"You should always extend yourself a little grace..."
University of South Carolina alumna Krishnan Larkin Brown (2017 Pharm.D.) was completing a master’s degree when pharmacy school caught her eye. With two young children, strong motivation and a little bit of grace, she has navigated her way to a successful career in clinical pharmacy.
Tell us about what you do:
I am currently a clinical pharmacist at Prisma Health Baptist Parkridge. In this role, I provide pharmaceutical care, monitor patient-specific therapies, collaborate with other health care team members, and participate in quality improvement initiatives.
I also serve as a preceptor for APPE students at the College of Pharmacy, a role that for me is very fulfilling. What I most enjoy about precepting is the chance to interact with students and participate in the development of their skills, insight, and awareness. Oftentimes, the exchange of ideas and experiences with learners broadens my perspective. Through my interactions with learners, I can help develop future pharmacists, and by extension, improve outcomes in the communities and patients these future pharmacists serve.
How did you originally get interested in your field?
It was honestly serendipitous. I was in graduate school completing a master's degree and needed a part-time job. The first company that responded to my applications was a community pharmacy. This was my first exposure to the pharmacy profession, and it completely changed the trajectory of my career.
Why did you choose the University of South Carolina?
I wanted to attain my pharmacy degree from a highly recognized college with a stimulating and supportive environment. The University of South Carolina checked those boxes for me. I found multiple opportunities for personal growth and development both academically and professionally at the UofSC College of Pharmacy.
What do you consider your greatest achievement?
I was in the process of starting my family when I submitted my applications to pharmacy school, telling myself that I would pursue this dream come what may. I had a 6-month-old when I began P1 year, then welcomed another little one during my P2 year. It certainly was not without challenges! However, completing a graduate-level program with 2 small children would probably be my greatest personal and professional achievement to date. My children are my biggest motivators and if not for my incredible spouse and the supportive learning environment at UofSC COP it would not have been possible.
What would your superpower be?
I think the ability to read minds would be so useful. Being able to relate to and understand others would be much easier if we knew what they were thinking.
What is the most important lesson life has taught you?
Never be afraid of failure. During my most challenging times, I have embraced the lessons from failures and setbacks. Life in general always has obstacles and you can use them as a motivating factor to ensure future success. You should always extend yourself a little grace as we are all trying to navigate a successful and rewarding path.
What is your favorite memory from pharmacy school at UofSC?
During my second year of pharmacy school I was expecting a baby the first week of December. One particular evening, I was up late working with a group of students before an extra credit assignment was due. I stayed up pretty late working with my classmates to complete the project. As soon as we submitted the final answers, I had my first contraction. I delivered a healthy baby boy the next day. My husband and I often joke that I was so worked up about the assignment that our son decided to make his entrance into the world. My time at the university was filled with many wonderful memories, but I would have to say his birth story is my favorite.
Who would you invite to your dream dinner party?
I'd invite Vice President Kamala Harris and Michelle Obama. Of course, we'd have to include Oprah on the guest list too, and make sure that she brings a few of her friends.
What is your advice for current students / future pharmacy professionals?
Trust will be valuable at every stage of your career and is likely your most valuable career asset. Building trust and rapport with patients, caregivers, and health care providers will be crucial as high levels of trust certainly lead to better patient outcomes. Additionally, I would advise students to focus on cultivating and nurturing relationships with pharmacy peers, mentors, and colleagues. Your network will provide the sharing of ideas and resources, lead to personal development, and provide a sense of community within the pharmacy profession.
What is top of your bucket list?
In the midst of a pandemic, this has changed quite a bit. My pre-pandemic bucket list plans included endless travels internationally and visiting places I had never been. Now, I am focusing on more quality at home with my family, creating memories and sharing experiences.
Who would play you in the film of your life?
While I'm not sure who would play the lead actress in a film about my life, I would love to see Idris Elba cast as her co-star.