Dr. Tonya F. Pearson

Introductory Pharmacy Practice Experience (IPPE) Director

Clinical Assistant Professor

Dr Tonya PearsonEducation

  • Pharm.D., Pharmacy, Mercer University Southern School of Pharmacy
  • ASHP Accredited Residency in Pharmacy Practice, Piedmont Hospital and Mercer University Southern School of Pharmacy
  • Board Certified Pharmacotherapy Specialist


  • PHA 573 Advanced Law

Professional Involvement

Teaching Philosophy

Through years of experience as a clinical pharmacist in a community hospital practice setting and as a pharmacy preceptor to IPPE and APPE students, I have benefitted from and contributed to the teaching of others. My teaching philosophy is grounded in five central concepts – compassion, courage, collaboration, coachability, and consistency – that are foundational in the development of well-rounded and competent future pharmacists, and I have addressed each in turn below.

Be Compassionate. Great pharmacists care about their patients. Understanding the pharmacology and therapeutics of medication management is just the beginning. It is crucial that students be able to take that knowledge and connect it in a case-based format that allows students to begin to “know” their patients and apply their didactic knowledge in a way that makes a positive difference in the lives of their patients.  

Be Courageous. Working in a community hospital during the COVID-19 pandemic is unlike any professional challenge I have faced in my decades as a pharmacist. The few students that we had on-site during the COVID-19 pandemic appeared to thrive in our “all hands on deck” environment. They observed courageous, dedicated healthcare professionals who kept the patient at the center. Subsequently, they learned experientially, the importance of being courageous in “asking clarifying questions” and in striving to get the best answer possible or in developing the best process to meet our real-time patient care needs.

Be Collaborative. Team-based practice is essential in providing safe, quality, medical care. Great pharmacists recognize their interdependence with other pharmacists, pharmacy technicians, and other healthcare professionals on the interprofessional team. Helping students to understand that they are important contributors to this team motivates them to be willing to invest their best efforts with purpose and enthusiasm.

Be Coachable. I encourage students to learn to recognize what they “know” and what they “don’t know” and to realize that it is a gift when their preceptor says to them, “Why don’t you go look it up and get back to me.” It is an opportunity to learn and to be coached, and the outcome is generally a thoughtful, intelligent response that prepares them for providing safe and effective patient-centered care in the future.

Be Consistent. The fundamentals of pharmacy practice are essential in providing sound medication management. The basics (i.e., hand hygiene, good sterile technique, appropriate handling of hazardous medications, solid compounding skills, accurate calculations, understanding a medication’s mechanism of action, pharmacokinetics, dose, monitoring, and adverse effects) are the foundation of all that we do in pharmacy practice. Consistent and excellent practice of the basics, no exceptions, is what makes for growth as solid, dependable pharmacists.

In transitioning from a hospital-based practice setting to an academic teaching environment, my goal is to ground students in these fundamentals which will serve them well, no matter what pharmacy practice environment they choose. I will incorporate these fundamentals using various teaching methods, including case studies, group work (e.g.,team-based learning), interactive lectures, layered learning, and simulation. By engaging them in different styles of active learning, I hope to prepare them for interdisciplinary team-based practice in caring for their patients. As a devout life-long learner, I can think of no better way to give back to our amazing profession than by investing in this next generation of pharmacists.

Selected Publications

  • PubMed
  • Moehring RW, Yarrington ME, Warren BG, Lokhnygmin Y, Atkinson E, BankstonA, Collucio J, David MZ, Davis AE, Davis J, Dionne B, Dyer AP, Jones TM, Klompas M, Kubiak DW, Marsalis J, Omorogbe J, Orajaka P, Parish A, Parker T, Pearson JC, Pearson TF, Sarubbi C, Shaw C, Spivey J, Wolf R, Wrenn RH, Dodds Ashley ES, Anderson DJ, The CDC Prevention Epicenters Program.Evaluation of an opt–out protocol for antibiotic de–escalation in patients with suspected sepsis: a multicenter randomized controlled trial. Clin Infect Dis. 2023;76(3):433-442.
  • Pearson TF, Pittman DC, Longley JM, Grapes ZT, Mullis SR, Vigliotti DJ. Factors Associate with preventable adverse drug reactions. Am J Hosp Pharm. 1994;51(18):2268-2272.

Contact Dr. Pearson