Q & A: Pharmacy Admissions Insider

Applying to professional school can be one of the most daunting challenges of a student’s career. The pharmacy admissions process is no exception, and students may find it overwhelming at times. The Student Doctor Network recently sat down with Jeff, a member of a pharmacy school admissions committee, who shared his perspective on the process and some advice for students.

SDN: What advice would you give an undergraduate student just starting to explore the field of pharmacy? How can they tell whether pharmacy is right for them?

Jeff: The two things that someone who is interested in pharmacy should do are to make sure that they have a good understanding of the roles and responsibilities of a pharmacist in a variety of settings, and that the degree they are seeking is aligned with their career objectives. Many individuals are drawn to pharmacy school based upon nothing more than their perception of what a pharmacist does, with the perception based upon their visits to community pharmacies as customers or the television commercials produced by the national drugstore chains to promote their pharmacists. As you would suspect, their perception of what a community pharmacist does on a daily basis is usually wrong. Others make it to their admissions interview day and tell their interviewers that they want to work as a hospital pharmacist so they can work with patients to discover the cure for breast cancer or diabetes; a noble goal to be sure, but one better suited for a doctoral degree in pharmacology or medicinal chemistry.

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20 Questions: Karla N. Turney, PharmD, Clinical Pharmacist

Karla N. Turney, PharmD, is an inpatient pharmacist for the Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Iowa City, Iowa, where she has been employed since 2006. She is also an adjunct faculty at University of Iowa College of Pharmacy. Turney has a bachelor’s degree in biology with a minor in psychology from Illinois State University (2001), and her doctor of pharmacy degree from University of Iowa (2006).
Prior to her work at the Veterans Affairs Medical Center, Dr. Turney had several professional practice experience rotations at sites including Osco Pharmacy, Crawford Diabetes Education Center, Fifth Avenue Pharmacy, Liberty Pharmacy, Wal-Mart Pharmacy, Siouxland Medical Education Foundation, University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics, and University of Iowa College of Dentistry. In addition, she completed two pharmacy internships, one at Iowa Medical and Classification Center (2003-2005), and one at Iowa Drug and Information Services (2003-2005). Dr. Turney has presented on treatment of chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting in oncology patients and treatment of depression in oncology patients at University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics, mumps at the College of Dentistry, oral diabetes medications at Crawford Diabetes Education Center, the new insomnia treatment Ramelteon at Siouxland Medical Education Foundation, and the Iowa mumps outbreak at the Iowa Pharmacy Association annual meeting.

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20 Questions: Cindy Stowe, PharmD

Dr. Cindy Stowe is a graduate of the University of Kentucky College of Pharmacy, where she also completed a general clinical residency and a pediatric specialty residency. Following residency, she finished a pediatric pharmacotherapy research fellowship at LeBonheur Children’s Medical Center in Memphis, TN. Dr. Stowe has been a part of the medical staff at Arkansas Children’s Hospital since 1996 and has extensive teaching experience as a faculty member at both the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS) College of Pharmacy and the College of Medicine.

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20 Questions: William R. Wills, Pharmacist

William R. Wills, owner and founder of Grandpa’s Compounding Pharmacy in Placerville, Calif., received his pharmacy degree from Washington State University in Pullman and served his pharmacy internship at Yakima Indian Reservation in Toppenish, Washington. Prior to his founding Grandpa’s in 1996 (at the time the 26th “compounding only” store in the nation), Mr. Wills was a pharmacist at Placerville’s Robinson’s Pharmacy for 25 years, and before that, he started a pharmacy in Marino’s Grocery in Plymouth, California.

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