Friday, August 19, 2016

The 110 students in the UI College of Pharmacy class of 2020 are spending their first week participating in a host of professional engagement activities. This professional engagement week introduces students to a variety of topics they will encounter during their pharmacy education, as well as resources for a more robust academic experience.

Each student is placed into one of four Professional Outreach Development Societies, or PODS, which are small groups intended to help foster leadership, professionalism, learning, and service opportunities for student pharmacists. These groups will help to provide a support and mentorship network for the students during their time at the college.

Daily activities range from team-building exercises to hands-on training for cholesterol screenings, each with a very specific objective. Clinical Assistant Professor Jeanine Abrons, who leads the professional engagement initiative said, “Professional engagement provides incoming students the opportunity to engage with each other and the college in a low-pressure environment before classes get officially under way.”

To close out the week-long experience, these students are officially welcomed to the college and the profession of pharmacy during the Annual White Coat Ceremony on Aug. 20. During the ceremony, students are “coated” by a professional mentor assigned to them by the college. This relationship allows the students to grow and mature with a seasoned pharmacist as a guidepost. 

Classes officially begin Aug. 22.