Motivated by the experience of watching her late father struggle with the medications he had to take for his chronic pain, Tianna Perosino is working toward a career where she can help people like her dad.
Perosino grew up in the small town of Delta in northern Wisconsin. She graduated from Drummond High School in 2011 and went on to attend the University of Minnesota Duluth. She received a bachelor’s degree in biology, then took four years off from school to explore multiple careers in the medical field. She landed on pharmacy and has just completed her PD1 year at the University of Minnesota College of Pharmacy Duluth campus.
“I realized that pharmacy was a way for me to help other people that may be struggling in a similar way (to her father),” Perosino said. “I hope that one day I will be able to help patients understand their medications instead of fear them.”
Perosino is an American Indian, and a recipient of the Peters Scholarship for Future Practitioners in Underserved Communities. This is a scholarship for first-year students with the best and most feasible plans to practice in medically-underserved communities.
“Having grown up in a very small town, I knew that I would eventually work in a rural or underserved community after graduation,” Perosino said. “I was very honored to be selected as a recipient of the [scholarship]. It is an amazing feeling to see that there are people that are willing to donate to those of us that are planning to give back to these rural communities.”
Perosino has enjoyed how close-knit the College of Pharmacy is. She described how the professors and staff go above and beyond just caring about her education, and genuinely care about her life and how she is doing as a person. In addition to Perosino’s relationships with her professors, she has also been impressed by how helpful her classmates have been.
“I also love all my classmates, it really feels like we are all so close already,” Perosino said. “We all look out for each other when it comes to deadlines or exam dates and always make sure that no one is left behind. We truly have been through a lot together this past year, which has helped us grow closer as a class and a pharmily.”
Throughout her first year at the College, Perosino did everything she could do to get involved and start helping people right away. She is a member of the Minnesota Pharmacy Student Alliance (MPSA) and Multicultural Pharmacy Student Organization (MPSO). Through her work with MPSA, she has worked on many outreach events and health fairs. Perosino recently became the new Pre-Pharmacy Liason for MPSA as well. In addition to her involvement with MPSA and MPSO, Perosino is a member of the pharmacy fraternity, Kappa Psi. She has appreciated how being part of these organizations has helped her immerse herself into the world of pharmacy and the community.
“I have learned so much already in my first year,” Perosino said. “I am beginning to have a deeper understanding of the way that medications work as well as the clinical side of pharmacy. These experiences have enabled me to conduct research so that I have a better understanding and can eventually guide my clinical decisions as I progress in the program and as a pharmacist.”
Perosino hopes to one day have a difference-making career as a pharmacist on a reservation or in a small rural community. In the meantime, she intends to make the most of the rest of her time at the College of Pharmacy.
“The best part (about being a student at the College of Pharmacy) is that I don’t have to wait until I graduate to make a difference, I am able to start while I am in school,” Perosino said. “I have taken many opportunities to volunteer at health fairs as well as just being an advocate for the field of pharmacy. The College of Pharmacy really helps support students as we find our place and set our goals in the pharmacy world.”