Pharmacy in Downers Grove
Throughout the academic year, and particularly during summer breaks after the first and second years in the College, many of our students take advantage of various pharmacy internship positions or gain valuable research experience.
CCP offers students various opportunities to learn about and participate in research. These include coursework, as well as working on research projects with faculty members.
"Students keep us excited as faculty members. They bring their own creativity to projects and continually challenge our ideas," says Marc Scheetz, Pharm.D., Associate Professor of Pharmacy Practice, who has received funding for research projects through the NIH and other organizations. "Students are directly able to see the fruits of their labor in medical literature that can guide patient care. Many former student research colleagues of mine are already pushing the envelope as highly functioning clinicians or junior scientific investigators."
There are a few ways that students can become involved in research:
• To learn the basics, there is various coursework that introduces students to research.
• Students may opt to do an independent study course mentored by a faculty member, where students may receive elective credit of one to two hours per quarter. This research may also be led by the student, with faculty assistance.
• Or students may choose to work with faculty as a Research Assistant through the Federal Work Study (FWS) Program.
Whether participation is as an independent study or FWS, students may find these opportunities by networking with faculty to find research areas that are of interest to them. Faculty will also seek out student assistance by providing a brief description of their project or research.
For student-led research, they may apply for the CCP Student Research Award, which supports students' participation in meaningful research experiences. The results from such projects are presented in poster form at the Kenneth A. Suarez Research Day each spring, where awards are presented for the best posters.
The efforts of faculty to instill intellectual curiosity and research skills have resulted in a significant increase in the number of students presenting posters at national meetings. During the past year, CCP students have presented 27 different posters from student-led research at national pharmacy conferences all over the U.S.
"Learning about the scientific research process has helped me to better consider the larger picture of the patient in the clinical pharmacy arena. I have found it easier to look into all aspects that could potentially contribute to patient outcomes, so that my work-up process is much more efficient," comments Scott Snyder, Pharm.D., a recent graduate from CCP.
Effectively integrating students into their research teams allows faculty to be more productive scholars in addition to teaching the next generation of scholars. For example, Anil Gulati, M.D., Ph.D., Professor and Associate Dean for Research, and recognized with the American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy's Paul R. Dawson Award in Biotechnology for his outstanding accomplishments in research and education, has successfully incorporated postdoctoral fellows, residents, and students into multiple research projects over the years.
"We encourage our faculty and students to pursue research opportunities to further the profession of pharmacy," says Nancy Fjortoft, Ph.D., Professor and Dean of the Chicago College of Pharmacy. "It's a tremendous learning opportunity for our students."
Summer breaks after the first and second years in the College offer students the opportunities to experience a variety of careers in pharmacy before graduation. Many of our students take advantage of these times to gain hands-on experience to embrace a career path in pharmacy, or learn about new opportunities. Over the last few years, our students have taken advantage of summer internships offered by these companies, among many others:
Choice Compounding Pharmacy
Cleveland Clinic Foundation
Edward Hines, Jr. VA Hospital
Illinois Pharmacists Association
Indian Health Service
Johnson & Johnson
NorthShore Health System
Northwestern Memorial Hospital
Rush University Medical Center
St. Elizabeth Hospital
SXC Health Solutions
Wheaton Franciscan St. Joseph's Hospital