In December, area high school students visited CU Skaggs School of Pharmacy to learn about careers in pharmacy as part of their HOSA Future Health Professionals chapter events. HOSA is an international organization catering to middle, high school and post-secondary students interested in pursuing health care careers. Highlights of the visit included hands-on compounding lessons and talks from faculty from the School of Pharmacy. Faculty members Danielle Fixen and Peter Rice spotlighted their careers including the variety of paths that pharmacists can pursue throughout their careers including academia, research, direct patient care, in addition to the traditional pharmacy pathway.
High school senior Maddie Belcher said, "The day was super fun. Before this I thought pharmacists just distributed drugs at Walgreens. This opened my eyes and I learned a lot. I am still exploring careers."
One of the students, sophomore Olivia Eldredge said, "For me pharmacy has always been interesting partly because I love science. After listening to Dr. Fixen talk about working in an HIV clinic I am interested in doing the same. I also love HOSA and my health academy advisors are wonderful -- helping to guide me through the rest of my life."
In addition to HOSA, CU has created a pre-collegiate pipeline program that also helps expose students to a variety of fields in health care. The program titled CU Pre-health Scholars Programs (CUPS) is overseen by Abenicio Rael, assistant director of the Office of Inclusion and Outreach at CU Anschutz Medical Campus. Its goal is to engage underrepresented students in higher education. Two students who have benefited from the CUPS program and are enrolled at CU Denver are Justin Cheung and Ryan Duong, and both have their sights on pursuing pharmacy degrees. Cheung and Duong are a year apart, but both are Bear Creek High School graduates, have been involved in CUPS and are excited about where their educational journey will take them. Check out how they have benefited from CUPS and why it helped them obtain a better understanding of the field in general and the educational requirements to pursue such a pathway. http://www.cupharmacyperspectives.org/in-the-news/pipeline-programs-send-students-pharmacy/