Describe your best clinical experience and why it was memorable. My first Coumadin clinical experience at Casa Colina Hospital. That was the first time I adjusted Coumadin and prescribed / ordered new doses for real patients based on the INR. It really felt good!
What would you tell a prospective student about WesternU? If you are looking for patient-centered education, then WesternU is the best institution to consider.
Caitlin Geiger, B.S.
Describe an engaging aspect of your program and why you like it. One of the aspects I love most about our program is that we start on rotations right away. This allows us to go out into the field and to get experience working with patients from the very beginning of our education. It also allows us to put into practice the concepts we learn in class as we learn them.
How has your involvement in student clubs impacted you and/or the community you serve? As a member of APhA (American Pharmacists Association) I have had the opportunity to meet pharmacists and students from many areas of practice. I have also had the opportunity to attend multiple health fairs where I was able to work with people in the community to provide them health screenings and to teach them about the importance of their medications and maintaining a healthy lifestyle.
Wey Ling Phuah, B. Sc. (Pharm.)
How have you seen the university’s humanistic philosophy lived out by members of the WesternU family? Yes, every single person in this university shows the art of caring in whatever they do. This place literally lives out what was described in the website, and I was pleasantly surprised when I first stepped into WesternU. I am very grateful to have made this choice because every person here practices the art of caring to the highest degree.
Michael Otchere, BPharm
Who at WesternU has made you feel supported and how? Coming to WesternU as an international student, I thought I was going to be a total stranger on campus. To my surprise, it was the opposite. The professors at WesternU are not just teachers but friends to students, easily approachable and committed. The relationship here is informal but very professional. Their very commitment to students even when school is on recess is remarkable. This makes me feel at home. I have had the opportunity to play some sporting games with professors. My colleagues in class are fun to be with. To me, this makes me feel more supported at WesternU.
Mayur Yadav, BPharm, MS
How have you seen the university’s humanistic philosophy lived out by members of the WesternU family? Western University of Health Science’s humanistic philosophy lived out by members of the western family play an important role. The lecturers here are more supportive than critical, more understanding than judgmental, more genuine than playing a role. Western University Students are encouraged to make choices that range from day-to-day activities to periodically setting future life goals. This allows students to focus on a specific subject of interest for any amount of time they choose, within reason. WesternU faculty believe it is important for students to be motivated and engaged in the material they are learning, and this happens when the topic is something the students need and want to know
Cynthia Jackevicius, MSc, PharmD
WesternU distinctive: The block system is unique to the Doctor of Pharmacy Program at WesternU. It allows students to focus on one major therapeutic topic at a time and concentrate their learning in this area. Many students choose WesternU since they enjoy learning in this system.
Best Advice: WesternU is unique in that the school focuses on health professions education. It is a small campus so it is very welcoming and easy to get involved in student activities, such as those with professional associations.
On interprofessional education: Incorporating an IPE curriculum is an ideal way to teach health professionals since upon graduation, health professionals all work with each other to manage patient’s health issues.
Jesse Martinez, PharmD, FASCP
WesternU distinctive: Each student must successfully complete a business plan for the purchase or start-up of an independently-owned pharmacy. Each business plan will be evaluated by the student’s preceptor at the conclusion of the course as well as the course coordinator. This career track is designed to offer specialized training in community pharmacy ownership/management through on-site experience, self-directed learning and team work.
Why WesternU: WesternU is unique in that the faculty and students have an opportunity to establish a mentor/student professional relationship. The curriculum offers a unique system that allows the student to immerse into one subject matter at a time. Thus, all focus is universal for that “block” of time in the curriculum. I believe that this “block” system coupled with interactive group and team participation prepares the student for the challenges to become an accomplished and exceptional leader in the profession of pharmacy.
Value of a WesternU education: WesternU offers the student to become more than a qualified health professional. WesternU offers experiences to become a leader in the profession.
Anandi Law, B.Pharm, PhD
On research: A WesternU intramural grant helped fund one of my earliest research proposals when I joined here. The project was a survey of (40% of) California community pharmacies to determine the status and extent of disease management programs. The results from that project were published in a fairly high impact journal for pharmacy practitioners and researchers (Journal of American Pharmacists Association) and helped establish my work in this area as well as expand the scope of my practice based research as community (chain and independent) pharmacies contacted me to help start such programs in their settings. Currently WesternU is trying to expand its research infrastructure and I am looking forward to hearing more about the increased resources.
WesternU distinctive: There are various unique aspects of the Pharm.D. program that define us: The block system is unique in the fact that students focus on only one area at a time; although personally I was more at ease with traditional programs, time and data have shown that the block system seems to be successful in increasing focus and depth in a topic area. It also helps faculty have focused time for their teaching and research during different times of the year without interruption. The Advanced Elective is another unique aspect – it serves as a capstone project for our students and is valued by all constituents – since it allows the student to take a project from conception to completion.
On interprofessional education: The IPE initiative is really exciting in its attempts to have health care providers learn and develop positive attitudes and respect and have realistic expectations of other health care professionals so the team concept that we preach in patent-focused care moves to reality.
Roger Klotz, R.Ph, BCNSP, FASCP, FACA, FCPhA
Why WesternU: I was a preceptor for the College of Pharmacy from 1999 to the present time and had worked with the Associate Dean and the Dean at other Universities so I had a good understanding of their planned direction. I am particularly excited about the Universities commitment to interdisciplinary care. Have practiced in multiple health care environments I know how critical inter-professional communications and skills sharing is to patient care and good outcomes.
