Pharmacy professor teaches 5th graders about science for documentary
April 17, 2017
The School of Pharmacy was honored to be part of the film about science made by 5th graders with the Horizons program last summer. Dr. Kristie Willett, chair of the Department of BioMolecular Sciences, speaks to students around the five-minute mark. (Click the photo to watch the video.)
Alumni of the Year Winner: Alan McKay
April 11, 2017
The UM School of Pharmacy named Alan McKay (’80) its 2017 Distinguished Alumnus of the Year. McKay is the founding dean emeritus of the Shenandoah University Bernard J. Dunn School of Pharmacy.
March 9, 2017
Watch what Ole Miss Pharmacy has been up to in the March edition of The Dose.
Student Pharmacist Reacts to Hartman Lecture on Anti-Microbial Resistance
March 7, 2017
Ron Piervincenzi, CEO of U.S. Pharmacopeia, delivered the 2017 Hartman Lecture on “Scientific Stewardship in the Age of Drug Resistance” that covered the dangers of anti-microbial resistance. Sucheta Naidu, a student pharmacist at the University of Mississippi School of Pharmacy shared her reaction with The Dose.
Pharmacy Ph.D. Student Takes Second in 3MT Competition
January 18, 2017
OXFORD, Miss. – Ajinkya Bhagurkar, a doctoral candidate in the University of Mississippi School of Pharmacy’s Department of Pharmaceutics and Drug Delivery, won second place in the 2016 Three Minute Thesis competition hosted by the university.
The competition requires students to effectively communicate their thesis or dissertation research and its significance in a three-minute presentation. Over 80 students competed this year, and 18 competed in the final round.
“All the performances in the final round were excellent, and it was a really tough competition,” Bhagurkar said. “It was an achievement not just for me but for our entire school.”
A native of Nasik, India, Bhagurkar competed in the previous year’s competition, where he made it to the final round.
Bhagurkar’s dissertation topic that he presented in this year’s competition is his development of a nanostructured lipid carrier formulation designed to help people with wounds or burns manage their pain more efficiently.
Upon graduation, Bhagurkar said he hopes to further contribute to his field as a scientist in formulation research and development to address and improve patients’ issues.
Season’s Greetings Video from the School of Pharmacy
December 9, 2016
What to Consider when Choosing Rotation Sites
November 22, 2016
December is approaching, PY3s! Now is the time to begin choosing rotation sites for the next year. Lots of questions accompany this part of the pharmacy school career, and the process can be a bit daunting. University of Mississippi School of Pharmacy PY4 class vice president Leslie Davis, a St. Louis native and Mississippian going on seven years, uses her experience choosing rotations to address these questions below.
Tips for Choosing PY4 (APPE) Rotations:
Choosing your Advanced Pharmacy Practice Experience (APPE) rotations is one of the most exciting parts of your pharmacy school career. After working for the past three years in the classroom, your fourth year is your chance to put what you have learned into practice and further develop your clinical knowledge and skills. While choosing your APPE rotations is very exciting, it can be overwhelming. Different practice sites offer a wide variety of experiences, but you only have the opportunity to complete 10 rotations, so you should take your time in choosing them. Here are a few tips for choosing which rotations are right for you.
Use the rotation catalog
The rotation catalog provided by the school includes information about preceptors, including their teaching philosophy, their primary role at their practice site, organizations they are involved in and personal information, such as their hobbies. It also contains information preceptors provide about their rotation site, such as what a typical work week is like, what makes their site unique, any special requirements or assignments for students prior to their rotation and opportunities for inter-professional interactions at their site.
Choose a variety of experiences
Choose elective rotations in areas you are interested in pursuing as a career, as well as areas you may not be familiar with and want to learn more about. Your APPE rotations are the only time in your career when you will have the opportunity to have so many diverse experiences in a variety of practice settings. You never know, you may find that you really enjoy something you’d never considered as a career path before!
Consider your optimal rotation schedule
There are many factors to consider when thinking about your rotation schedule. These factors may be influenced by the path you plan on taking after graduation, whether that is finding a job in community pharmacy or applying for a residency. While you cannot hand-pick your rotation schedule, you should determine a general schedule you may want when ranking your choices in the E-value program.
- Choosing your “off month”: Beginning June 2017, you will have two “off months” during the year. Everyone has one off month in December, but you will be able to choose when to take the other off month. If you are interested in applying for a residency, scheduling February as an off month may be a good choice for focusing on residency interviews. Alternately, if you are looking for a job in community pharmacy, using your off month in the fall might be a better choice, as many retail pharmacies conduct interviews during the fall semester.
