Craig Barker ’14 and Yvonne Mai ’14 have been selected as candidates for the new Combined Masters of Science in Pharmaceutical Sciences and Fellowship in Pharmacy Practice. With the two-year program, the students will gain clinical experience similar to a residency, experience working in academic pharmacy and with geriatrics and to conduct and present a thesis research project with clinical or pharmacoeconomic emphasis. Students will work closely with the Department of Pharmacy Practice and the Pharmaceutical Chemical Sciences program to coordinate their schedules for the next two years.
“What we wanted was to attract strong Pacific students who were looking for something a little out of the ordinary for a postgraduate experience. This is an intense two-year program and will require a high level of commitment to complete. We’re very happy that Craig and Yvonne have chosen to be our inaugural fellows. They came to us highly recommended,” said Dr. William Kehoe ’95, program director and advisor.
Barker and Mai, who are finishing their third-year in the program and currently on advanced pharmacy practice experience rotations, agreed that the program offered many exciting opportunities. “I’ve always had an interest in working with the geriatric population and having the opportunity to help individuals who don’t get a lot of time or care. I know I will benefit from those interactions and learning how to provide interventions that will make an impact,” said Barker.
Mai, who has an interest in public health, felt the program’s emphasis on pharmacoeconomics would help her build a foundation to “improve health care programs and expand health care for the general public.”
Although the program is new and will be competing against other established programs for students, Dr. Kehoe feels strongly that the “combination of a fellowship and graduate degree will place students in a very competitive position among candidates for jobs in the future.” In addition to working in the clinics and classrooms, each student will also be completing six rotations scheduled in a four-week block.
Currently the students are providing teaching assistance to faculty members particularly in the practicum and geriatric courses. Barker and Mai will also be working closely with Dr. Rajul Patel ’01, ’06 in coordinating this year’s Medicare Part D outreach events and with Drs. Sian Carr-Lopez ’85, Joseph Woelfel ’70, ’72, ’78 and Suzanne Galal on the research component.
“It’s nice that it’s a brand new program because there is so much room for it to grow and it’s exciting to be part of that. In addition, it gives room for flexibility and changes,” said Barker. “I know that once I complete the program, I will have more opportunities than if I didn’t,” added Mai.
Barker and Mai will both earn their doctor of pharmacy degrees in May 2014 and are expected to complete the program by May 2015.
By Dua Her '09