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ACCP Member Spotlight: Scott Smorra

Published on: Jan 5, 2021


Scott Smorra, Pharm.D., BCPS, is a clinical pharmacy specialist for investigational drug service/research at Providence Portland Medical Center. He received his Pharm.D. degree in 2003 from the University of Arizona and completed a PGY1 residency in pharmacy practice at Providence Health & Services in Portland, Oregon. He continued his profession at Providence Health & Services as a clinical pharmacist and then as a clinical specialist in internal medicine. In 2018, he transitioned into his current position.

Smorra is responsible for managing drug therapies for patients enrolled in phase I, II, and III clinical trials. His practice works with the National Cancer Institute and the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA) drug companies to provide patients with new immunotherapies for late-stage cancers, novel therapies for complicated neurologic conditions, and treatments for emerging infectious diseases (COVID-19). He approaches each day with excitement and enthusiasm to learn about how patients respond to a drug treatment provided by his team. “It’s very rewarding to see a new drug make it to market and to know that our pharmacy team helped contribute to the research that led to the FDA approval,” he states.

His career has largely been influenced by John E. Murphy, Pharm.D., FCCP, FASHP; Brian L. Erstad, Pharm.D., MCCM, FCCP, FASHP, BCPS; and Michael Katz, Pharm.D., all affiliated with the University of Arizona College of Pharmacy. When clinical pharmacy was just beginning to move into the mainstream, Murphy, Erstad, and Katz collectively encouraged Smorra to think like a clinician. The education and mentoring they provided during pharmacy school directly contributed to his ability to complete a PGY1 residency. Furthermore, he feels they contributed to his confidence and courage to practice as a clinical pharmacy specialist at a large, integrated health system.

Smorra is appreciative of his ACCP membership, which has allowed him to grow professionally through BCPS continuing education and stay up to date with a wide variety of clinical pharmacy topics through ACCP journals. He served as a poster mentor for resident posters during the 2018 ASHP Midyear Clinical Meeting in Anaheim, California, and continues to serve as a reviewer for ACCP’s CV review program for pharmacy students, residents, and new practitioners. In addition to pharmacy-related service, he volunteers for the Oregon Food Bank and Northwest Children’s Outreach.

On a personal level, Smorra cares deeply for his own family and enjoys slowing down and exploring the details of a picturesque view. He volunteers to help build and maintain hiking trails in Oregon and is an Oregon-based photographer who creates finely crafted landscape and nature imagery in the wilderness areas of the Pacific Northwest. His goal is not merely to document nature in a photo, but also to capture the beauty, emotions, and moods of nature. Through photography, he hopes to share some of his emotions while traveling through the wilderness. In fact, most people would be surprised to know that Smorra is an award-winning landscape and nature photographer ( His best advice is to “treat your patients like they are your own family.” This advice guides his own clinical practice and provides him with clarity when making complex clinical decisions.