based on their level of risk to improve quality of care.
By understanding where my patients come from, I’m able to help develop a therapeutic plan consisting of lifestyle modifications and medication therapies that best suit their needs and work with their disease management goals.
What’s your favorite part of your job?
Building professional relationships with my patients. I love to discover how their life experiences and cultural beliefs have shaped their healthcare journeys. By understanding where my patients come from, I’m able to help develop a therapeutic plan consisting of lifestyle modifications and medication therapies that best suit their needs and work with their disease management goals.
What’s the most challenging aspect of your job?
Due to COVID-19, my role is entirely virtual now, which poses various challenges when interacting with providers and patients. However, the culture of healthcare has shifted quickly with the pandemic in favor of virtual medicine. This is very exciting as it allows us different opportunities to connect with patients and they can become more comfortable using these virtual platforms.
Dive into extracurriculars outside of your comfort zone to learn about some less familiar paths.
What’s your one piece of advice for students considering this profession?
Keep an open mind. You can take so many different paths within this profession. Dive into extracurriculars outside of your comfort zone to learn about some less familiar paths. You may find something you didn’t know existed that matches your interests and career goals.
What’s an interesting fact about you?
I met my husband while attending Jefferson College of Pharmacy. Together throughout the pandemic, we have mastered several board games and binge-watched some Netflix series. I also enjoy spending time with my mini goldendoodle, Ruby, as well as trying new recipes in the kitchen.