Academy Member Spotlight: Sharon Youmans, PharmD, MPH
I recently interviewed new member Sharon Youmans, PharmD, MPH, to reflect on her education journey and current curricular changes in the School of Pharmacy.
Sharon is Vice Dean and Professor of Clinical Pharmacy and responsible for administrative oversight of the PharmD program, including Diversity and Inclusion initiatives, Student Affairs, Educational Support Services, and Assessment and Accreditation. She oversees quality improvement efforts for the School’s existing four-year curriculum while guiding faculty and staff in every aspect of the design and implementation of a transformative new three-year curriculum that launched in August 2018.
Sharon received her PharmD from UCSF School of Pharmacy and completed a pharmacy residency at California Pacific Medical Center. She practiced in various hospital and community pharmacy settings in San Francisco and was appointed as UCSF faculty in 2001. She received her Masters of Public Health from San Jose State University and teaches topics including global health, adherence, communication, and health disparities.
What has been your personal journey in education?
My earliest days of teaching were in junior high school for Sunday Bible School! Related to health professions education, my first experience with pharmacy education was while working for 16 years in hospital and clinical practice. During this time, I precepted pharmacy students during experiential rotations and gained experience in mentoring. Once I joined the UCSF faculty in 2001, I became more involved with course coordination and curricular development. I became Vice Chair of Education in the School of Pharmacy in 2007 and was the first pharmacy faculty member to complete the Teaching Scholars Program in 2010. Experience as a clerkship preceptor, course coordinator, and administrator has helped prepare me for my current position as Vice Dean and steward for the new School of Pharmacy curriculum launched in August 2018.
What makes you excited to come to work each day?
Right now, what excites me most each day is watching the new pharmacy school curriculum unfold. We are seeing faculty members working together like never before. It is exciting to watch basic scientists and clinicians, who would not have previously collaborated on courses or curricular areas, now working closely together to provide innovative education and prepare the next generation of clinical pharmacists.
What advice would you give to young or developing educators?
My best advice to developing educators or junior faculty would be to seek out formalized training in education. Many of us did not get formalized training in pharmacy school or other health professions education and while many educators may have a “gift” or passion for education, formalized training and building networks with other educators can only strengthen those gifts.
What would be your profession if not pharmacy or other healthcare profession?
I would focus in public health and health advocacy. Even if not specifically a profession in healthcare, I feel that my activist roots would blend well with promoting public health initiatives, education and advocacy.
Outside of work, what do you like to do for fun?
In my free time, I like to cook and take classes in wine tasting. To nourish my creative side and decompress, I like to attend paint nights, often just by myself, to unwind and reconnect with my right brain. I was also just elected to the Board of Directors for a San Francisco Prenatal Homeless Program which will give me an opportunity to work on advocacy outside of UCSF and serve with other non-healthcare professionals.