Mark P. Walberg ’06, ’09, PharmD, PhD, CTH, associate professor of pharmacy practice, joined the Pacific faculty in 2009 and has served as the regional coordinator for the San Fernando Valley. This summer, Dr. Walberg will leave Pacific to pursue a career outside pharmacy education.

Although he is leaving academia, Dr. Walberg is a self-professed “academic at heart.” His time in academia has taught him to be patient and strategic, lessons he can apply to future endeavors. Reflecting on the past decade, what stands out to him are the collegial friendships he has formed with faculty members and preceptors. “Something I learned from ice hockey is you play the hardest against the people you respect the most,” said Dr. Walberg. “I have been blessed to work for and with great people.” One of the highlights of his time as a Pacific faculty member was being a part of the Medicare Part D Outreach Clinics led by Rajul A. Patel ’01, ’06, PharmD, PhD, professor of pharmacy practice.

Dr. Walberg earned his bachelor of science in biology and master of science in biology from University of California, Los Angeles. He earned his doctor of pharmacy and doctor of philosophy in pharmaceutical and chemical sciences from University of the Pacific. He also earned the Certificate of Knowledge in Travel Health from the International Society of Travel Medicine and has served the School as coordinator of the travel health elective track. Dr. Walberg is sought after for his expertise on immunizations and travel medicine.

His teaching style is to use relevant examples and humorous anecdotes to make the material memorable. Applying his experience as a clinician, he often gives real-world examples when explaining the application of specific drug therapies to future pharmacists.

Focus on doing a few things well. The depth of your knowledge in one focused area is just as important as the breadth or how many lines you have on your CV.

In all facets of his career, he places an emphasis on patient care. His message to future pharmacists is to “learn everything you can because it will be what allows you to do good for your patients when you graduate.” He said, “Stop worrying about scores, grades and your CV. Focus on doing a few things well. The depth of your knowledge in one focused area is just as important as the breadth or how many lines you have on your CV.”

Dr. Walberg shared his advice with current and future students. “Learn how you learn best,” he said. “I learn best by writing. […] Teaching information to someone else is also very helpful in the learning process.” He also emphasized the value of work experience. “I was given my first pharmacy job because I had work experience starting in high school,” Dr. Walberg said. He believes any type of work experiences can be used as an opportunity to practice professionalism and develop one’s work ethic.

His colleague Amber Miller, PharmD recently stepped into the role of regional coordinator for the San Fernando Valley. Dr. Walberg will continue on a part-time basis to assist the School with special projects.

By Kate M. O'Dell, PharmD, BCPS
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