Guiding Others Through Life’s Grey Zones

Mandy Morris, PharmD, College of Pharmacy Class of 2012
Post Graduate Year One Pharmacy Residency Director at UCSF

Dr. Amanda MorrisWhen she looks back to when she was in her residents’ shoes, Dr. Morris says, “It’s really a gift of the College of Pharmacy’s 2+2 Program to give students that additional year of rotations so that they know where they really want to go for residency. If it wasn’t for that extra year, you basically only have 4 months before you have to apply for residency and set out after what you want to do for the rest of your life!”

As of last July, Dr. Morris also became the Post Graduate Year One (PGY1) Pharmacy Residency Director at UCSF. Dr. Morris was once herself a PGY1 Resident at UCSF, and she is passionate about the development that she sees fostered in others each day.

“It’s incredibly rewarding to see such tremendous personal growth happen in such a short period of time,” she says about the residents. “Some come in unsure about what they want to do or without any personal direction. But to help them to see what their strengths are and where their interests lie, and from that to see a change in how they carry themselves, their self-confidence, and how they communicate…It’s impressive that so much can happen on such a short time table.”

Dr. Morris’s love for the hard science of pharmacology set her on the path of critical care pharmacy at UCSF Medical Center. There, she oversees a 16-bed intensive care unit and is a consultant for a wide variety of drug related questions from patients, family, and physicians.

“Critical care pharmacy involves a lot of complex physiology as well as many areas of grey,” she explains. “Situations will often fall out of those usual black and white windows because of the unique state of each body in trauma. It’s exciting and challenging when there’s no root answer. You have to talk it out to find it.”

But she wouldn’t have started on this path if it weren’t for the recommendation of her mother, Renee Morris, Senior Executive Assistant to the Provost and CAO.

“She’s the person who recommended that I consider the College of Pharmacy at Touro while I was looking at other medical professions,” Dr. Morris says smiling. “It all fell into place from there!”