Growing up in Fairfax, Va., Natalie Nguyen’s family cited the college experience as an important step toward real self-discovery. As a third-year professional student at VCU, she couldn’t agree more.
Natalie developed an interest in health care following high school, while working part time for a primary care physician whose practice mainly consisted of geriatric patients. There she established a passion for helping these patients navigate the difficulties found in managing multiple insurers, pharmacy providers and medications. This realization led her to VCU’s School of Pharmacy.
As a rising second-year Pharm.D. student, Natalie became the first pharmacy student to be named one of 15 Virginia Governor’s Fellows, which afforded her a firsthand view of public health administration. She says interning in Virginia state government opened her eyes to the policies that influence the health status and quality of life for Virginians.
In the summers of 2011 and 2012, as a member of the VCU School of Pharmacy’s team that took part in the Remote Area Medical program, Natalie traveled to Wise County, Va., where she provided free health care services to uninsured populations during weekend-long field clinics. She will return in 2013 as the operation’s student pharmacy leader.
Also in the summer of 2012, she expanded her knowledge beyond the state level by participating in the Paul G. Cano Legislative Internship at the American Society of Consultant Pharmacists, where she learned about pharmacy policy and advocacy at the national level; and she currently interns for the National Alliance of State Pharmacy Associations.
Combined, these experiences have led her to consider a new future, as Virginia Delegate Natalie Nguyen, Pharm.D.