A native of Atkin, MN, Erin Host became interested in healthcare at a young age. Her uncle had lifelong and complicated health conditions. As a member of her uncle’s support system, Host experienced a lot of the healthcare system from the patient perspective. It was this experience, and a conversation she had with her uncle that shaped Host’s career intentions.
“I had a conversation with him shortly before he passed away about career paths; when I mentioned pharmacy, he said that of all of the healthcare providers he sees, he trusted his pharmacist with his life the most,” Host said. “I pursued a career in pharmacy because my experience from the patient's perspective enriches my understanding and empathy for the patients I will serve, and I hope to empower patients to become their own health advocate just as my uncle was for himself.”
Host received a B.A. in Chemistry from Concordia College in Moorhead, MN and is now a student at the University of Minnesota’s College of Pharmacy’s Duluth Campus. She first learned about the College of Pharmacy when a recruiter spoke to her 10th grade chemistry class.
“My reason to attend was continually reinforced as I learned more about the pharmacy profession through research and work experience,” Host said. “I discovered that many of the cutting-edge innovations of pharmacy practice today have been derived from the work of faculty at the University of Minnesota; their commitment to driving the profession forward in addition to educating the next generation of pharmacists is the kind of passion I want to emulate as I go through my pharmacy career.”
Host is a member of the Minnesota Pharmacy Student Alliance (MPSA). Host said her favorite aspects of being a member of MPSA is the opportunity to advocate for pharmacy at the state capitol during Legislative Day, as well as assist with their health fairs throughout the year. Host is also a member of UMD PharmD, which is a student organization that puts on social events for the College of Pharmacy.
In addition to being involved in student organizations, Host is currently a pharmacy intern for Essential Health’s Chronic Opioid Analgesic Therapy (COAT) program, which monitors patients to make sure they are using opioids safely. In the fall, Host will begin working as a Teaching Assistant for the first year lab experience.
Her plans for after she graduates are not set in stone. She said she could see herself doing multiple things.
“My plans after I graduate are very fluid considering that my interests may change over the next few years,” Host said. “Right now, I could see myself pursuing a residency in Ambulatory Care or getting a job in a smaller community pharmacy to gain some experience.”
The interests in pharmacy that were sparked by conversations with her late uncle and a UMN recruiter in 10th grade have only grown. Host is enjoying her time as a student at the College of Pharmacy and is excited to see what the future holds for her and pharmacy.