- Planning the order of your rotations: While you cannot build a perfect schedule, you can choose how to arrange your rotation choices in E-value. If you plan on applying for a residency, you might consider completing hospital rotations or specialized elective rotations in your area of interest earlier in the year to be better prepared when applying for residencies and interviewing with programs. If you plan to pursue community pharmacy, it might be best to complete a community rotation earlier in the year with a pharmacy you are interested in working for.
Remember some rotations require applications
Some popular elective rotations have limited availability, so the school uses a process called “Selective Tiered Optimization” to match rotation with students who have a particular interest in these practice sites. These rotations include critical care, pediatrics, leadership and advocacy, the state Board of Pharmacy and emergency medicine, among others. If you think you have a particular interest in any of these areas, I encourage you to apply! I applied for both pediatrics and leadership and advocacy, and I had a lot of great experiences in both of these rotations that I’m confident will help me succeed in my career.
Talk to your peers
The best way to learn what a rotation is like is to talk to other students who have completed the rotation and ask for their advice.
Remember your PY4 year is what you make it
How you spend your APPE rotations is completely up to you. While choosing rotations can be time-consuming and confusing, taking the time to find rotations that you will enjoy will help you make the most of your PY4 year. – Leslie Davis
Student Body Officers on Student Body Week 2016
October 24, 2016
The annual School of Pharmacy Student Body Week (October 24-28, 2016) consists of student organization-planned events meant to bring student pharmacists together to make connections with faculty and with each other. Study body president PY2 Regan Tyler and Vice-President PY2 Jenny Tran spoke with the School of Pharmacy about the week.
School of Pharmacy: What is Student Body Week and who is responsible for planning it?
Jenny Tran: UMSOP Student Body Week is a fun week filled with free food, events, and fundraisers sponsored by the student body and organizations for all classes (Pre-Pharms, EEs, PY1/2s) to hang out with each other and create friendships and bonds. I am responsible for coordinating all the events and projects and fundraisers.
SOP: What is the goal of Pharmacy Week?
Regan Tyler: The goal of Student Body Week is to bring students together through various events to get their minds off of school. A lot of times, people think that the most important part of pharmacy school is the academic side. However, it is just as important to make connections with fellow students and faculty. Our goal through next week as student body officers is to create fun events where those connections can happen.
SOP: What do you hope the experience of Student Body Week will be for students?
JT: I hope my classmates and peers in other classes interact with each other. Pharmacy school is more than just studying endless hours every day. The profession of pharmacy is built on communication, so I hope my classmates and peers have multiple opportunities to communicate and interact with each other to build long lasting relationships and friendships.
SOP: What part of Student Body Week are you most excited about?
RT: I’m really excited about our new event this year, bowling night! We rented out lanes at the bowling alley, and as soon as we put the sign-up sheet up for people, it was filled instantly! So I can’t wait to see everyone having fun outside of the pharmacy school on Thursday night!
University of Mississippi School of Pharmacy Student Body Week, October 24-28. All events in the Student Lounge unless otherwise noted.
7-9 a.m.: Pancakes with Dr. Gregory
12-1 p.m.: Chick-Fil-A
2 p.m.: Afternoon Snacks
6 p.m.: Movie Night in TCRC 1000
8-9:30 a.m.: Chick-Fil-A
11:30-1 p.m.: Chicken Spaghetti
7:30 p.m.: Phamily Pheud at Locals
8-9:30 a.m.: Breakfast
12-1 p.m.: Pizza
6-8 p.m.: Bowling Night at Oxford Commons
12:15-1 p.m.: Sticking up to Cancer Fundraiser
12:15-2 p.m.: Insomnia Cookies
ASHP-SSHP Makes Caretaking Integration PSA
October 16, 2016
The University of Mississippi School of Pharmacy chapter of American Society of Health-System Pharmacists Student Societies of Health-System Pharmacy (ASHP-SSHP) entered a video into the the Pharmacy Student Forum’s Practice Advancement Initiative (PAI) video competition. They answered the call for informal PSAs that advocate for the future of pharmacy practice with a video about the benefits of caretaking integration.
Great job, student pharmacists!
University of Mississippi School of Pharmacy ASHP-SSHP Caretaking Integration PSA
SOP Provides Flu Shots
September 12, 2016
APhA-ASP students pharmacists are partnering with nursing students on Operation Immunization to provide flu vaccines to the University. Vaccines are $35, and most insurance will cover them. Pencil in one of these dates and stay healthy this season!
