For students interested in health care as a career, the area around ACPHS’s Albany campus “is a hot bed for pre-med and pre-pharmacy,” says Joseph Gottwald, a Pharm.D. graduate currently attending Mayo Medical School, part of the world-renowned Mayo Clinic in Minnesota.
Time spent volunteering in clinics for low-income patients and a home for the terminally ill motivated Joe to become a physician. “The clinics treat a population you don’t see in standard health care settings,” Joe notes. “I learned about all aspects of life from beginning to end. This work gave me the opportunity to develop empathy. You have to be part of others’ lives to understand what they’re going through.”
Before there was medical school, there was the education and exposure to professional life Joe received at the College. “ACPHS was a professional environment from Day 1,” Joe recalls. “Being among students who will enter professional fields helped me stay on task and be motivated because the work you’re doing matters.”
Dr. Ray Chandrasekara and Dr. Martha Hass, dean of the School of Graduate Studies, two of his instructors, “challenged me and made me want to try harder,” Joe says. His experience at ACPHS even led to a personal transformation: “When I look back at the person I was when I entered and when I left, there was a different maturity level due to faculty who care and students who want to help each other succeed.”