Pharmacy student Matti Reed-Davidson with David Phipps, TCMH Pharmacist preceptor.

Mattison “Matti” Reed-Davidson has known for a while that she wanted to be in healthcare.  It was when she lost her twin brother that she knew that she was being called to a field where she could help people.

Everything seemed to point Reed-Davidson to the pharmacy field: she has a cousin in Texas who is a pharmacist, and she has worked in pharmacies on and off since she was 16. For Reed-Davidson, pharmacy seemed like the obvious career path. 

In 2013, when Reed-Davidson first started her undergraduate schooling and again in 2017, she received $1,000 TCMH Healthcare Foundation Scholarships to help with academic expenses.

“It’s been great to have those funds,” Reed-Davidson said. “It’s helped a lot with tuition, loan payments and books.”

Reed-Davidson attended Missouri Southern State University to work on her pre-requisites for pharmacy school in the fall of 2013. In 2016, Reed-Davidson started pharmacy school at the University of Missouri—Kansas City (UMKC), Springfield campus.

Pharmacy school is a four-year program that involves three years of classes, and the final year includes rotations for students to gain practical, on-the-job experience before graduating. In between the second and third year of the UMKC pharmacy program, students complete their first four weeks of practical experience.

Reed-Davidson just completed her second year of pharmacy school and plans to graduate with a Doctor of Pharmacy Degree in 2020. Reed-Davidson has two years left of the pharmacy program — one year of classes and one year of rotations.

She said students get to rank where they would like to go for their rotation. As part of her four weeks of on–the-job experience, Reed-Davidson spent two weeks this summer working in the TCMH pharmacy.

“It’s been really cool to come back and be home again for a couple weeks,” Reed-Davidson said. “This is an experience that I will never forget.”

During her two weeks at TCMH, Reed-Davidson had the opportunity to learn about what other departments do within the hospital. She explained she really enjoyed it, and said this is an experience that she could not have had anywhere else. 

“This experience has been more than I could have ever asked for or expected,” Reed-Davidson said.

She said her previous rotation was in retail pharmacy, and it was very different than her experience here.

“I have gotten to interact with patients a lot more here than I did in a retail setting, which I really enjoy,” Reed-Davidson said.

She added that patients usually know exactly what they need in a retail setting, so the interaction is limited. Whereas, in a hospital setting, patients tend to have more questions, and she gets to interact on a more personal level with them.

The TCMH Healthcare Foundation awards scholarships every fall and spring to help students with academic expenses. Since 2007, the foundation has awarded $85,000 worth of scholarships to students seeking higher education.

“Our board of directors believes in the importance of education for area students that are pursuing training in healthcare-related fields,” said Jay Gentry, healthcare foundation director. “It is the hope of the foundation that these scholarships will assist in attracting and retaining qualified residents to work in the local healthcare fields.”

Reed-Davidson got married in July 2016. She met her spouse at MSSU. In her free-time, Reed-Davidson and her husband like to hike, camp and watch movies.

When she graduates, she hopes to work in a hospital somewhere in Missouri.

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