September 22, 2021

Ashley Wester, PharmD'14, shares her experience and advice as a Pediatric Cardiology Clinical Pharmacist Specialist at C.S. Mott Children's Hospital. 

U-M Pharmacy: What was your most memorable learning experience or impactful faculty mentor?

Dr. Wester: I had many memorable learning experiences and impactful faculty mentors, many of whom I have the pleasure to continue to work with today. My PharmD investigations mentor, Allison Blackmer, continues to be one of the most impactful mentors I have had the pleasure to work with. Not only did our work together result in my first pharmacy publication, but we continue to be able to connect through our work with shared students, residents, and colleagues across the country! Additionally, I would not be where I am today without Regine White (Caruthers). The APPE rotation I took with her during my P4 year sparked my passion for pediatric cardiology, and as a world-renowned expert in the field, I am blessed to continue to have Regine's wisdom and support just an email or text message away!

U-M Pharmacy: What was your favorite extracurricular activity?

Dr. Wester: I really enjoyed being a member of Phi Delta Chi. Not only was the brotherhood supportive and fun, but the passion our members had for advancing the profession of pharmacy was inspirational. PDC allowed me to grow in my leadership capabilities and to be involved in a historical pharmacy organization that started right here at the University of Michigan. Now that I am more settled in my current position and personal life, I look forward to becoming more involved as an alumni.

U-M Pharmacy: How did your fellow alumni or professional network impact your career?

Dr. Wester: My network has made a huge impact on my career! From helping me to find my dream job, to continuing to be influential to me in my current career, to working across the hallway from me - pharmacy is as small of a world as they tell you about in school, and to me, that's always for the better.

U-M Pharmacy: Tell us about your current position.

Dr. Wester: I am currently a Pediatric Cardiology Clinical Pharmacist Specialist at C.S. Mott Children's Hospital. As a valued member of the multidisciplinary team with the Congenital Heart Center, I have the opportunity to provide recommendations for medication therapy including but not limited to: antimicrobial agent and dose selection, analgesia and sedation weans, steroid weans, cardiovascular agent and dose selection, management of pharmacokinetics, management of anticoagulation, etc. for complex patients with congenital and acquired heart diseases. I am also the PGY2 Pediatric Residency Coordinator, which fulfills my passion for impacting future generations of pharmacists.

U-M Pharmacy: How did you discover this career path?

Dr. Wester: I had the unique opportunity to work as a pharmacy technician in Mott Children's Hospital at during my last two years as an undergraduate and my first two full years in pharmacy school. This experienced led me to develop my passion for pediatric pharmacy. During pharmacy school, I expanded upon this interest by volunteering for events at Mott, taking the pediatrics pharmacy elective (which I now teach in!), and getting involved in pediatric pharmacy organizations, such as PPA. The guidance and support from my pediatric faculty mentors was also extremely important in shaping my career path, and I am thankful for all the help they have continued to provide me along the way.

U-M Pharmacy: What advice do you have for students interested in this career path?

Dr. Wester: Work hard, be kind, and don't give up.