Sep. 12, 5 p.m.: Grove Stage 1
Sep. 19, 5 p.m.: Grove Stage 1
Sep. 20, 1:30-5 p.m.: Residential College
Sep. 21, 1-5 p.m.: Residential College
Sep. 26, 1-5 p.m.: Lyceum
Sep. 28, 1-5 p.m.: Turner Center
Oct. 10, 1-5 p.m.: Law School
Oct. 17, 9 a.m.-4 p.m.: Student Union
Oct. 24, 9 a.m.-4 p.m.: Student Union
Oct. 25, 9:30-11:30 a.m.: Law School
Oct. 26, 1-5 p.m.: Lyceum
Samantha McBryde, PY2
Pre-Pharmacy Club is a student organization of Pre-Pharmacy students that introduces each member into the exciting world of pharmacy school. This organization helps students get involved in various professional organizations and provides each student with opportunities to participate in community service.
Pre-Pharmacy Club was created to make the transition from undergrad to the professional program easier and less intimidating. By providing students with the knowledge from upperclassmen and experience from involvement, Pre-Pharmacy students are able to feel more comfortable and confident when entering the professional world of pharmacy.
The Pre-Pharmacy Club provides Pre-Pharmacy students with mentors, as well as friends, that will last a lifetime. The mentors provide members with insight to the daily life of a pharmacy student and help with the process of applying to the professional pharmacy program.
Last year, we introduced you to seven families who fell in love at the School of Pharmacy. In honor of Valentines Day, we compiled the list and are excited to share them with you. Happy Valentine’s Day from The Dose!
Mike and Kathy Rose (BSPh ’76) of Hazlehurst, MS, make the perfect pair! We love the caption of this photo they shared. “39 years of working together and we’re still speaking to each other!” The Roses work side by side at Rose’s Super Discount Drug in Hazelhurst, Mississippi.
Michael and Amber French (PharmD ’10) of Flowood, MS:
“Although we didn’t meet in pharmacy school, we have a lot of great memories from that time in our lives. As students, we especially enjoyed attending any Ole Miss sporting events, and we continue to be avid rebel fans to this day,” Amber said.
Dr. Casey Cockrell Stuart, Assistant Director of Employer Services, UM Career Center
In light of upcoming applicant days, residency interviews and other important opportunities for prospective and current pharmacy students, Dr. Casey Cockrell Stuart with the University of Mississippi’s Career Center has provided her top strategies to use when interviewing. Want to know more about how to give a great interview? Feel free to contact Dr. Stuart at email@example.com or 662-915-7174.
Before going on interview, make sure to do your research. Know the company and know yourself. Research the company by going to the company website, visiting the Career Center, talking to faculty and reading industry magazines. Know yourself by knowing what you want in a position, reviewing your resume, and preparing examples that highlight your experiences. Practice will ease your anxiety and increase your chances for success so make sure to schedule a mock interview with the Career Center as part of your preparation.
Dr. Kevin Lewellyn, Associate Research Scientist
Generally speaking, the first response I get when I tell someone I ran a half-marathon is “Why would you do that?” or the classic, “What was chasing you?” In December I ran my sixth half-marathon in Memphis at the St. Jude Memphis Marathon Weekend. Running to the finish line at AutoZone Park with thousands of spectators cheering you on is an exhilarating experience. Even more importantly, the race weekend brings in millions of dollars for the St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital every year.In 2014, over $8 million was raised by participants and sponsors. As we are keenly aware of here at the School of Pharmacy, it costs a lot of money to keep a world-class research institution running on a day-to-day basis, and St. Jude does it at no cost to patients and their families. The race course passes through the St. Jude campus, and seeing the young patients and their families out there cheering you on is indescribable. It certainly makes you feel silly for thinking your feet were starting to hurt. The race weekend is one of the largest civic events in Memphis, and it really shows a great side of people in a day in age when we are shown the dark sides constantly on 24/7 TV News, Twitter, etc.
Stephanie Sollis, PY3
As I started writing this post, I thought about a question that comes up all of the time in pharmacy school: “So what do you do in Jackson, anyway?” While spending so many years in Oxford, I often found myself asking the same question. Well, I found the answer when I moved south this past July and I’m here to solve the mystery!
Jackson is quite the change from Oxford. While city life is obviously different (many suburbs, heavier traffic, different food and shopping options, etc.), the school atmosphere is different as well. We are attending school on the campus of an academic medical center. UMMC is quite large and always busy! On a typical day, I may see students from all different disciplines, patients, employees, professors and beyond. It is pretty cool to be in the medical environment here. We can be exposed to so many different areas of pharmacy practice with a walk across campus as well as meet new people with the same goal: caring for patients. There are plenty of ways to get involved with other professions as well, whether it be through an ASB event, interprofessional event or other method.
