Alumni Spotlight – From Teacher to Trailblazer: Dr. Debbie Beckstrom’s Journey in Pharmacy

June 1, 2024 By Carson Fry

Featured in the Summer 2024 print edition of spectRUm magazine.

Dr. Debbie Beckstrom, a distinguished alumna of Roseman University’s College of Pharmacy class of 2016, has had an inspiring career path that took her from a high school science classroom to the forefront of pharmacy informatics at Intermountain Health.

Discovering Pharmacy: A Life-Changing Encounter

Dr. Beckstrom’s journey into pharmacy began with a personal health struggle. “I was seeing my doctor monthly to every other month for sinus infections,” she said. One day, while filling an antibiotic prescription, a pharmacist suggested she try a neti pot. This simple advice changed her life—Debbie hasn’t had a sinus infection since. This pivotal moment sparked her interest in pharmacy, setting her on a new career path.

From the Classroom to Roseman University

Before embarking on her pharmacy career, Dr. Beckstrom was a high school science teacher at Alpine School District in Utah. She earned her Bachelor of Science degree from Brigham Young University (BYU). The transition from teaching to pharmacy wasn’t easy, especially with two young daughters and the prospect of a rigorous PharmD program. However, with support from her husband, who she referred to as her biggest cheerleader, Dr. Beckstrom pursued her dream, showing her daughters that they can achieve anything they set their minds to.

Dr. Beckstrom believes having her daughters watch her struggle through pharmacy school and now living her “dream job” has been deeply impactful for them. “It shows them that even if you make one decision, you can totally shift gears and go a different way, and it’s okay,” she said.

Memorable Moments at Roseman University

Dr. Beckstrom’s time at Roseman University was filled with growth and discovery. “Roseman truly opened my eyes to all the opportunities that I would have as a pharmacist,” she says. One standout experience was her involvement in research, thanks to her friend and classmate Megan Corsi (now Dr. Megan Park), who introduced her to the research domain and opened her eyes to how research can directly impact patient outcomes. “Ultimately, that’s why I wanted to be a pharmacist: to help patients and improve patient outcomes,” she said.

A Passion for Pediatrics

Dr. Beckstrom’s passion for pediatric pharmacy was ignited during a rotation at Primary Children’s Hospital. Working with immunocompromised children undergoing chemotherapy was a powerful experience. “You see these patients as fragile, but they stand up to their health challenges with incredible strength,” she said. This experience cemented her desire to help improve patient outcomes through research and specialized care.

“Roseman truly opened my eyes to all the opportunities that I would have as a pharmacist.”

Breaking Barriers

In an impressive feat, Dr. Beckstrom secured a position in the Neo- Natal Intensive Care Unit at Intermountain Medical Center without completing a residency—a testament to her exceptional skills and reputation. While interning at American Fork Hospital, she helped develop a patient engagement program that significantly improved patient interaction scores. This initiative caught the attention of a manager at Intermountain, leading to her eventual hiring. “It was meant to be,” said Dr. Beckstrom.

Innovating in Pharmacy Informatics

Today, Dr. Beckstrom is part of the digital technology services (DTS) team at Intermountain Health, where she contributes to the pharmacy portion of the electronic medical records system. Encouraged by Dr. Megan Park, Dr. Beckstrom earned her informatics certification from the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists. She quickly recognized the difference an effective electronic health record build could make for frontline healthcare workers. In January 2023, she transitioned to the DTS team and has thrived in her role ever since.

Dr. Beckstrom’s journey from BYU, to high school science teacher, to Roseman University’s College of Pharmacy, and now to her successful career at Intermountain Healthcare, is a testament to her dedication, passion, and professional excellence. Her story serves as an inspiration to current and future PharmD students, illustrating the impact that a committed and compassionate pharmacist can have on patient care and the healthcare system. Dr. Beckstrom’s legacy is one of continuous learning, impactful contributions, and dedication to the field of pharmacy.

Share your Story!

Are you a Roseman University alum with a story to share about your life after graduating? If so, email to tell us about it. You may be featured in a future print issue or digital edition of spectRUm.