Dispense as Written: Ambassador Spotlight – Dr. Onye Ononogbu

Featured PILs Ambassador:

Onye Ononogbu, PharmD
Hematology/Oncology Clinical Pharmacist Specialist

Who/what inspired you to pursue pharmacy?
When I was in high school, my brother was going off to college and he was going to a pre-pharmacy seminar that his university put together for students interested in pharmacy. I decided that I wanted to go with him and my mother. At the seminar they were passing out a book called “Full Preparation: The Pfizer Guide to Careers in Pharmacy”. I read this book from cover to cover. Prior to reading the book, I had no idea that a pharmacy career could be so diverse. From that moment I knew that I would be a pharmacist and that I would take advantage of every opportunity in the field of pharmacy. (My brother ended up being in education!)

What is the most rewarding aspect of your area of pharmacy practice?
The most rewarding part of my job is assisting the hematology/oncology healthcare team to improve the patients’ quality of care. As a pharmacist my goal is to be an integral part of the healthcare team, I truly enjoy doing just that. The education that we receive in pharmacy school and residency is truly unique in ways that make us stand out with respect to our knowledge base. I am able to critically derive solutions to why a patient is failing therapy, or why the patient is experiencing adverse side effects.

At what moment did you realize you were a real pharmacist?
I realized that I was a real pharmacist during my residency year, when I had to run a Coumadin clinic on my own. I was nervous and afraid of prescribing the wrong Coumadin dose! The experience was great and taught me how to build a rapport with my patients.

Which prominent figure, past or present, leadership style do you admire and why?
I admire the leadership style of Jesus. A misconception about leadership is that those who lead are in some way better than those that follow them. The leadership style that Jesus taught and modeled was not about command or control, not status or power. He did not teach superiority, but He grew character. I believe that when you are in leadership, your goal should be to bring out the best qualities of the individuals that you are leading.

Which particular aspect of your field/specialization do you foresee drastically changing in the next 5 years? 
In the next 5 years, pharmacists will develop many collaborative practices and provide pharmacy-independent clinics and services. Pharmacists in the future will oversee chemotherapy supportive care clinics, and chemotherapy infusion clinics.


Interview by: Kierra Dotson, PharmD, BCPS. Dr. Dotson is a guest writer for The Package Insert.

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