This summer 20 high school students were selected to participate in the school’s first Pharmacy Summer Program. The Pharmacy Summer Program is a three day residential precollege program that aims to provide underrepresented students in the health sciences the opportunity to explore and learn more about the practice of pharmacy.
The 2015 Pharmacy Summer Program cohort participated in a variety of activities that introduced them to the UW-Madison campus and pharmacy practice. Before the program, all of the students indicated some level of interest in the health sciences. Following completion of the program, almost all of the students had a much greater interest in pursuing pharmacy as a career. The program agenda included UW-Madison campus tours, informational sessions with current pharmacy students, tours of the St. Vincent de Paul charitable pharmacy, the UW Hospital central pharmacy, a virtual tour and informational session at the Veterans Affairs Hospital, compounding pharmacy lab activities and demonstrations, a pharmacotherapy lab demonstration focusing on asthma, and a pharmacy school admissions session.
“After speaking to this year’s cohort, the participants found the experience extremely worthwhile and informative,” said Susan Tran Degrand, Director of Outreach and Recruitment for the School of Pharmacy. After completing the program, a number of the students have a much greater interest in learning more, a greater interest in pursuing pharmacy as a career, and a deeper appreciation for pharmacy practice as a whole, she added. For those reasons, Degrand considers the first Pharmacy Summer Program a success.
In the future, the school hopes to expand the program by increasing the number of participants and extending the length of the program to expose students to a broader range of pharmacy practice settings.