Alumna Pilar Murphy, Pharm.D., Returns to College of Pharmacy as Associate Professor

By Karmen Robinson

Murphy returns to UAMS after most recently serving as an associate professor at Samford University McWhorter School of Pharmacy since 2012.

“I’m very excited. Coming back to UAMS and coming back home was always the goal for me,” said the North Little Rock native.

With a bachelor’s in environmental science from the University of Oklahoma, Murphy taught middle school and high school science for six years before receiving her doctorate in pharmacy from UAMS in 2010.

With her background in secondary education, Murphy could see herself teaching at a higher level, and she noted the relationships she built with her UAMS peers and professors are what made her want to return.

“I always felt comfortable and at home at UAMS. I was a nontraditional student, and there were faculty members who always saw something in me and supported me. I’m thrilled to have the opportunity to come back and work alongside them,” she said.

After graduating, Murphy completed a pharmacy practice residency at Samford University McWhorter School of Pharmacy. A year later, she completed an additional residency in psychiatric pharmacotherapy at the Veteran’s Administration Medical Center in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. She then returned to Samford where she later became an associate professor.

With her passion for students and helping others, she taught didactic and experiential courses for nearly a decade and served as co-advisor for the Student National Pharmaceutical Association.

“I want to be a mentor to other young pharmacists, helping them develop their career paths but also being open to new ones,” said Murphy.

“I also want to be an example to other minority students to let them know that pharmacy is a career path that’s open to them. I think when you see somebody who looks like you achieving that goal, it makes a huge difference.”

Murphy continued her training as a faculty fellow for the Samford University Mann Center for Ethics and Leadership, later earning a master’s in public health from the university as well.

In addition to teaching at the UAMS College of Pharmacy, Murphy will maintain her clinical practice at the Family Medical Center, working with day-to-day teams and patients at the primary care clinic.