Ashley Crumby, PharmD
Pharmacy Administration Graduate Student
It’s that time again. The beginning of a New Year and the development of a list of “New Year’s Resolutions.” Now let’s be honest. This list is something that we are so excited about on January 1st, but in reality we are lucky to still be excited about in a few short months when things get busy and excuses start flying. I’m guilty of it for sure. But there is one resolution that I want you to make this year that you will actually keep. I want you to make the resolution to have a healthier 2016.
Now when I say this, I don’t mean that I want you to say you are going to lose 25 pounds or start cutting entire food groups out of your diet. Nobody wants to deal with a “hangry” person, so please, whatever you do… don’t be THAT person. What I mean when I say that you should resolve to have a healthier year is that you should think of health from different angles and create a plan for yourself that includes less stress, more energy and a better mood. Who doesn’t want that, right?
Wahidullah Noori, Pharmacy Administration Graduate Student
Wahidullah Noori, a Fulbright scholar from Afghanistan, is pursuing a master’s degree in pharmacy administration at the University of Mississippi School of Pharmacy. Noori, who previously practiced pharmacy for the World Health Organization, is using his time at the pharmacy school to learn how to support his native country.
The Dose interviewed him about his experience at the University of Mississippi so far.
“It has been a phenomenal experience to be at the University of Mississippi School of Pharmacy. The University of Mississippi has one of the best schools of pharmacy in the United States, and I have learned a lot and am looking forward to learning more from the wonderful faculty. The school is well equipped with knowledge and expertise. Although, three other U.S. universities accepted my application, I chose the University of Mississippi because of its wonderful pharmacy administration department. I just completed my first semester.”
Seph Anderson, Academic Advisor
While commitment to academic excellence is a staple of the Early Entry Pharmacy Program, a commitment to providing Early Entry Pharmacy Students (EEs) with a true “experience,” academically, professionally and personally, is at the heart of what we strive to provide to students.
With nearly forty different “early entry” or “early assurance” pharmacy programs offered throughout the country, each guaranteeing students in their respective programs with eventual seats in their professional programs, you’re probably thinking, “So what is it that makes UM’s Early Entry Program (EEP) so unique?”
School of Pharmacy Faculty and Staff
– What is your favorite Thanksgiving tradition?
Katie McClendon: My favorite holiday tradition is watching the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. My cousin is the Creative Director of the parade for Macy’s, and in my residency year I got to walk in the parade. It’s definitely a once in a lifetime experience to be in the parade. Now I love watching it from the comfort of a living room in a climate-controlled space.
Caroline Porch, PY1
Recently, I realized something very clearly about pharmacy school: we pharmacy students need stress outlets. Sounds simple and easy to remember but, strangely enough, it’s so easy to forget to take care of yourself in high stress environments. They told us this at orientation, but I – and likely many others – thought, “Well of course I’m going to be sure to take care of myself and do well in school.” Personally, I have not been participating in stress-relieving activities quite as much as I value them. Spending 20 minutes a day doing something relaxing seems reasonable, and since we usually work on assignments over the weekend, I reasoned that 20 minutes a day times six days a week, or two hours a week for stress outlets, was important for our mental, emotional and physical health.
As I found out via survey to the PY1 class, most of my class feels that in an average week, they experience high levels of stress. A majority of them also responded that stress outlets are critically important. What I was most curious to see was about half of my class indulges in stress-relieving outlets less than two hours a week. I would have definitely fallen under that category if you had asked me three weeks ago in the midst of three massive tests in one week.
Jing Zhang, EE3
Every early entry student by now has heard of RebelTHON. RebelTHON is EE’s Pharmacy Philanthropy, and it is something very close to my heart. I started freshman year as a committee member, and now as the director of catering, I can confidently say that RebelTHON has become my life and joy.
So for those of you who have heard of the name but are too scared to ask, what exactly is RebelTHON? RebelTHON is a year-long, student-led fundraiser for Children’s Miracle Network hospitals. Originally started by a group of Honors College students in 2012, RebelTHON is part of a national movement of dance marathons where students fundraise for their local CMN hospitals. Our beneficiary is Blair E. Batson Children’s Hospital in Jackson, MS, and it is the only children’s hospital for the 75,000 children in the state of Mississippi. It is also located on our UMMC campus, where SOP students spend their last two years of professional school.
Alicia Bouldin, Associate Dean of Outcomes Assessment and Learning Advancement & Professor of Pharmacy Administration; Joe Dikun, Graduate Assistant in the Department of Pharmacy Administration
Curiosity and broadened perspectives ruled the day on October 31, when a TEDx conference was hosted at the University of Mississippi. Bright and open minds were there early in the morning, to see and hear what 10 outstanding colleagues had to share from their own experiences and research. Two of our SOP faculty members were on the stellar set list: Dr. Chris McCurdy and Dr. Marc Slattery.
