About Me

Career History

Following pharmacy school, she started her career as a pharmacist at a CVS pharmacy before moving to two other local pharmacies and then to her current role as a long-term care pharmacist.

Academic History and Educational Background

Gopika Barai attended primary school in her hometown of Westfield, New Jersey. She graduated from Union County Magnet School, a long-time top-ranked school in New Jersey that is currently second in the state. At the campus, Barai had access to a variety of advanced placement coursework and exams that prepared her for the hard work of pharmacy school. The magnet school accepts students via application, and the selection process is competitive with an acceptance rate of about 33%.

For college, she chose the University of the Sciences of Philadelphia Pharmacy School. The private university has since merged with Saint Joseph's University. At the time Barai attended, it offered an array of degrees in the field of pharmacy and other healthcare adjacent programs, and she had the distinction of attending the oldest school of pharmacy in the United States.

Professional Skills and Experience

A career in pharmacy is demanding. Regulations are precise. The rules are exacting, and there is no margin for error.

Early in her career, Gopika Barai was employed as a pharmacist at CVS. Working at a corporate, chain pharmacy means a commitment to patient care all day. There are rarely gaps in providing care, and the pharmacist juggles individual orders, manages pharmacy inventory, supervises pharmacy technicians, and provides other essential services, such as vaccinations. The job requires strong attention to detail, laser focus, and critical thinking. Alert pharmacists often need to advise patients of any conflict in medications, must provide essential warnings, and frequently share essential healthcare information or guidance regarding other products available over the counter in the pharmacy area. Barai managed these details carefully with the best interests of patients in mind at both CVS and her other pharmacy-based roles.

As a pharmacist, Barai was on the front lines during the various and ongoing waves of the COVID-19 pandemic. She also volunteered to provide coverage at an acute inpatient facility that struggled to find personnel during the worst days of the pandemic. An exemplary dedication to patients in need is a hallmark of her work.

Philanthropy and Charitable Involvement

Heart disease runs in Barai's family, so she donates regularly to the American Heart Association to support their mission of funding advanced research efforts and medical breakthroughs. She also volunteers with a number of charities, including the Salvation Army, Big Brothers Big Sisters, and Women's Rising, a New Jersey-based provider of services for women and families navigating the aftermath of experiencing domestic violence.

Accomplishments and Achievements

Gopika Barai's profession lends itself to socializing and mixing in professional circles through membership in a variety of work-related organizations. She is a member of the Indian Pharmacist Association as well as the American Pharmacist Association.

The Indian Pharmacist Association focuses on the betterment of the pharmacy profession in India and provides a platform for pharmacists to advocate on behalf of the profession and patients with the government and private sector businesses. The American Pharmacists Association serves as the primary advocacy group for the pharmacy profession in the United States. The group focuses on advocacy on behalf of pharmacists, provides career-based resources, and also strives to improve the lives and health of patients.

Personal Interests and Hobbies

Barai was born and raised in the U.S., but her Indian roots remain an important part of her daily life. In her spare time, she enjoys the poetry and cultural expression of Indian classical dance. Family time is also beloved. Both of her parents still live in Westfield, New Jersey, and she also spends time with a younger brother and sister.

She welcomed her first child, a daughter, in September 2021 after marrying in New Jersey in 2018. When she isn't spending time with her family, Barai engaged in her other favorite hobbies, such as reading, decorating, and fashion.


Gopika Barai Portfolio