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Belmont University | Belief in Something Greater

Why Choose Belmont for Your PharmD

Dr. Courtney Sutton

Being a pharmacist is something I had desired to become since I was in middle school, after job-shadowing a family member on career day. When I was applying for pharmacy school, I desired an institution where I could both further my education and remain in my home state of Tennessee.

Just a few years prior to my application cycle, Belmont University announced its plans to open a College of Pharmacy, and I knew it was the perfect fit! I still remember how excited I was when I received the call regarding admission. What I didn’t know was what was really in store for me as a student pharmacist, and how what I experienced would change my interests and grow me professionally in those 4 short years at BUCOP.

Early in my P1 year, I learned of “clinical pharmacy” which fascinated me, as I have always enjoyed situations that challenged my critical thinking skills. I decided that in order to fulfill this role, residency training was in my future. I began looking at adult residency programs and could envision that my future position would involve something in adult critical care or cardiology. That was until I volunteered at the Ronald McDonald House along with some of my classmates.

At the end of P2 year, a group decided to do a community service event at RMH. Needless to say, the children there stole my heart, and I left that day knowing that I had to find a way to help pediatric patients. When the pediatrics block was covered in Pathophysiology and Therapeutics, I was fascinated by developmental pharmacology and how children really aren’t “little adults”, which further solidified my interest in this field. Lucky for me, many others had previously chosen that path and had created residency programs focused solely on pediatric medicine. I requested as many pediatric-focused APPE rotations as I could fit, and I chose to apply to residency programs that would provide pediatric experiences so that I could continue into a PGY2 specialty training.

My didactic courses, APPE rotations, and practical experience as an intern enabled me to compete successfully, and I completed a first year residency at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center in Cincinnati, Ohio. To further my training, I completed a second year pediatric specialty residency at the Medical University of South Carolina in Charleston, South Carolina.

As my residency training was coming to an end, I was certain that I wanted to return to the middle Tennessee area to begin my career; however, this “plan” of mine did not have a clear path to becoming reality. Fortunately, there was a new hospital opening in Franklin, Tennessee- the Monroe Carell Jr Children’s Hospital Vanderbilt at Williamson Medical Center- and they were in need of a pediatric clinical pharmacy specialist. It was a dream come true! I applied for the position and graciously accepted the offer to become their newest colleague. I am able to care for children of various ages and levels of acuity through my coverage of the neonatal intensive care unit, general pediatrics ward, and pediatric emergency department.

I am a true believer that God is unfolding His plan for my life, and Belmont was part of that wonderful plan. I am grateful for my time at Belmont and for all that I learned while a pharmacy student, as it has provided the foundation needed to prepare me for the position that I hold today.

Dr. Courtney Sutton


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