As the theme for the conference was “In Plain Sight,” each of the speakers brought to the fore something that may typically be overlooked. Topics as widely disparate as the promise of nanotechnology, the resurrection of “lost” manuscripts, and the cost of devaluing language in pop culture had brains in the audience bouncing and greedily absorbing new ideas from the presentations, each of which ranged from about 8-12 minutes in length.
Regan Tyler, PY1
The first memory I have of move-in day my freshman year was having tear-filled eyes and looking at my house in the rearview mirror of my black Jeep as I exited my driveway for the final time. My high school years had set me in a routine. I woke up, went to school, went to pom practice and then went to work. Summer rolled around and my routine slowed down, but I was still in that comfort zone. Then, comfort left me in a flash as I left my Memphis home and traveled an hour down the road to Oxford.
I was worried about so many things. How would I deal with missing my family? How was I supposed to make new friends when my best friends would be thousands of miles away? What was I going to do when I got sick with no one to turn to? These thoughts raced through my mind as I drove on in that packed Jeep. However, one concern stood out over the rest—what was my college experience going to be when I had the pharmacy label on top of everything?
Lauryn Easterling, PY2
To quote C.S. Lewis, “Friendship is born at that moment when one person says to another: ‘What! You too? I thought I was the only one.’” During the first year of pharmacy school, that’s how I met my classmates. As I feared drowning in a sea of responsibility and schoolwork, I found I wasn’t alone. I was surrounded by individuals who understand the struggle (unlike my parents who didn’t really understand why school had to be so hard).
Starting out, I tried to be independent and do everything myself – if not for my pride, then to just see if it was possible. Quickly I realized pharmacy school is not designed to be a “do it on your own” adventure. As I power through my second year of pharmacy school, I have an even greater appreciation for the need of fellowship and companionship in stressful times.
When my to-do list seems impossibly long, when my grades don’t turn out as I’d hoped or when I get depressed about my lack of free time, I turn to my “pharm phriends” for support. There are two groups: a core group and a general group, but both are of equal importance. The part I most enjoy about these friends is the encouragement they give me when it seems I need it most – even if I try not to show it.
Bailey Boyd, EE2
As most of us know, the Ole Miss vs. Memphis game on Oct. 17 didn’t exactly turn out as planned. Although my heart was a bit broken for the Rebels, I thankfully had a fun experience the night before that took my mind off the loss.
Back in August, my Early Entry class received an email from our advisor, Seph Anderson. Instead of the usual, “Good luck on your next big, scary test,” email we tend to get, this one was a bit more exciting. Seph planned out a fun-filled weekend for our class to enjoy in mid-October. He told us about this new place called Memphis Escape Rooms, and that we could all travel to Memphis Friday night and try it out before attending the game Saturday. The “Pham” (pharmacy family) all talked it out and decided the trip sounded like a good way to take a break and hang out with each other outside of school, so we said yes!
Jerrod Bradley, EE2
I recently took a trip to Memphis, Tennessee with a handful of my friends. The occasion for our visit was the Ole Miss vs. Memphis football game at the Liberty Bowl Memorial Stadium. My friends and I were planning on going anyway, so when our academic advisor, Seph Anderson, sent us an email about a potential EE2 class road trip for the weekend, we immediately wanted to go. After a rather grueling week of classes that included two tests, we were ready for a well-needed break. So after our genetics test was over on Friday afternoon, we loaded up and were headed to Memphis to support our Rebels.
One of the interesting things about this trip was the inclusion of an “Escape Room” on Friday night. We hadn’t done much research on what this actually was, so when we arrived there, we were clueless of where to go and what to do. We walked into an office building that housed the rooms of which we were going to try and escape. As we walked into our room, previously prepped on what our goal was, we had literally no idea as to where to start. You see, the escape room came with a background story of a killer who was on the loose. We had broken into his apartment (the room in the basement of this office building), and were supposed to escape before a hypothetical bomb was set off. Through the use of many well-hidden clues, our team escaped with only eight minutes left.
Valerie Huang, University of Southern California
My name is Valerie Huang; I hail from Beaverton, Oregon and I am a sophomore at the University of Southern California. I came to the University of Mississippi at the end of May and stayed on until the beginning of August to participate in a Physical Chemistry Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) program. I wanted to come to Ole Miss for a summer research program because I had never been to the South, and never really had an excuse to travel there. I didn’t have any relatives in the South, didn’t know anyone who lived there and didn’t know what I would do even if I traveled there. So when the opportunity to do research in the South for the entire summer opened up, I thought that it would be a wonderful way for me to experience more of the United States! In addition, I wanted to participate in something that would keep my mind stimulated during the summer, because I hate sitting around and not doing anything productive during summer or during any given period of time.
