Rebel women in pharmacy

Roby Hill
March 18, 2021

“Our profession needs rebels.”

So speaks Cynthia Feldman, owner of Sweetgrass Pharmacy and Compounding and one of the alumnae featured in the MUSC College of Pharmacy’s social media celebration of Women’s History Month. The Facebook and Instagram series #RebelWomenWednesday highlights women pharmacists who have pushed the boundaries and raised the bar.

“I’m proud that our college attracts – and hopefully inspires – the kind of people who see the status quo as starting point,” said Philip Hall, dean of the MUSC College of Pharmacy.

As far back as 1958, when Margaret Blair Bobo was the first woman to enroll in the inaugural MUSC pharmacy residency program, the women of MUSC pharmacy have been barrier-breakers.

“To be a rebel, you must first act like a rebel,” Feldman said. “Be strong. Be confident. Be courageous. Everything else will fall into place.”

Along with Feldman, the social media series features women like Jean Nappi, Deborah Stier Carson, Wendy Bullington, Jennifer MacDonald, Kathy Chessman, Carolyn Magee Bell, and others.

Recently retired from MUSC as professor of clinical pharmacy and outcomes science, Nappi was the first woman to be president of the American College of Clinical Pharmacy (ACCP) and the first woman to chair the Section of Teachers’ of Pharmacy Practice in the American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy (AACP).

“It’s good to listen to others, but it is equally important to be heard, especially if you have a different point of view,” Nappi said. “Women and minorities often see things from a different perspective. In order for the profession to grow, as many ideas as possible need to come to the surface and be tried.”

Another recent retiree, Deborah Stier Carson ’76 ’82, served 25 years on the faculty at MUSC. Her pioneering work in on-line learning/distance education paved the way for her second career, which was as associate program director for education of the South Carolina Area Health Education Consortium (SC AHEC). Now that she has retired from SC AHEC, she is enrolled at the College of Charleston studying web/graphic design so a third career may be on the way.

“This past year has also demonstrated an astonishing need for critical thinking skills and education regarding public health,” she said. “Rebels need to canvas the landscape we currently find ourselves in and figure out, not only where opportunities lie, but what our unique skills and mindset can contribute. Then make some noise.” 

rebel women magee bell and bullington

Rebel Yells

Our profession needs rebels (men or women) to fight PBM abuse, advocate for provider status so that we can practice at the top of our license, provide input for the revision of our Practice Act, and ultimately care for patients.   Success will not come from staying in our comfort zone. – Cynthia Feldman

There are so many different paths in pharmacy one can take... never be afraid to carve out a new one. – Wendy Bullington

There are a lot of opportunities in pharmacy to be a rebel if you look for them. Pharmacists can have a huge impact on the overall health of Americans if we continue to push to be able to use our clinical skills in patient care. – Kathy Chessman

Challenging the status quo is how our profession continues to advance! Ask questions! Advocate for your patients! Suggest new ideas! We need to continue to push our profession forward for the next generation of pharmacists. – Carolyn Magee Bell

For more information about these rebel women and more, visit the MUSC College of Pharmacy Facebook and Instagram pages.

About the Author

Roby Hill

Keywords: College News, Alumni News