"Be a forever learner ... The more you can be exposed to other cultures, the better."
Alumnus Lewis McKelvey (1984 B.S. pharmacy, 2000 Pharm.D.) is always on the move. From driving his motorcycle across the country to his work as president of McKelvey - Drummond Pharmacy Consultants, he always has something in the works. His advice to future pharmacy professionals: "Get all the experiences you can."
Tell us about what you do:
My consulting business helps develop business plans for our non-dispensing drug outlets, surgery centers and specialty clinics throughout South Carolina.
How did you originally get interested in your field?
My high school chemistry teacher connected me with the faculty at Erskine College, where I received my undergraduate degree in Chemistry in 1981. During a senior seminar, Dean Farid Sadik came to speak about the pharmacy field and I decided that was my next step. All it took was that one conversation and I was sold.
What class do you remember most from pharmacy school?
Although I loved Dr. Robert Beamer’s biochemistry classes because of my love of chemistry, I was most impacted by Dr. James Plaxco's lab experiences.
What was your first job in pharmacy?
After meeting pharmacist Fred Long at a Kappa Psi event, I later became his intern at Revco on Garners Ferry Rd. It was my first pharmacy job and the opportunity to apply my classroom knowledge to actual patient situations was priceless.
What do you do to relax?
I love solitude and traveling. Cross-country motorcycle trips have become routine after a 12,000 mile to Prudhoe Bay in Alaska back in 2018. I also love and support UofSC athletics. I’ve always got a few projects in the works.
What is top of your bucket list?
I hope to take a cruise that starts in Portugal and follows the west coast of Africa all the way down to the tip of South Africa. Fingers crossed this trip can happen in the next couple of years.
What is your advice for current students / future pharmacy professionals?
Be a forever learner. Get all the experiences you can out of college, especially if you have the chance to travel. The more you can be exposed to other cultures, the better. As a pharmacist you will meet so many people and the more you know, the better care you can provide.
What is your favorite memory from pharmacy school?
One of my favorite memories from pharmacy school was my time with Kappa Psi, where I met a lot of great people and learned the importance of being a caring and involved steward of our profession.