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Programs training a new generation of pharmacists - Nigeria

Programs training a new generation of pharmacists


Richie Uba knows what it’s like when people don’t have access to medications. Growing up in Nigeria, he saw it firsthand when his grandmother died because she couldn’t get insulin. That personal loss inspired Uba to pursue a profession in pharmacy that eventually led him to Bristol Myers Squibb.


Uba began his BMS journey through the company’s Pharmaceutical Industry Residency Program at Florida A&M University in Tallahassee from June 2019 to May 2021. 

Both the company and the BMS Foundation offer programs that give PharmD residents the opportunity to gain significant hands-on experience in the industry. They work shoulder to shoulder with employees, who take the time to mentor residents. It’s an invaluable learning experience where residents eagerly soak up everything they can as they prepare for their career.

Uba spent his first year as a clinical resident within the Memorial Healthcare System in Hollywood, Florida, where he functioned as a clinical pharmacist, going on rounds with doctors and other members of the healthcare team.

He spent the second year with the Medical Capabilities Team in the BMS office in Princeton Pike, New Jersey. Uba graduated and until recently, worked as a clinical scientist at BMS.



I had the opportunity to work for a company where I'm observing and learning, while contributing immensely to improve availability of medicines, by providing accurate clinical data through clinical research.”


Richie Uba, Graduate, BMS Pharmaceutical Industry Residency Program,
Florida A&M University



Taking his own path into the medical field

That’s been the same experience for Alejandro Nava, the 2022-2023 Public Health Resident, who completed the program on June 30.

The 12-month Public Health Residency program focuses on improving health outcomes for vulnerable communities and reducing health disparities. It is a partnership between the BMS Foundation and the Rutgers Institute for Pharmaceutical Industry Fellowships Program of the Ernest Mario School of Pharmacy.

Nava spent the first six months of the year working in sub-Saharan Africa to help build capacity and train partner organizations. At the Senkatana Clinic, he helped launch the first oncology center in Lesotho. “It was a once-in-a-lifetime experience,” he said.

Now that he’s returned to the United States, he’s handling a variety of duties at the BMS Foundation, including developing grant partnerships and working on evaluations of the funded projects.

Like Uba, Nava’s reason to go into the medical field was personal. Nava’s father was a doctor in Mexico, but he didn’t have the time or resources to go through medical school when the family moved to the United States. Instead, the elder Nava worked other jobs to support his family. 

Alejandro Nava was at a crossroads when choosing between becoming a physician or a pharmacist. Ultimately, he wanted to pave his own path as a doctor of pharmacy. Thanks to his experiences in the Public Health Residency program, he knows he made the right choice. And he still gets to connect with patients, just like his father did.

Read more about Alejandro’s journey