PharmD student’s career path in medication management

Matlock (blue suit) with students and faculty after his presentation.

Derek Matlock, a specialist at the University of Arizona Medication Management Center, returned to the College of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences (CPPS) to share insights with student pharmacists about his career path in medication management.

Since graduating CPPS in 2017, Matlock now works as a Medication Management Specialist at SinfoniaRx with the University of Arizona Medication Management Center which serves roughly 8 million Medicare patients. As a specialist, Matlock helps patients and caregivers to comprehensively manage medications to reduce the risk of an adverse drug event, overdosing or underdosing, or other important factors that might limit a patient’s adherence to a plan.

“I get to help anywhere from 30-100 patients on a daily basis,” explained Matlock. “At the end of the day, someone’s going to need you.”

Medication Management Specialists work directly with patients for medication reviews and to resolve drug therapy problems. They guide patients through care in emergency situations and ensure health care plans are serving patients’ needs.

According to Matlock, one of the most common situations he faces in his profession is when patients have trouble following their medication plan.

“In one instance, a patient was having trouble adhering to their medications, simply because they were dyslexic and were unable to read the medication instructions,” said Matlock. In such instances, patients can be prescribed pre-measured blister packs of medications, making it easier for them to follow their care plan.

“I work with the patients and they are a part of the team in taking care of their health, so they should also be involved in their health care,” said Matlock.

Matlock’s presentation was part of the Preparing for Change Career Seminar Series, which the college coordinates to introduce student pharmacists to career opportunities and leaders in the pharmacy profession.

The seminars are funded through the WSU CPPS Dean’s Fund for Excellence and our community partner, the Spokane Teachers Credit Union. For information on participating in the Career Seminar Series, or to contribute to the Dean’s Fund for Excellence to help expose WSU student pharmacists to thought-leaders and industry innovators, contact the CPPS advancement office at or 509-358-7651.