Finding a Formula for Success through Music and Pharmacy

The Pharm.D. that Amy Unruh is working towards will not be her first advanced degree. The third-year College of Pharmacy student already holds a Ph.D. in ethnomusicology—the study of indigenous music in non-Western cultures.

Unruh (pronounced UN-roo) has a background rich in the arts, a background that served as a driving force behind her two bachelor’s degrees, master’s degree, and Ph.D.— all in music and visual art. Unruh has used her passion for educating and music to travel the world, even teaching a Semester at Sea program. (See photo above, showing her leading a group of students in Tibet.)

After earning a Ph.D. at Kent State University, Unruh returned to the classroom, this time as the instructor. Restless with the lifestyle, Unruh decided to go back to the classroom one more time.

Now, in her pharmacy-driven world, Unruh finds time for student organizations along with internships preparing her for the future. Unruh currently works at University Hospitals Portage Medical Center as a pharmacy intern and previously interned at AxessPointe Community Health Centers and CVS.

“At NEOMED, the internships are nice because when you help patients who aren’t feeling well and you’re able to cheer them up…well, that to me is almost more important. How they feel after you talk to them is equally important as the prescription you’re handing them,” says Unruh.

Unruh plans to pursue a residency, which is optional for pharmacy students—though popular at NEOMED. “I’m leaning towards psychiatric pharmacy. I’m absolutely fascinated by our brains,’’ says Unruh. “I was reading articles on how the brain processes music years before pharmacy school was ever on my radar."

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