Interview with Mindy Lam – Pharmacist at the VA

Over winter break, I had the opportunity to interview my fellow Kappa Psi brother, Mindy Lam!  Mindy is an OSU College of Pharmacy Class of 2015 graduate, and she is currently a pharmacy resident at the Columbus VA.

Mindy Lam, PharmD

Mindy Lam, PharmD

Tell us a little about yourself!

Hi! My name is Mindy Lam. I am originally from sunny Irvine, California. I did my undergrad at University of California – Irvine and moved to Columbus, Ohio, where I completed my PharmD at OSU. I’m currently doing a PGY-1 residency at the Chalmers P Wylie VA Ambulatory Care Center in Columbus, Ohio. After completing my residency, I hope to work as an ambulatory care pharmacist.

What organizations were you involved with during your time at OSU?

I was involved in Kappa Psi Pharmaceutical Fraternity and SNPhA.

Dr. Mindy Lam (top right) with her Kappa Psi lineage

Dr. Mindy Lam (top right) with her Kappa Psi lineage

What exactly is the VA?

The Veterans Affairs is a government department that is dedicated to providing medical care and services to the veterans.

Can you describe the residency program and current job responsibilities?

The PGY-1 pharmacy residency program at Chalmers P Wylie VA is focused in ambulatory care, as the facility only offers outpatient services. We manage chronic disease states in pharmacist-run clinics, such as diabetes, anticoagulation, and hepatitis C. At the VA, pharmacists are able to initiate medications, adjust doses, and order lab work, giving us the autonomy and ability to make immediate and beneficial interventions to improve patient care. We also coordinate with the medical team when additional care is needed.

What was the application process that you went through to apply like?

As with most residency programs, the application process is handled through PhORCAS, which requires a letter of intent, letters of recommendation, pharmacy transcript, and CV to be submitted. Additional requirements are specific to the residency site, such as an on-site presentation, working through a patient case, or conducting a mock patient interview.

What are the most rewarding things about working at the VA?

The most rewarding thing is being able to use my clinical knowledge to help improve the healthcare veterans are receiving, especially after everything they have done for our nation. I follow patients longitudinally throughout my residency, which allows me to build good relationships with veterans and tailor their therapy according to their needs.

What are the most challenging?

The most challenging aspect of the residency is managing many different responsibilities in a work day, especially when unexpected things pop up.

How do you think OSU prepared you for the challenges you’re currently facing?

OSU definitely taught me how to manage my time and prioritize what needed to be done. From studying, completing projects, working a job or two, on top of attending class, doing IPPE rotations, it was a constant juggle between getting things done and making sure I had time for myself.

Any last thoughts or advice?

As I’m sure you have heard before, get involved in an organization that you feel passionate about, don’t be afraid to take on new roles and responsibilities – this is your time to do it! Be flexible, as there are many ways to get to your intended goal. And lastly, have fun and explore the different opportunities.

Thanks for sharing about your experiences, Mindy!

Questions for Mindy or myself?  Email


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