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College of Pharmacy
Ryan Burke  Name:  Ryan Burke
Hometown:  New Orleans, LA
Graduation year:  2013
Current residence:  Washington, DC

Please share a little bit about yourself.

I currently serve as the Associate Director of Practice Initiatives at American Pharmacists Association (APhA). In that role, I direct and lead programs related to the Association’s practice initiatives including transformation of the role of the pharmacist, pharmacists’ patient care, community pharmacy residencies, and professional related activities. Additionally, I serve as one of the Association's leads on the profession-wide provider status initiative. 

When I’m not working, I enjoy the awesome opportunity living in Washington, DC has given me to get out and explore all the city has to offer. 

Why did you choose the School of Pharmacy at ULM?

When I was exploring options for pharmacy school, I was looking for somewhere that would keep me relatively close to my family. Since I attended ULM for undergrad, I felt like I was already part of a family and I had group of close friends. 

Why did you choose pharmacy for your profession?

My first job in high school was at an independent community pharmacy. At the time, I was unsure of what I would pursue as a career. Within a matter of weeks, I was convinced that pharmacy was for me. It was easy to see how much of an impact pharmacists have on patient health, and that was something I really wanted to be a part of. 

What is your favorite memory from your time in pharmacy school?

I am not sure I can pick just one favorite memory from my time in pharmacy school. My favorite experiences are those that involved getting out in the community and helping patients. My involvement within APhA-ASP and Phi Delta Chi provided an avenue for those types of experiences. My most rewarding experience was being elected APhA-ASP National Member-at-large and serving in that role during my third year of pharmacy school. My involvement with the organization in that capacity is ultimately what led me to pursue a career at APhA. I would not have been successful in that endeavor had it not been for the tremendous support from my classmates and faculty members. 

How did ULM prepare you for your career?

This is a tough one. My career is unlike traditional pharmacy practice and the skill set isn't one that you would necessarily learn in pharmacy school. I think ULM encouraging and supporting my involvement in APhA-ASP was a really important factor in helping me prepare for my career. 

If you could give advice to a student considering the pharmacy school at ULM, what would you say?

It's important to consider all available options. Think about where you see yourself is 5-10 years and ask if the school you are considering will put you on a path to achieving that goal. It's important that you make a decision based on where you know you'll feel comfortable growing both personally and professionally. ULM offered me the opportunity to do just that.