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School of Pharmacy


Alumni Call

The NDSU School of Pharmacy is educating tomorrow’s pharmacy leaders and advancing knowledge in our field. Dean Peterson placed a live call to alumni to discuss where the school is today and where we’re headed.  The Dean ended up connecting with 590 pharmacy alumni who were able to hear the latest happenings in the School of Pharmacy

Recording of call

Some additional questions that weren't answered during the call:

Ron from Duluth, MN
How many students go into work for the Federal government such as US Public Health Services?  Curious if they are exposed to government opportunities while they are in school. 

Dean’s Response
We had a feature article in one of our pharmacy alumni newsletters which was entitled, “NDSU alumni excel in military and public health”. The story highlighted that NDSU had a success rate few other schools of pharmacy could match related to the list of high-ranking military and federal pharmacy posts held by NDSU pharmacy alumni. The list included former posts held by Rear Admiral Fred Paavola, BS 70, chief professional officer of pharmacy of the USPHS; Col. James Normark, BS 72, associate chief of the US Air Force Biomedical Sciences Corps for Pharmacy; Bruce Nelson, BS 70, chief pharmacist consultant to the surgeon general of the US Army; and Terry Irgens, BS 69, chief executive officer for Defense Personnel Support Center. Most of these individuals have come back to NDSU and given presentations to our students about careers in the federal government and US Public Health Service.  Our students also have opportunities to complete clinical rotations every year at our Indian Health Service locations in North Dakota and South Dakota.  In addition, several federal government agencies also participate in our annual career fair, an event all students in our program are exposed to.

Pat from Tucson AZ
Fantastic program this evening and hope it will happen again. 

Dean’s Response 
Thank you Pat.  It was a fun evening for me and I hope also enjoyable for our alumni on the call. 

Karen from Illinois
Is the College aware of the upcoming 60’s reunion and if so, what kind of outreach is being planned?

Dean’s Response 
The University is hosting a 60’s reunion this fall and we will be part of the college visits for that event on Friday, September 11th 1-3 p.m. in Sudro Hall.  There will be student guided tours, 1960’s display, and discussion with Dean Peterson.  After the football game on Saturday, we will be hosting a post-game event at the Ramada Plaza Suites.  Please visit for a complete list of events for the weekend.  We hope to see you back in Fargo in September.

Paul from Gallup, NM
What is the College doing in regard to HIV, HPV and Hepatitis B screening and education? 

Dean’s Response
Our students receive extensive training in the Pharmacotherapy of Infectious Diseases course which includes screening and treatment for diseases such as HIV and HPV.  Students receive additional HIV training in our new capstone course and infectious hepatitis is covered in gastrointestinal pharmacotherapy.  While our students do participate in several community health screenings each year (approximately 300 people per year are screened by students for BP, cholesterol, and glucose), they do not screen for HIV, HPV, or hepatitis B during these public screening events.  Our third professional year students are required to prepare a poster presentation on a public health topic and many of these posters have been on the topics related to HIV, HPV, and hepatitis B/C which have been presented at the North Dakota Pharmacists State Convention.  Students have also been exposed to these topics during their clinical rotations at the various clinical facilities related to their screening and treatment of these conditions.

Tony from Bismarck, ND
Good, innovative idea. 

Dean’s Response
Thanks Tony, glad you enjoyed it.  We did too.

Chris from Minnesota
With the increase in the number of pharmacy colleges, do you feel candidates are being diluted out?  Do you feel candidates from other colleges are on par with NDSU graduates?  Do you have any success stories or data to share about NDSU’s students. 

Dean’s Response  
When I arrived at NDSU in 1989, there were 78 pharmacy schools in the US and that number has increased now to more than 130.  According to current pharmacy manpower statistics, the national pharmacist demand index for March 2015 was 3.55 on a scale of 1.0 – 5.0 (1.0 = High Surplus and 5.0 = High Demand).  So even though there are many more pharmacy schools suppling a much larger pool of graduates annually, there does not appear to be a glut of graduates since there still appears to be a demand for pharmacists and jobs to be filled.   The current ACPE accreditation standards have very high expectations of pharmacy schools which keeps a minimum standard for quality for pharmacy education in the US.  Despite these standards, we all know that there are differences in how employers view graduates’ skills and abilities depending on where they graduated.  NDSU has always had very high ratings compared to national averages in surveys measuring employers satisfaction, graduates satisfaction in how well their training prepared them for practice, and preceptor ratings of student’s performance.  In addition, NDSU graduates have consistently scored higher than the national average on the NAPLEX, PCOA, and MPJE exams.  NDSU graduates have also had a much higher PGY-1 Residency Match Rate (80% for NDSU graduates compared to 66% for graduates from other schools nationally, data for 2015).  Recent data from AACP national surveys of graduates shows results to the following questions – “I am prepared to enter pharmacy practice” (100% for NDSU, vs 94.7% for other pharmacy schools), and “If I were starting my pharmacy program over again, I would choose the same college of pharmacy” (97.6% for NDSU, vs 89.2% for other pharmacy schools.  Clearly NDSU has always produced high quality graduates who are heavily sought after by employers from all across the US. 

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North Dakota State University
Phone: +1 (701) 231-7456 / Fax: (701) 231-7606
Campus address: Sudro Hall 123
Physical/delivery address: 1401 Albrecht Boulevard, Fargo, ND 58102
Mailing address: NDSU Dept. 2650 / PO Box 6050 / Fargo, ND 58108-6050
Page manager: NDSU School of Pharmacy

Last Updated: Wednesday, May 25, 2016 11:26:09 AM
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