Just before the holidays, a two-year collaboration between IHPC and the School of Pharmacy at Western University of Health Sciences, finally came to fruition. The project was called PharmDay and, unlike what it sounds like, did not involve any animals - smile. Instead, students interested in the field of pharmaceutical medicine would be treated to an immersive experience on the college's campus and increase their knowlege and understanding of the field. Several dozen high school students were selected to spend a day with current Pharmacy students, participate in a panel discussion Q & A , and break up into teams for some interactive learning.
The morning started with a careers presentation facilitated by student pharmacist, Marvin Ortiz. Following his presentation the high school students asked questions about how to prep for Pharm School in college, what type of support they received from their families, and when did they realize they wanted to pursue Pharmacy. The panelist, Mary Abramyan, Aya Alwahib, Natasha Strother, Roland Davoudie, and Marvin Ortiz patiently answered their questions and then broke them up into teams for the second segment of the day.
All of the students were first shown the fundamentals of taking and recording blood pressure. In a laboratory, led by Dr. Rudy Mireles, they learned the basics of compounding by making their own flavored lip balm to take home as a souvenir. Before wrapping up the day, Jacqueline Javier, Manager of Early Assurance and Pathway Programs at WesternU College of Pharmacy led the students on a tour of the campus. Overall, both the pharmacy students and the high school students enjoyed their time together and thought of PharmDay as a great educational experience. Here is what a few of our students had to say about their experience:
"My favorite part of the day was making chap-stick, using the equipment in the lab, and working with chemicals. It was a unique experience that increased my interest in pharmacy and [she learned] what type of classes should be taken in college to be a competitive candidate for a Pharmacy Doctorate program.' - Isabella Orozco, junior at CHHS
When asked about which speaker was his favorite Alejandro Becerril, senior at Montclair High School, said he “… enjoyed Marvin Ortiz the most because I felt like I could relate with him more because of his background. It makes him a role model in a sense and makes me want to work as hard as he did to be where I want to be.”
This group of students is bright, motivated, and eager to learn. PharmDay will play a big role in the student’s education moving forward. It was great for them to get exposure early, even for the students who don’t have an interest in careers in Pharmacy.” - Mary Abramyan, first year PharmD student at WU College of Pharmacy
Dr. Rudy Mireles shared that the medical field is in great hands in the upcoming generations. The student’s ability to listen and follow directions will go a long way in their education and in their careers.
The Inland Health Professions Coalition would like to thank Jacqueline Javier for spearheading this project and all of WesternU College of Pharmacy students, staff, and faculty for hosting such a unique event for the students in our community.