University of South Florida, St. Petersburg, B.S. in Biology, concentration in Biomedical Sciences; University of South Florida, Tampa, Master of Medical Science (MMSc), concentration in Anatomy
“ The education and leadership experiences I’ve gained since attending Midwestern University have been invaluable in my journey to becoming the provider I hope to become. ”Krystal Martinez
College of Pharmacy, Downers Grove, Class of 2025
What inspired you to pursue a healthcare career?
My family has been such a great influence on my interest in healthcare. Many of my extended and chosen family are members of the healthcare industry. My mother has been an ICU/CCU nurse for the last 30+ years and seeing her relentless work ethic while being exposed to her work environment throughout my life has been instrumental in my own career choices. My mom has always had a special empathetic nature that she carried into her role as a nurse and my passion for serving others is molded from seeing that firsthand.
How did your background and history factor into your career choice?
I have always felt that my calling was to support those in need and that I carried the same compassionate character as my mother. Healthcare allows me to utilize those qualities in a career path that I am passionate about. My mother was a model example of the type of healthcare worker I hoped to exemplify one day. All that we had growing up was a direct consequence of the hard work that my mom put into taking care of our family. As an immigrant from the Philippines, she taught me and my brother early on the significance of a strong work ethic, tenacity, and grit. I am the first person in my family line to be born in the United States and to pursue a doctorate degree. I owe my perseverance, the confidence instilled so heavily within me, and my desire to create a life and career I can truly be proud of — to her.
Why did you decide to attend Midwestern University?
My path to pharmacy was quite non-traditional. I didn’t always know that pharmacy was the right career for me. After applying to PA schools unsuccessfully, the opportunity to transition into the pharmacy program happened unexpectedly and it changed the course of my career seemingly overnight. It was not an easy decision but, in the end, I knew that it was the right one. The education and leadership experiences I’ve gained since attending Midwestern University have been invaluable in my journey to becoming the provider I hope to become. From my prospective candidate interview to attending my first lecture, Midwestern emphasized the importance of the student. The faculty care about your success. I didn’t feel like another number to their institution and that student-centered experience is what drove my decision to matriculate into Midwestern University’s pharmacy program.
What about a Midwestern University education do you want to carry forward in your career?
At Midwestern University, you are treated as an individual. An individual with unique learning needs who deserves the best options and resources for success. This is the same approach that I want to transfer into my career as a pharmacist. No patient is truly identical to another, and I believe creating a personalized treatment plan is the key to producing the most positive patient outcomes. I want my future patients to not only know that I care about their health and overall well-being, but to believe it.
Anything else you'd like to add?
I am a firm believer that everything happens as it should. Every choice, every decision we make, every risk we take is a part of our unique story and a part of what makes us who we are. I took a risk by deciding to change careers and join a pharmacy program across the country. But if someone were to ask me now if I had the opportunity to go back, would I change anything? My answer would be no. I am exactly where I am meant to be, and this is my story. One that I write with utmost gratitude as I continue to build a meaningful experience here at Midwestern University.
Krystal Martinez is a Class of 2025 student from the College of Pharmacy on the Downers Grove Campus.