Years Teaching at Midwestern University:
Since 2010 (I was awarded full professor with tenure in 2022!)
- health equity
- cultural care
- cardiovascular disease
“ As the scope of practice for pharmacists continues to expand in healthcare, I want my students to always feel empowered to serve as agents of change and to practice cultural humility. ”Sally Arif
Pharm.D., BCPS, BCCP, Professor, Pharmacy Practice, College of Pharmacy, Downers Grove
How do you engage students in the learning process?
I believe that students must see themselves, the people, and the things that they value in the content they are learning in order to deeply engage in their education. I strive to always be a culturally responsive educator who sees the diversity my students bring to the classroom as an asset to the learning process. When I can cultivate an environment of inclusivity and belonging for each student, I know they can best achieve their fullest potential.
What do you hope students learn from your classes?
Through my classes, I hope students understand the importance of cultural care by gaining self-awareness, cultural sensitivity, cultural adaptability, and respect for others. By introducing students to concepts of health disparities, social determinants of health, health belief models, health literacy, and constructs of cultural competency, they can think about healthcare through a patient’s eyes. My goal is that all of my students are inspired to honor their responsibility to advocate on behalf of their patients and know how to make necessary adaptations to healthcare delivery to promote equitable health for all.
What is the most rewarding part of being a member of the Midwestern University faculty?
I find being an educator at Midwestern University rewarding because it affords me many opportunities to be innovative in my teaching so I can achieve my goal of encouraging and motivating a diverse body of students to reach their educational goals as healthcare professionals.
What lessons would you like students to take with them in their professional careers?
As the scope of practice for pharmacists continues to expand in healthcare, I want my students to always feel empowered to serve as agents of change and to practice cultural humility. I am confident that regardless of what practice setting Midwestern University students work in they have the knowledge and skills to be advocates for their patients and profession.
What about your profession should people know during Pharmacy Month?
Pharmacists play an integral role in addressing social determinants of health, the conditions in which people are born, live, work, and age, which can greatly affect patient health outcomes. As the most accessible healthcare provider in the community, pharmacists are often the first to recognize patients with limited health literacy, poor access to healthcare services, and limited social support which can contribute to health disparities, especially amongst marginalized patient populations. Pharmacists take an oath to use their knowledge and skills to assist in addressing barriers to optimal health in order to deliver quality and equitable patient care for all.
Sally Arif, Pharm.D., BCPS, BCCP, is a professor of Pharmacy Practice at Midwestern University’s College of Pharmacy, Downers Grove.