UMKC Pharmacy Student Preparing to Care for the Underserved

As School of Pharmacy recognizes Black History Month, it celebrates the accomplishments and contributions of the school’s Black community who are making a difference and inspiring others

Meet Dasjah Mason, a fourth-year student at the UMKC School of Pharmacy, whose goal is to serve underrepresented and marginalized groups as a clinical pharmacist, while also serving as a preceptor and mentor for future pharmacists.

Why did you select UMKC School of Pharmacy?

I moved to Kansas City because I wanted to pursue a career in pharmacy and track and field. I was blessed to receive a scholarship for the women’s track and field program, so it was a no brainer to stay here for pharmacy school. Several pharmacists I knew graduated from UMKC and said they felt they were prepared to pass boards and move on in their career after graduation.

How have UMKC and UMKC School of Pharmacy embraced and supported you as a Black student?

The UMKC School of Pharmacy has embraced and supported Black students in several ways over my last few years. Namely establishing the Black Student Pharmacists Organization and working with its members to create a network with other Black alumi. Also, faculty actively participate in the Students Training in Academia, Health, and Research (STAHR) Program. The STAHR program is aimed towards retention and graduation of students from economically and educationally challenged backgrounds. Faculty provided mentorship through several workshops, one-on-one meetings and being available to their students daily. Through this experience, I was able to create strong relationships that help me develop professionally and personally.

Why would you encourage prospective students from your background to consider the UMKC School of Pharmacy?

I would encourage prospective students to consider UMKC because its current students are working to create a network to recruit and retain Black students and serve its surrounding community. 

What do you hope to do in pharmacy when you graduate and how do you feel the School of Pharmacy is helping prepare you for that?

After graduation, I wish to complete PGY1 and PGY2 residencies in a specialized area of interest then become board certified. After completion of my residency training, I plan to maintain a clinical practice while having a role precepting and mentoring pharmacy students and residents. Moreover, another passion of mine is serving underrepresented and marginalized groups. Therefore, I believe a residency experience would equip me with clinical skills on acute and chronic disease states to use towards patients who tend to have significant disparities that interrupt their health care. I believe the UMKC SOP has prepared me well for residency. Throughout my rotational experiences, I feel stronger in my abilities to be a clinical pharmacist and I think that stems from my strong baseline knowledge gained in the classroom.

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