Estefanía Aburto Peralta, Universidad La Salle Mexico
My name is Estefanía Aburto Peralta. I’m a fifth-year Mexican student from Universidad La Salle Mexico who was selected for an Intensive English Program and Summer Research Project at the University of Mississippi. For the time I was there (July 22-August 14) I had the chance to work with Manal Nael, one of Dr. Robert Doerksen’s Ph.D. students in the Medicinal Chemistry lab at the School of Pharmacy. I was thrilled with the opportunity because I was getting a chance to enroll for some time in a School of Pharmacy, which meant a lot to me because I’m a chemical pharmaceutical biology student.
The main project I developed with fellow student Ennia Ferreira is called “Docking studies of manzamine A and manzamine 8-OH in the Mycobacterium tuberculosis shikimate kinase.” Mycobacterium tuberculosis is the causative agent for tuberculosis (TB).
Mary Haston Leary, PY4
The practice of pharmacy is rapidly evolving. As the advancement of pharmacy practice gains momentum, it is important for student pharmacists to be able to answer questions about our profession concisely and in a way that can be readily understood by other health care professionals, members of the public and legislators.
In order to get the word out about our expertise and capabilities, students at the University of Mississippi School of Pharmacy have formed the University of Mississippi Advocacy Committee (UMAC). Pharmacists must take an active role in generating ideas to be brought to the table in order to advocate for our profession. Student pharmacists, as the future of pharmacy, need to increase awareness and engagement in the current issues occurring in pharmacy. Goals of UMAC include: educating students on advocacy and policy, inviting legislators to our school to speak to students on current issues, educating legislators and society regarding the skills pharmacists are capable of, and advocating for policy that will advance not only pharmacy practice, but also health care in Mississippi.
Alicia Bouldin, Associate Dean of Outcomes Assessment and Learning Advancement & Professor of Pharmacy Administration
….And we make them. Together. For fun. The “PharmAd Bookbinders’ Guild” was founded to share an evening of bookbinding between faculty and students. (Oh, and also to help the UM Academy of Student Pharmacists chapter raise funds for community projects and travel grants.)
Check out the final products!
Marisa Pasquale, PY2
“Pharmacy school? Why would you want to count pills for the rest of your life?” my mother asked incredulously. This was her initial reaction to me saying I wanted to pursue a career in pharmacy. You see, I was not the traditional type of student that changed majors multiple times before deciding on a career path. My path was decided for me my junior year of high school, when I visited a pharmacy for my school’s allied health program and shadowed a pharmacist. Some would call it luck, some would call it divine intervention – I would consider it a calling.
I am now in my second year of pharmacy school at the University of Mississippi. Although the calling has not changed, I have learned more about the field of pharmacy and perceptions that the general population holds. Most of it is positive (pharmacists are among the most trusted professionals!), yet it is hard to shake negative stereotypes of pharmacy like my mother’s initial reaction to my career choice.
Sitting down with Dean Emeritus Wallace Guess and his wife, Betty, one immediately feels at home. Betty and “Wally,” as he is affectionately known, greeted pharmacy school visitors on a recent fall day with glasses of fresh lemonade, snacks and warm smiles.
Guess was the school’s dean from 1972 to 1989. He came to the University of Mississippi after 24 years at the University of Texas as chair of the pharmaceutics department.
Life at the School of Pharmacy was a little different when Guess was dean, he said. Ole Miss had only about 8,000 students, pharmacists filled a lot less prescriptions than they do now and the school’s federal marijuana project was just starting up.
Stephanie Sollis, PY3
My road to pharmacy school was quite different than most of my classmates. While many of our students chose the traditional science and/or pre-pharmacy path, my choice was somewhat unusual. Before joining the School of Pharmacy in August 2013, I received an undergraduate degree in Health Services Administration (with minors in business and mathematics) from the University of Central Arkansas. I then went on to complete a Master of Business Administration degree (MBA) from Ole Miss in 2013.
Pursuing an MBA (or, alternatively, a Master of Health Administration) is a typical route for someone pursuing higher education in health care administration. Although I wanted more of a scientific focus eventually, I knew that a Master’s degree would serve me well and give me a broader understanding of business – knowledge of which is invaluable. I applied for a spot in the Ole Miss Graduate School of Business (and later accepted) without ever stepping foot in Oxford! I’m so glad to know that my “gut instinct” was right as Oxford has become a place that is so near and dear to me.