Value of a WesternU education: Ultimately, the greatest value of a WesternU education will be the interdisciplinary care education as well as the blending of basic sciences with clinical practice education.
On interprofessional education: Having 16 years of practice at an acute care university affiliated pediatric hospital in a major metropolitan area I saw on a daily basis the benefits of an interprofessional team approach to patient care. Learning for all students from other disciplines will provide the student with additional information, professional prospective, and help build the student’s confidence. An important factor in providing quality care is to know when to seek additional input and which disciplinary to call upon for the additional input.
Sam Shimomura, PharmD, FASHP, CGP
Beyond the classroom: I am the advisor to the CSHP/ASHP Student Chapter. The students and I have participated in numerous community-service activities, including health fairs; flu shot clinics, poison prevention programs and a fundraiser for the Salvation Army.
WesternU distinctive: The pharmacy students work in small teams during the didactic portion of the curriculum. This helps students to develop communication, interpersonal and leadership skills. This experience also prepares students to work on the health care team once they start their clerkships. The planned inter-professional education curriculum will also enhance the student’s ability to work effectively in teams.
Value of a WesternU education: The most valuable part of the WesternU education is the opportunity to work closely with a very diverse group of students and faculty from many different cultures, races, religions, educational and professional backgrounds. The addition of the colleges of optometry, podiatry, dentistry and biomedical sciences only enhances this experience.
Best Advice: WesternU is an excellent place to receive a highly scientific and clinical education that also emphasizes caring for the whole patient.
Gollapudi Shankar, MS, PharmD
WesternU distinctive: A unique aspect of our program is combining didactics and practical experience in the experiential program. I found my students in the rotations are very interested in the pursuit of knowledge–unlike the classroom where they are more focused on exams. During rotations their attitude and goals are more focused on learning and they are usually very receptive to the assignments I give them.
WesternU also has a very good faculty. For us, it is not just a job, we enjoy what we do and always want to do our job better so we can help our students
Beyond the classroom: I coordinate with the chairs and student liaisons of APhA and NCPA and I am involved with students conducting health fairs through these organizations. It is really amazing how enthusiastic our WesternU students are about participating in community service projects.
Best thing about WesternU: At WesternU I believe we provide a congenial atmosphere between faculty and students. The relationship between students and faculty is very informal—but professional at the same time–and in all schools we focus on problem-based learning as much as we can.
Ihinosen Ogbeide, PharmD
What would you tell a prospective student about WesternU? The faculty here are very helpful, knowledgeable, and care about success of the students. One of the reasons I chose WesternU is because of the warmth and compassion from the staff. When I came for a tour they were very welcoming and that made me want to come here. The program is very fast paced and requires continuous hard work and dedication to achieving your goal. It is quite an exciting experience and there are opportunities to get involved actively in the pharmacy profession.
Giano Panzarella, PharmD
What would yout tell a prospective student about WesternU? The pharmacy program is intense and applicable from the get go. Concepts can immediately be taken from the classroom and used in the real world. Overall I feel WesternU students have a large knowledge base that often merits surprise and accolades from our preceptors.I chose WesternU for its tightly woven community setting. I felt so lost in the fracas at larger Universities fearing I wouldn’t be able to make my mark. I feel that larger Universities encourage you to accept the status quo and follow the herd, whereas WesternU is the kind of place where innovative ideas can thrive. Also the hexagonal classrooms promote participation and learning. I would like prospective students to know that they have a voice here at WesternU. The curriculum is progressive toward student needs and our opinions and suggestions matter.
Roy Morita, PharmD
Time commitment: The block system took a little while to get used to, as there is a quiz, test, team assignment or individual assignment every two to three days. After you get used to it, it’s amazing how much information can be covered in a short amount of time.
Best thing about WesternU: Diversity. WesternU has many non-traditional students, including mid-career/foreign students, parents, older, non-science majors, etc. in addition to traditional students. This diversity adds to the learning experience by allowing you to meet many very interesting people.
Ruben Ayala, PharmD
What would you tell a prospective student about WesternU? Three main reasons to come to WesternU: Strong academic programs, friendly environment, and a relaxing sense of family among peers. The best thing about WesternU is the duality of its programs when it comes to learning and practicing. Right from the start, you roll up your sleeves and begin community and hospital rotations. So you don’t just sit in class and memorize terms, but you actually go out there and practice what you learn, as you learn it. This is a great advantage over other pharmacy programs because you can use your knowledge by applying it to actual community cases.
Why did you choose WesternU? I chose WesternU because it fosters a friendly environment between healthcare programs, classes, and classmates. Forget the snobby students who never want to share their thoughts and ideas with their classmates. Students are assigned to groups that will work together throughout the academic year. These groups are very helpful because they instigate discussions and sharpen team-oriented skills that are essential in any healthcare position in the job market. Moreover, educators and facilitators are always willing to help you. With their “open-door” policy, most of the time you can walk right into their offices and they can address your concerns without delay. At WesternU, you are family! Do not be surprised if your professors know you by your name. You are no longer an identification number sitting in a dusty computer database. Here, professors are committed to meet each student, and many of them will sit with you and discuss your academic progress to ensure that your career is right on track. Try getting that kind of attention in another university.