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Brother and Sister Duo Pursue Their Dream of Pharmacology School

Kevin & Kelsey Zebarth
Pharmaceutical Medicine
St. Louis College of Pharmacy

Kevin and Kelsey Zebarth grew up surrounded by corn and soybeans on a farm in Melvin, Illinois – population 450. Kelsey wanted to be a singer; Kevin, a farmer.

Today, the brother and sister duo can be found pursuing intensive six-year courses of study at the St. Louis College of Pharmacy to become Pharm.D.’s: Doctors of Pharmacy.

It was a friend’s family friend mother, Cheryl Bond who suggested pharmacology pharmacy to Kelsey, the older of the siblings, when she was a junior in high school. The idea stuck, and Kelsey is now in her final (sixth) year of her pharmacology studies and is going through a series of nine, five-week on-site rotations for field experience. In May she will graduate, take her board exams, then receive her license.

It was Kelsey who inspired Kevin to also become a pharmacist as he visited his older sister in St. Louis. He is now in his third year at the same school.

Mentors have played a large role in Kelsey and Kevin’s academic pursuits. For Kelsey, it was two pharmacists from the Gibson Area Hospital that intensified her interests.

“Dave [Dawdy] and Greg [Beesley] took the time to really teach me – to show me the ropes,” reports Kelsey.

“For me, it was Scott Edgar from the Gibson Scott’s Family Pharmacy who really took me under his wing,” says Kevin. “He was up front in telling me it wouldn’t be easy, but also took the time to teach me – to show me what I needed to know hands-on.”

Because of this experience, Kelsey hopes to one day become a preceptor – a role that allows her to have students learning and studying under her just like she did with her mentors.

For both Kevin and Kelsey, pharmaceutical medicine the practice of pharmacy is just not about pills or giving prescriptions. To them, pharmacy is about helping the community, educating people, giving advice, offering help, and working as a part of a team.

“I see our role as serving as a vital link between patients and doctors,” says Kelsey. “We are a critical part of the health care team.”

“I enjoy my job a lot,” says Kevin of the pharmacy position he has while he finishes his studies and earns his license. “For me, this is not about money and it’s not just a job. This is about enjoying my work, giving back, and making a difference.”

“The Christie Foundation has been extremely helpful to us. A private, out-of-state college on the wages of a retired teacher and a farmer is challenging, but the Foundation has been there for us,” says Kelsey. “The Christie Foundation cares – they are not just a check in the mail, but people who care about us and the future of the medical profession.”

Both Zebarth children hope to return to their roots near Melvin to practice their future profession.