September 12, 2023

Alumni 18 Questions with Alessandro Formica, PharmD ‘22

Alessandro Formica

Pharmacy Alumni

1. So, Alessandro, what are you currently up to?
a. I am currently back in my hometown of Ottawa, Canada and I am working as a pharmacist at an independent pharmacy called Beechwood Wholehealth Pharmacy. The pharmacy is associated with a medical clinic, physiotherapist, speech pathologist and mental health counselor which is great for patients as it is often a one-stop location for all their healthcare needs.

2. You’re a native Canadian. How did you come to attend GSOP?
a. My family has been visiting South Florida since early 2010 and I always knew that it would be really nice to escape our cold winters for at least the next four years. When I first visited GSOP I knew it was the place I wanted to study.

3. Are there many differences between practicing in Canada and the U.S.?
a. The province in which I am currently working in has a shortage of primary care physicians. So this past January pharmacists have been authorized to prescribe for 13 minor ailments to help with the burden on the healthcare system. So far the reception has been very positive from patients, and the provincial government

4. What is a book you’ve recently read?
a. I really like memoirs and autobiographies so I am currently reading “Greenlights” by Matthew McConaughey; it’s definitely a must-read/listen.

5. What advice would you give your 20-year-old self?
a. Don’t be afraid to change directions. It is always okay to change your mind and try something new.

6. What accomplishment are you most proud of?
a. I would have to say transitioning into my current role at the pharmacy that I am presently at during a time when the pharmacist role has been expanding would be something that I am most proud of.

7. In what ways were you most impacted during your time at GSOP?\
a. The biggest impact I had at GSOP would be during my APPE rotations. This was when I learned the most and was able to see the many different roles pharmacists can have.

8. What do you do for fun?
a. I am fortunate enough that I am still able to get together with a few of my childhood friends every week and get on the ice to play hockey. I also enjoy biking when the weather allows me to.

9. What is the best professional advice you’ve received?
a. It is always okay to tell someone that you need to get back to them when you are not 100% sure about the question they had for you, rather than giving them misinformation.

10. What is something you learned at GSOP that you will never forget?
a. The first 10 lab values of CPK.

11. Who was your most influential professor at GSOP?
a. That’s a hard one! I think all of the professors at GSOP are influential. I was fortunate enough to get to learn from and spend time with a few professors while on my APPE rotations so if I had to choose I would probably say they are the ones that had the greatest impact on me. The professors I had on my APPEs were Dr. Chahine, Dr. Thornby, Dr. Mack, Dr. Sourial, and Dr. Brust.

12. What has been the best professional decision you’ve made?
a. I would say the best professional decision I’ve made would be attending pharmacy school far away from home. This got me out of my comfort zone and I feel that I learned a lot more than I would have if I had stayed close to home.

13. If you weren’t a pharmacist, what job do you think you’d be really good at?
a. I love to cook. So if I wasn’t a pharmacist I would have loved to open up a small family restaurant.

14. What song do you have completely memorized?
a. “Wheat Kings” by The Tragically Hip

15. What is something you think everyone should do at least once in their life?
a. Try to learn a second or third language. Right now, I am trying to relearn French.

16. What is your favorite memory of GSOP?
a. My favorite memory at GSOP would have to be Fall Fest.

17. What is something you thought you knew about the pharmacy profession, but it turns out it was different?
a. There are many different avenues you can take as a pharmacist, and just because you may choose one does not mean you cannot switch or adapt your current role in the future.

18. If your life were a movie, what would the title be? Who would play you?
a. Just because he is my favorite actor I would have to go with Tom Hanks and to be honest I have a hard time choosing a title for the movie.

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