Humans of the U: Alan Abbinanti

“Growing up, I was taught that if I can help someone, it is my responsibility to do so. I learned that example from my father, who is my hero. His hard work and positive attitude have been a guiding light throughout my life. He studied medicine at the University of Utah, and after finishing his residency he joined the Army. Growing up in a military family, it has always felt like responsibility and a duty to serve and to give back to your country. I joined the Army in 2007, partly following in my father’s footsteps but also wanting to give back to my country.

One reason I chose the U’s College of Pharmacy program was that it is one of the top programs in the nation. They have a lot of interdisciplinary curriculums where the pharmacy students, the medical students and the nursing students all work together to help with medical team building so that after you graduate, you’re aware of the different professions and roles in the medical fields. That was important to me because I strongly believe in teamwork. It’s all about a team. No one person can do it all. A pharmacist can’t do it all. Physicians can’t do it all. We need each other. It’s extremely important to me to have that type of cooperative learning environment.

In the military, how your team functioned and your ability to cooperate was literally a matter of life or death. They often say that teamwork is important in health care. I don’t think that they take it to the same extreme as they do in the military, but in reality, it is a matter of life or death. Whether your patient lives or dies truly does depend on your team’s ability to work together. That mentality translates well from my time in the military into my time going forward into health care and in serving my patients. I think it’s important that we all serve each other, as a world and as a community. No matter how small or large our target group is, we can all elevate it and make it better.”

—Alan Abbinanti, student, Doctor of Pharmacy student and the 2019 Student Veteran of the Year 

We’ll be featuring Humans of the U and sharing their stories throughout the year with the university community. If you know someone with a compelling story, let us know at ThisWeek@utah.edu.