May 26, 2020

When Molly Esordi, PharmD’20, received the letter notifying her that she had matched at DMC Children’s Hospital of Michigan, “it felt bittersweet, but also like things had come full circle.” Thirteen years ago, Molly was an aspiring professional golfer, high school student, and pediatric oncology patient at DMC Children’s Hospital of Michigan. Her time in the healthcare system radically changed her professional trajectory.

U-M Pharmacy: Did you know you wanted to pursue a residency from the start?

Molly: My first job in pharmacy school was as an intern at Mott’s Children’s Hospital at Michigan Medicine. Despite having so many inpatient pediatric experiences throughout pharmacy school, I went into my 4th year with an open mind. I knew that I wanted a residency, I like the fast-paced nature of the inpatient setting. It can be chaotic and stressful, but also super rewarding. I learned that during my internship, you may not know what each day holds, but I always went home feeling that I had done something meaningful.

U-M Pharmacy: What attracted you to a career in pharmacy?

Molly: Since I completed my cancer treatment, I knew that I wanted to do something in healthcare. I shadowed my doctor, Jeffery Taub, and nurse in the clinic where I was treated and didn’t see a good fit for myself. Pharmacy ticked multiple boxes, I wanted a doctorate and to work in healthcare, but there are aspects of being a medical doctor that did not appeal to me.

While I was undergoing treatment, I wanted to be able to play golf in high school and go on to play in college, which I did. My doctor ended every appointment with steps towards getting me out on the golf course. It was a great way to keep my mind off what was going on. My doctor also had Hodgkin’s lymphoma as a child too, that was another reason I felt so close to him, he knew exactly what I was going through and had gone on to medical school.

U-M Pharmacy: How did you decide Michigan Pharmacy was right for you?  

Molly: I almost didn’t apply to Michigan Pharmacy, the Michigan reputation is that it is an elite institution, I didn’t know if I could see myself there. I got the call to set up my interview and dropped everything to make it happen. I remember sitting in the room with Mark Nelson, hearing everything Michigan Pharmacy had to offer, and saying to myself, “I cannot believe how awesome it would be to go here.” I was so excited when I got admitted, but I still had an interview at another school where both of my younger sisters were attending. I really wanted to go to school with my sisters, so I still went to the interview. I went into the interview with high expectations, particularly since the tuition was much more expensive. I remember thinking during the whole interview, “this isn’t Michigan, this isn’t it.” I knew right after the interview that I wanted to be at Michigan.

U-M Pharmacy: Did any aspect of the Michigan Pharmacy experience help give you a leg up as you enter your career?

Molly: I had a rotation with the pediatric cardiology pharmacist at Michigan Medicine. I got really close with two preceptors at the hospital and they helped me so much. From CV review help to interview prep help, I don’t know how I would have gone through the residency process without their guidance. The advice and networking help they provided along the way was invaluable. Had I not been at Michigan, that experience would have been totally different for me.

I applied to 14 residencies and ended up getting eight interviews, it’s funny that will all the traveling I did, I ended up matching with the hospital closest to home.

U-M Pharmacy: What do you hope to gain during your residency?

Molly: This return to Children’s hospital is bittersweet. As a patient there in my teens, being discharged and playing golf in undergrad, and now going back to be a healthcare professional on the same teams that were once treating me, it really has come full circle.

A lot of times when I was at the hospital, the healthcare providers would stand outside your room with the door closed. I remember sitting in my room wondering what they were walking about. So I think now, being that person on the outside, but also having that experience of knowing what it is like to be the person in the room is incredibly unique.   

When I told my friends and family about the match, many said it felt like destiny to be back where it all started.  I thought I wanted to be a professional golfer before I was diagnosed cancer, which is ultimately, what led me to pharmacy.

U-M Pharmacy: What’s next?

Molly: I am looking forward to the learning opportunity that is a residency. I am also excited to see different areas of pediatric pharmacy practice that I haven’t before. I hope to go on to a PGY2 residency and specialize in some area of pediatrics. It’s definitely unique that I get to jump right into pediatrics my first year, whereas most other specialties you need to wait until your second year. I would like to be a board certified pediatric pharmacist and work at a large teaching hospital.  Eventually, I would like to be a preceptor. I had such positive experiences with my preceptors, I feel like I need to pay it forward.