April 2021 OPA Extern Profile: Zachary Stoneburner
Name: Zachary Stoneburner
Pharmacy School: University of Findlay
Undergraduate degree/institution: University of Findlay
Rotation Month at OPA: April 2021
How did you get interested in the profession of pharmacy?
I have always been interested in a career in healthcare. I originally thought about becoming a surgeon but after talking to a friend’s dad who was a cardiovascular surgeon, I determined I did not want to deal with the stress. So, going back to the drawing board, I talked with my aunt who is a pharmacist in the pharmaceutical industry and did a career project for my high school and settled with pharmacy. This career path fit my skills and interests well and there are so many different career options you can pursue with a PharmD.
Why did you choose OPA as a rotation site?
Ever since I was little, I have been fascinated by history and the way different governments work. Last year before the COVID-19 pandemic I was fortunate enough to attend OPA’s Student Legislative Day in which I got a taste of what happens at the state level. I also realize how important advocacy is for our profession as we continue to try and expand the level of care that pharmacists can legally provide. Because of these experiences, I wanted more first-hand experience in all of efforts of OPA and the workings behind the scenes.
What was the most significant or surprising experience at OPA?
I really enjoyed working with the staff at OPA on helping to design some portions and run the OPA Annual Conference. I have worked with different organizations before to put on events but nothing to this scale. It was really interesting to see the work that goes into the planning and implementation of an event like this. It was also very unique as it was completely virtual due to COVID-19 and it brought about different challenges than an in-person event would. Outside of helping to run the Conference, I was able to attend numerous CPE sessions and events and they were all very informative about different areas of pharmacy, from law to financial planning to pharmacogenomics, there is something for every interest.
Why I think it’s important to maintain my OPA membership after graduation.
There are two important reasons for me to maintain an OPA membership following graduation. First, the advocacy component. That does not necessarily mean you will be at the Statehouse regularly or writing to state legislators all the time, but simply being in the know of what is happening at the state level with your profession is vital. Secondly, the networking aspect. Networking is important as professionals. It could lead to future employment opportunities, meet people who can help you out if you encounter a problem you are unable to solve or simply make great friends you can stay connected with and spend time with outside of work or OPA events.
What other pharmacy associations/organizations do you belong to?
I am a member of the Academy of Managed Care Pharmacists (AMCP), Kappa Epsilon Pharmacy Fraternity (KE), Academy of Student Pharmacists (APhA-ASP) and Christian Pharmacists Fellowship International (CPFI).
I am a huge sports fan. I can spend hours a day either playing or watching. I also enjoy being outside hiking, camping, snowboarding, kayaking, etc. Once this COVID-19 pandemic is resolved and I graduate, I really want to start traveling more as there are so many amazing places on this planet that I want to see and experience.