Corey Fowler, Pharm.D., BCPPS, is a critical care clinical pharmacist at Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital in St. Petersburg, Florida. He was originally influenced to work in the world of pharmacy by family members who have worked in retail pharmacies for decades. He talks about his day-to-day at the hospital, his journey as a member of the LGBTQ+ community, and what the LGBTQ+ community means to him.
Why did you choose this career?
I wanted to take a different path than my family and decided to pursue clinical pharmacy to specialize in pediatrics. As a clinical pharmacist, I can immediately impact a patient’s care as I am an integral part of the medical team. I am constantly solving puzzles and refining my critical thinking skills as there are no clear-cut answers in pediatrics. I participate in guideline and policy development, which also impacts patient care globally at the hospital. Also, as a germaphobe, this is one of the few career paths in health care where I could take a “hands-off” approach to patient care.
What is a typical day like for you at Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital?
I participate in rounds with the pediatric intensive care unit (PICU) medical team during the week. Before going to rounds, I review medications for appropriateness and look for ways to optimize medications based on a patient’s needs. I answer drug-related questions from providers and nurses and verify medication orders for accuracy and appropriateness throughout my day. As a critical care clinical pharmacist, I am responsible for responding to all medical emergencies during my shift. After rounds, I work on various projects including medication use evaluations, policy reviews, pharmacy optimization projects, and creating and providing education to health care providers.
What's something people might not know about you?
I serve as a pharmacist on Disaster Medical Assistance Team (DMAT) FL-3 for the National Disaster Medical System (NDMS). NDMS teams are trained groups of professionals who help devastated communities usually following a natural disaster. Most recently, I was deployed for COVID-19 relief in Tennessee.
Can you describe your journey as a member of the LGBTQ+ community?
I am blessed to have an incredibly supportive family; however, my journey is strongly influenced by my southern, Christian background. I was initially ashamed and fearful due to the public’s perception of the LGBTQ+ community in South Carolina. Therefore, I waited to come out until my first years of college. My surroundings inevitably affected my ability to experience the LGBTQ+ community. Over the last decade, the LGBTQ+ community has had major triumphs and the perception of our community is shifting. With these changes and after moving to St. Petersburg, I have been able to experience the LGBTQ+ community more openly and I am constantly learning about our community and its history. I am so thankful to live in a city where I can be unapologetically myself and work at an institution that celebrates the LGBTQ+ community.
What advice do you have for the LGBTQ+ community and allies?
Pride Month is our time to celebrate the experiences and triumphs of the LGBTQ+ community and our allies. All LGBTQ+ members have extremely different experiences and even now, members struggle with gaining acceptance from their family, friends, peers and themselves. Society’s perception of the LGBTQ+ community is continuing to change and acceptance is growing due to the continued visibility and advocacy efforts of our members. Remember to continue advocating and celebrating the triumphs of our community and allies!