Name: Chloe Givens, PharmD
School/Program: South College School of Pharmacy
Currently Wearing: The Rebecca Slim Fit Lab Coat
Why did you choose your profession?:
My journey to becoming a pharmacist began several years ago and has been anything but conventional. Although I may not have known as a freshman majoring in microbiology that pharmacy would be the career I’d pursue, I knew that my passion for patient care and love for medicine would allow me to discover my calling! God knew it too and ever since, my path has continued to unfold in the most amazing ways! For as long as I can remember, science and medicine have always drawn me in. Even as a young girl, I always said that one day I would become a doctor. I completed my undergraduate education at the University of Tennessee Knoxville where I received my Bachelor of Science degree in Microbiology. During my years gaining experience in the micro lab, I discovered my passion for the field of pharmacy. I had always questioned aspects of conventional, western medicine and desired to learn more about holistic patient care. I spent a lot of time diving into naturopathic medicine and researching homeopathy and discovered that I had a fiery passion for both functional/integrative medicine and plant based nutrition. From then on, it was my goal to use those avenues to reshape the field of pharmacy that I desired to enter. Following graduation from UTK, I was accepted into pharmacy school and the rest is history! To now hold the title of Doctor of Pharmacy is so humbling, and I am excited to continue spreading awareness for the profession of pharmacy as I advocate for my patients. I am now in the process of becoming a certified CBD expert and plan to receive functional medicine certification through the Institute of Functional Medicine (IFM) as soon as I am able. As a pharmacist, I truly believe in the power of natural medicine, and intend to explore how best to utilize both contemporary and holistic medicine practices to better serve my patients. I took a vow to apply my knowledge, experience, and skills to the best of my ability to assure optimal outcomes for my patients, and I am committed to delivering compassionate, personalized care to all, especially to those most in need. My goal is for my patients to feel empowered every single day by helping them understand their medication regimens, optimizing their medication plans, reducing their medication costs, and educating them on the different preventative healthcare strategies that are available to them. We are now seeing a holistic shift in the pharmacy paradigm and I am so excited to further learn and develop my skills with functional pharmacy practices.
Current Passion Project:
I love expanding my knowledge on functional medicine and want so desperately for every patient and practitioner to understand its importance! In our broken healthcare system, functional medicine truly is the future of medicine! Prescribing a pill for every symptom will never be the answer to the chronic disease epidemic, but functional medicine is the solution! Functional and integrative medicine practices work to treat the root causes of those chronic diseases by allowing practitioners to determine why and how illness occurs. Once the “why” and “how” have been determined for each individual patient, a personalized plan can then be set in motion, allowing us to help guide the patient back to optimal health by looking at every facet of their health. This includes their diet, their exercise, their sleep hygiene, their mental and emotional health, their family health history, their environment, etc. I interact with patients and prescribers everyday who have never even heard of functional medicine before. My goal is to practice pharmacy in a way that incorporates functional medicine with conventional medicine to help restore optimal health to each individual patient.
Who was/is your inspiration?
I wouldn’t be where I am today without my parents and my younger brother! They have been my biggest advocates and have supported me in every way imaginable. We are a very tight knit, health conscious family, so we are always bouncing ideas off of each other and looking for new ways to maintain a healthy lifestyle. My mom has always encouraged me and helped me creatively, whether that be helping me create content for my blog, teaching me new healthy recipes, or helping me decide what my next big life decision should be! My dad is the supplement king and he has taught me everything I know about vitamins and natural supplements. Together, they keep me inspired to break barriers while being a positive light to all those I interact with!
Fun Fact 1:
I have been a classically trained ballet dancer for the last 22-23 years! I began dancing when I was just 3 years old and cannot imagine my life without it! I taught dance to children age 3-12 all throughout college and even continued dancing with my pre-professional company while in pharmacy school. My love for dance has taken many forms over the years and I now practice yoga or workout at the gym at least 6 days a week. Fitness is definitely one of my top forms of self care!
Fun Fact 2:
I was born in Honolulu, Hawaii in a pink hospital! Both of my parents were in the Army and at the time, they were stationed on the island of Oahu. We moved shortly after I was born and sadly I haven’t been back to the island since. However, Honolulu is at the top of my bucket list for vacation destinations and I know that one day soon I will get to visit again!
Do you have any advice for others interested in entering your field?
One of the biggest lessons I learned during pharmacy school was not to be intimidated by success. Pharmacy is a very competitive field and the job market continues to remain saturated. Establish yourself and your “brand” early on and don’t be afraid to stand out! Even in the face of failures, set backs, and disappointments, your attitude is everything. Each morning when you wake up, have the intention to be even better than you were the day before. Pharmacy school at times can seem like a daunting journey, but you are resilient! In order to be successful, you have to refuse to let anything or anyone hold you back. You have to push past all expectations, insecurities, and doubt, and give each opportunity you are presented with your all. If you want something bad enough, you have to put in the work (and sleepless nights) to obtain it! If there are failures or nay-sayers or undeniable obstacles in your way, use them as motivation. Prove everyone wrong and let your success astound and confuse! As a mentor, I advise any student to surround themselves with people who are ambitious, passionate and humble enough to always have their best interests in mind. Find a solid study group and refuse to surround yourself with negative people. For those who are new grads and just about to begin their careers as pharmacists, I would say to continue to stand up for what you believe in and let your voices be heard! The profession of pharmacy is at a cross roads right now and we are finally on the cusp of receiving provider status. This is an incredibly important time for us to collectively advocate for the profession of pharmacy and let our legislators know our worth. No one is going to advocate of us but us and I believe our generation can be the monumental change that our healthcare system needs to see!
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