AMARILLO, Texas (KAMR/KCIT) — It was an exciting day for the Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center Jerry H. Hodge School of Pharmacy class of 2022, as they received their diplomas to become pharmacists.

127 students graduated from the School of Pharmacy at Hodgetown Saturday, with some entering the pharmacy field right away while others will continue their education.

Graduates of the class of 2022 were from all four Texas Tech University Health Science Center Campuses in Amarillo, Lubbock, Dallas, and Abilene.

One of those continuing their education is Aaron Woodard, who will be going to the Texas Tech School of Medicine to hopeful practice family medicine.

He said he wants to do this to fulfill a shortage of family medicine physicists in West Texas.

“I really enjoy a personal relationship with people and I found family medicine and they call it birth to grave, treating patients all the way from pediatrics to geriatrics and creating those relationships,” said Woodard.

Another graduate in the class of 2022 was Madeline Scarbrough, who graduated with the highest GPA in the class and was awarded the Bowl of Hygieia which is awarded for leadership outside the classroom.

Scarbrough said pharmacy has been a passion for her since high school.

“I got involved in the pharmacy in my hometown and I loved it and most importantly I had a family member that with Alzheimer’s and we had to deal with a lot of medication issues and just seeing how hands-on the pharmacist was for us, I wanted to do that for someone else,” said Scarbrough.

Scarbrough has matched at UT Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas for a PGY1 pharmacy residency and hopes to one day specialize in critical care.

Both Woodard and Scarbrough talked about how the pandemic helped shape them moving forward in the medical field.

“Ultimately, it’s going to make us better practitioners being through these situations and having to adapt and overcome,” said Woodard.

“I think it made our class really resilient, which we can carry over into our careers. I think, even though we are getting back to normal, I think it opened the door for a lot of health care ideas that can carry forward post-pandemic,” said Scarbrough.

According to the School of Pharmacy, there are more than 100 career pathways that pharmacists can pursue.