October 24, 2018
PSP students with Dean James Dalton
Dean James Dalton welcomes the inaugural cohort of PSP students.

The College of Pharmacy announced a new residential pre-pharmacy summer program, called the Pharmacy Scholars Program (PSP) in February 2018. This six-week program aims to prepare students to take the Pharmacy College Admissions Test (PCAT), confidently manage the interview process, and introduces them to faculty and administrators at the College. It also exposes participants to the variety of career options available to those with a Doctor of Pharmacy degree. PSP is modeled after its sister program, Profile for Success at the U-M School of Dentistry.

“Students who participate in PSP will have the opportunity to build their academic and professional skill sets and their understanding of the broad field that is pharmacy,” explains Regina McClinton, PhD, the College’s chief diversity, equity, and inclusion officer.  “The program will help students feel confident when applying to and interviewing for pharmacy school. We also hope that participants recognize that you’ll find no better opportunity or preparation for success as a PharmD candidate than at the University of Michigan College of Pharmacy.”

The annual program, which is free to all participants, was held for the first time May 20-June 28, 2018. Six students, from as near as Flint, MI, and as far away as Ponce, Puerto Rico, were admitted into the inaugural cohort.

“The students enjoyed all aspects of the program, particularly the hands-on exercises such as calculations and compounding,” explains Dr. McClinton. “They learned that with the College’s new tuition structure, our tuition is lower than those of other schools they may be considering. One student shared this information with her family, who were so impressed that they are planning a trip to tour Michigan.”

Several students expressed that they had not previously considered attending Michigan for pharmacy school. “They saw the University as a very large institution and assumed it would be impersonal and that they would get lost in the system,” notes Dr. McClinton. “But they now see the College of Pharmacy as a community committed to each student.”

The PSP students met with College alumni, including Matt Perez, PharmD’13, and Norris Turner, PharmD’90, both of whom traveled to Ann Arbor to mentor the students in person, and Lydia Benitez, PharmD’14, who phoned in from Kentucky. In a session with alumni Barima Opong-Owosu, PharmD’11, Tiffany Porter, PharmD’12, Regine White, PharmD’04, and Omonye Phillips, PharmD’11, the students learned the value of attending a large, prestigious institution and how it can support a variety of career paths. And in a session with the Detroit Pharmacist Guild, whose members include Derrick Jackson, BSPharm’80, Kimberly Jordan, PharmD’89, and Kiela Samuels, PharmD’87, the students gained insight on financial literacy and staying focused on long-term goals.

PSP is open to college juniors, seniors, recent college graduates, and individuals making a career transition who are on track to enter pharmacy school the academic year following their participation. Applicants should self-identify as educationally, socially, or economically disadvantaged or demonstrate a commitment to serve under-served populations within the United States.