Peyton Moon is First Honor Graduate for Pharm.D. Class of 2021

It’s one thing to have straight A’s all throughout elementary, middle, and high school.  It’s quite another to have a 4.0 GPA in undergraduate courses.  But to earn a Doctor of Pharmacy with a 4.0 GPA, too? Unheard of.

Yet, that’s exactly what PharmD Class of 2021 graduate Peyton Moon has done.  This outstanding accomplishment earned her the title of “First Honor Graduate” for the Class of 2021, and she was recognized at the Doctor of Pharmacy Commencement Exercise on May 1 as the first student to be hooded.

The Marietta native, who now calls Jefferson, Ga. her home, shared a little about her journey, her mentors, her accomplishments, and her time as a PharmDawg student in this exclusive cyber interview.

Describe your work ethic. How does someone get a 4.0 throughout their entire academic career, including Pharmacy School?

I was a straight A student in grade school, so it was really just the expectation that I set for myself.  I’ve also been very blessed to have a strong support system.

Why did you want to be a pharmacist?

I knew early on that I wanted to go to pharmacy school. I am a second generation PharmDawg – my mom, Selina Gore Moon, graduated from UGA CoP in 1992. She was a big inspiration for me pursuing pharmacy school. She has been an amazing support system, and it is so fun to share this phase of my life with her! She is the Director of Pharmacy at Cobb & Douglas Public Health.

Who were mentors for you while you were at the College of Pharmacy?

I can’t say enough good things about Drs. Susan Smith, Trisha Branan, and all of UGAC3 faculty members. So many of the opportunities that I had in pharmacy school were because of them. If I could give any advice to new pharmacy students, it would be to find mentors early on that are willing to invest in you.

Side Bar:  When asked to comment about Peyton’s accomplishments, Dr. Branan remarked, “It has been a joy and privilege to work with Peyton over these last four years. Her exceptional knowledge and abilities are only superseded by her dedication to her patients and drive to succeed. She will be an excellent pharmacist, and I can’t wait to see all of the exciting things her future holds.”  Dr. Smith added, “It has been a privilege to help mentor Peyton during the past three years and to see her grow in her clinical abilities, research endeavors, and professional service. She will be a compassionate and skilled pharmacist, and I am excited to watch her career unfold!

What was your favorite thing about Pharmacy School? What is your favorite memory?

My favorite thing about pharmacy school was the people who I met. I have made friendships that I know will last a lifetime, and I am so grateful for them! My favorite memory from pharmacy school was attending the ACCP Annual Meeting during my P3 year. It was my first time in New York City and first time presenting a poster in person. I am so glad that I got to go that year since all meetings have been virtual since then due to COVID.

What were some of your accomplishments while you were in Pharmacy School? What were you involved in?

I am published as first author in a peer-reviewed journal, and I have made six national and one state poster presentations. Other awards I received included MEDISCA Regional Compounding Competition Runner-Up; UGA Presidential Honor Roll; UGA Honors Program; Dione Mavis Johnston Scholarship of Excellence Recipient; Michelle E. Turner Pharm.D. Memorial Scholarship; Kenneth and Grace L. Waters Scholarship; and UGA Charter Scholarship.

Some of the organizations I was involved in at the College of Pharmacy included APhA-ASP, SCCP, Rho Chi, ACCP, ASHP, AACP, GSHP, and GPhA.

What were challenges/obstacles that you had to overcome?

Balancing work and academics throughout pharmacy school was very challenging, but I am so glad that I did it. I think I really benefited from 1) learning time management and 2) applying what I learned in the classroom to actual pharmacy practice. I worked at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta-Scottish Rite for three years during pharmacy school and learned so much!

What are your futures goals/aspirations? 

I matched for PGY1 residency at Northeast Georgia Medical Center and will start there in late June! I really enjoy emergency medicine and critical care and hope to practice in one of those areas after residency.

It’s hard to believe that you may have even a spare minute!  What are your favorite past times? 

I like to bake, and I have a dog that I got right before pharmacy school. Her name is Daisy, and I adore her!

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