College of Pharmacy Class of 2018 Andrea Zuloaga

Ambulatory care has been calling Andrea Zuloaga ’18 patiently for a long time, waiting for her to hear it ring true.

Before pharmacy school, an American Pharmacists Association survey matched her with ambulatory care almost perfectly. But she lost interest when she found out “ambulatory” didn’t mean working out of an ambulance. Convinced she was destined for acute care, she packed her rotations accordingly and ignored the survey that kept matching her with ambulatory every year.

Then she did a rotation at the Community-Based Outpatient Clinic at Ralph H. Johnson VA in Charleston.

“It completely changed my view on everything!  It was finally the moment where I knew exactly where my niche was. I was able to change my November rotation to another ambulatory care setting just to solidify that’s what I wanted, and again it was one of the best rotations I had. So I came full circle and instead of matching with ambulatory care on the APhA survey, I matched with my #1 residency program – the ambulatory care PGY1 at the Madison VA in Wisconsin!”

Going from South Carolina to Wisconsin should be no problem for the well-traveled Zuloaga, a Pittsburgh native who lived in Chile for six month after high school.

Pre-Pharmacy: University of Pittsburgh for microbiology

Interest in Pharmacy: “During pharmacy school I ended up falling in love with ambulatory care because it allowed for the opportunity to develop relationships with patients, which is why I wanted to go into healthcare in the first place. I want to be able to give patients the tools they need to improve their health and empower them to want to take care of their health.”

Career expectations: “I want to specialize in ambulatory care, I’m thinking the mental health track, and continue on to a PGY2 in psychiatric pharmacy. I also want to be largely involved in outreach organizations and continue going on international medical mission trips.”