Rachel Lowe, PY3
When I boarded my flight from Memphis, Tennessee to Baltimore, Maryland at the end of May, I could not have been more nervous. I had never spent a summer so far away from my home or from the South, and the personal pressure I felt to excel in my internship was immense. I spent my first weekend unpacking, exploring the Johns Hopkins University campus, and practicing my bus route so I would not be late for my first day. (By practicing my bus route I mean sitting at the wrong street corner for an hour before realizing the bus stop was a block away.)
Being in a big city was overwhelming at first, but once I learned the best transportation routes and what parts of town had the best attractions, I really enjoyed it. Baltimore has numerous areas that cater to tourists and offers some of the best crab cakes in the U.S. I particularly enjoyed the inner harbor, with the beautiful view of the water and lots of food options, and federal hill provides a breathtaking view of the city skyline!
Genni Weaver, PY2
PediaRebs is a student chapter of Pediatric Pharmacy Advocacy Group (PPAG), and is the only organization on campus that’s sole focus is pediatric pharmacy. We are very excited about this upcoming year!
Our goal is to introduce our members to the ins and outs of pediatric pharmacy. We plan to do this by helping with events out in the community of Oxford, having pediatric pharmacists speak at chapter meetings, as well as organizing fundraising projects. We also hope to partner with other organizations in the school with different pediatric-centered projects.
Our interest meeting will be on September 10, 2015 at 5 p.m. TCRC 1000. We will also be raffling off a study break basket. Raffle tickets can be received at the door before the meeting. You must be present at the meeting to win the raffle.
Mackenzie Lewis, PY2
This summer I had the opportunity to represent APhA-ASP in Washington, D.C., at the Summer Leadership Institute. It was a wonderful experience meeting other pharmacy students in leadership roles within APhA-ASP. Washington, D.C. was a very fun place to visit.
A very important part of my trip was promoting provider status (HR 592 & S 314). This was a great opportunity, especially since this is a bill that will impact the patients in our area to such a great extent. The bill will help medically underserved populations by allowing pharmacists to provide certain aspects of care within their state scope of practice for their patients. For example, Oxford is in District 1 of Mississippi which is 100% medically underserved, while the national average is only 30%. I learned this summer that every little bit helps.
Chan Booker, PY1
Hurricane Katrina was truly an experience that I will never forget. It probably had one of the biggest impacts on my life. Now, 10 years later, there are several events from Hurricane Katrina that I still remember like they happened yesterday. Some of these events were positive, while some of them I wish I could forget.
Hurricane Katrina overall was a very intense situation, but there is one moment that I feel was much more intense than the others. When the floodwaters began to rise, my family had to make a critical decision. At our house, we had several family members over, several cousins, aunts, uncles and even toddlers. In all there were about 12 people at my house during the hurricane. At first, everything was calm, and it just seemed to be another storm that we had seen several times before. Soon after, the floodwaters started rising. After about an hour the floodwaters had risen to a level of about three feet. That was when things started getting intense. My family was stuck between the decision to climb in the attic or attempt to swim out of the house to higher ground. After deliberating, we decided that swimming to higher ground would be the best bet. Somehow I was the leader of the pack. I climbed out of the back window of my parents’ bedroom and led my family to the highway, where the floodwaters had not reached yet. As I was treading through the water I remember being slightly afraid but not panicking. The water was about chest level as I swam through it. In order to get to safety, we had to jump a fence and swim through a huge ditch! It was a very intense moment. All in all, we all made it to safety on the highway. Luckily, a friend that lived down the street was able to salvage one of their cars. They were nice enough to drive us to my grandmother’s house which did not flood. We were extremely blessed during Hurricane Katrina. No one was injured or anything in my family.
Lauryn Easterling, PY2
It’s August 29, 2005 in Gulfport. Half a mile in any direction houses are filling up with water from the storm surge, but we miraculously manage to escape flooding at my house, filled with 11 people just trying to ride out the storm. Everyone was anxious as the wind howled and trees collapsed all around our house for what seemed like an unending amount of time. As the tenth anniversary of this horrific storm approaches, what I reflect on most is not Hurricane Katrina itself, but the utter resilience of the people on the Mississippi Gulf Coast (aka the land mass) along with strong compassion for neighbors, families, and friends.
Dean David D. Allen
I’m proud to be part of a profession that makes an impact. Pharmacists are arguably some of the most accessible health care professionals. They are a vital part of the health care team, and serve as the premier experts in regard to counseling patients on their medication.
According to a December 2014 Gallup poll, pharmacists were at the top of the list in terms of honesty and ethical standards. In fact, only medical doctors and nurses were ranked higher (by a small margin) than pharmacists.
