Exchange program with Lebanese American University gives PharmD grad insight into pharmacy practices abroad

Fatme Chehab at the LAU Medical Center
Fatme Chehab at the LAU Medical Center in Beirut

New grad Fatme Chehab’s interest in pharmacy has propelled her to pursue opportunities both close to home and on other continents, with the U.S. being on one of those “other continents.”

Chehab, who received her doctor of pharmacy (PharmD) degree from Wayne State’s Eugene Applebaum College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences in May, is originally from Lebanon, but grew up in West Africa (Guinea). While completing her PharmD studies, Chehab learned about a new exchange program between the college and Lebanese American University (LAU) School of Pharmacy, giving students from both institutions the opportunity to complete a required advanced pharmacy practice experience abroad.

Chehab became the first WSU student to participate in the year-old program. Earlier this year, Maria Zmeter and Sarah Kanj, both professional year-four students in LAU’s PharmD program, attended WSU while focusing their experiences on internal medicine and ambulatory care, respectively.

In exchange, Chehab spent six weeks in Beirut working in the cardiology department at the LAU Medical Center-Rizk Hospital, learning how her preferred field of pharmacology is practiced abroad.

“I was French educated, which was very helpful as in Lebanon three languages – Arabic, French and English – are used during practice,” she says. “For me, I love cardiology, and I saw myself in this. Definitely it was a rewarding experience. It’s always good to try different things, different settings, different environments, and different ways of practice.”

Chehab entered the field of pharmacy in 2011, completing the pharmacy technician program at Henry Ford College in 2012. Soon after, she landed a job as a technician at the Harper Hospital inpatient pharmacy at the Detroit Medical Center.

“After I started practicing as a pharmacy technician, my interest in pharmacy grew more and more,” said Chehab.

Chehab transferred to Wayne State in 2014 and started the doctor of pharmacy program in 2015, earning a bachelor’s in health and pharmaceutical sciences in 2017. The next year, she began her longitudinal advanced pharmacy practice at William Beaumont Hospital-Royal Oak and then completed her advanced pharmacy practice community rotation at a Meijer pharmacy this spring before graduating with her PharmD.

Her long-term career goals include working in a hospital setting, although she says the community setting is “very interesting.” She hopes to find a work-life balance that allows her to serve patients while leaving her time to remain involved in her Dearborn community.

The Office of International Programs leads Wayne State’s global engagement by creating opportunities that foster international education and research, facilitate the exchange of individuals and ideas that promote global competencies and citizenship, and provide resources that support the expansion of the university’s global agenda. Follow us @WayneOIP.

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