At the University of Mississippi School of Pharmacy, we’re training the next generation to uphold these standards. In 2011, the school was honored with the Lawrence C. Weaver Transformative Community Service Award from the American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy. The award, a high honor, was given to our school for its work providing innovative pharmacist-patient care and disease education in the impoverished Mississippi Delta region.
My first day at The Johns Hopkins Hospital was quite challenging and slightly intimidating to this southern pharmacy girl. Finding parking in Baltimore, MD, was a bigger accomplishment than finding parking on the Ole Miss campus. Once I found a parking spot, I proceeded to ask every security guard I saw for directions to reach the building where orientation was being held. Each individual, with whom I interacted, including several patient security guards/guides, was friendly and polite reminding me of our southern hospitality. I made it to the meeting room with time to spare but quickly learned how enormous the hospital truly is. Even with a challenging beginning, I could not contain my excitement for this new summer adventure!
My internship class consisted of 26 student pharmacists from across the country. Together we participated in pharmacist discussions each week to enhance our knowledge of various pharmacists’ roles within the hospital. I had the opportunity to intern with Mrs. Cathy Walker in the Education and Training Pharmacy Department of the hospital.
Kathy Lee Barrack
Institutional rotations are ones that pharmacy students always look forward to, especially those with absolutely no hospital experience such as myself. The University of Mississippi Medical Center is nationally recognized and I was honored to be able to have my rotation there. My preceptor, Buddy Ogletree is a pharmacy legend. Those around him cannot help but to admire his dedication, intelligence, selflessness and expertise in the field of pharmacy.
Mary Claire Jarrell
Editor’s Note: Three professional pharmacy students joined David Gregory, associate dean for academic affairs, and 23 other volunteers on a medical mission trip to Copan, Honduras this summer. Tate Davis, Christine Hayden and Mary Claire Jarrell managed pharmacy services in clinics that assisted more than 2,000 patients. This is Mary Clarie’s story.
Getting on the plane always causes a rush of emotion, a rush of concern, apprehension, and trepidation. Doubts and questions always seem to cloud your mind. What will I actually be doing? Will I know enough? Will my Spanish be good enough? Where will I be sleeping? What will the weather be like? All of which are valid questions. I had all these questions recently on a medical mission trip to Honduras. What I didn’t know was how irrelevant and trivial most of these answers would become.
Throughout the trip, there were so many patients, so many faces, and so many smiles. So many holas, buenos dias, como estas were said day in and day out. One of the unforgettable smiles we encountered was from a 12-year old young lady named Judy.
Editor’s Note: Three professional pharmacy students joined David Gregory, associate dean for academic affairs, and 23 other volunteers on a medical mission trip to Copan, Honduras this summer. Tate Davis, Christine Hayden and Mary Claire Jarrell managed pharmacy services in clinics that assisted more than 2,000 patients. This is Christine’s story.
Many people say that going on a mission’s trip will change your life forever. When they say this, you nod, yet take it for granted until it happens to you. This summer I had the opportunity to travel to Copan, Honduras on a medical mission’s trip with Global Ministries. To say that my life has been changed is an understatement.
It’s hard to pinpoint one experience that was my favorite or that stood out the most, but it’s easy to say that my favorite part of the trip was the people. The patients that we saw at the clinics were truly amazing. The people of Honduras have little to none, yet are the happiest and most passionate people I have had the pleasure of meeting.
What you can do to prepare now.
- STUDY for the ACT and SAT! The higher your score, the better your chances of being accepted to the Early Entry Program, and the more financial aid you will be eligible for.
- Take AP and Honors Science courses if any are offered at your school. These courses should prepare you for the rigorous science classes you will be required to take as a Pre-Pharmacy student at The University of Mississippi. A strong science foundation will be beneficial when you take higher level pharmacy classes.
- Get Involved! Participating in extracurricular activities will help you to learn time management, how to work with different groups and individuals, and communication skills. Join a club that interests you and get involved in a community service activity that you truly care about. If you have the opportunity to work a part time job, go for it! This involvement outside of the classroom will make you even more marketable as an Early Entry Pharmacy Candidate.
- Shadow a Pharmacist. If you have the opportunity, shadow or interview a local pharmacist to see what he or she does on a daily basis. This will give you the opportunity to ask questions and learn more about pharmacy as a profession and determine if it is the right career for you.
There’s a lot of information out there, sometimes misinformation, so it’s important that you know all the steps in the process and allow plenty of time to complete it. And every pharmacy school has different requirements, making it especially easy to forget something crucial if you’re not careful.
Here’s a list of the most common problems (and their solutions!) that I’ve seen as an Admissions Counselor at the University of Mississippi School of Pharmacy.