Q&A: Ohio Northern University Raabe College of Pharmacy

Pharmacy Careers, Pharmacy Careers Winter 2019, Volume 13, Issue 1

Although located on a small, primarily undergraduate, liberal arts campus, Raabe College is one of the largest pharmacy programs in the country.

Location: Ada, Ohio

Founded: 1884

Class Size: About 165

The Ohio Northern University (ONU) Raabe College of Pharmacy prepares pharmacists who improve health, serve others, lead change, and advance the profession.

Although located on a small, primarily undergraduate, liberal arts campus, Raabe College is one of the largest pharmacy programs in the country, Dean Steven J. Martin, PharmD, BCPS, FCCP, FCCM, said in an exclusive interview with Pharmacy Careers®. The college is also among the oldest in the country and has nearly 7500 alumni across the globe.

Raabe is also 1 of just 8 schools to offer direct entry into the professional PharmD program, offering a 0-6 pharmacy experience, with no Pharmacy College Admission Test and no pharmacy-related prerequisites for admission. The Class of 2018 saw a pass rate of 95% on the North American Pharmacist Licensure Examination. In addition, 40% of the graduates went on to residencies (81% match rate), and 93% were employed full time or enrolled in graduate or professional school within 6 months after graduation.

The pharmacy program at Ohio Northern University (ONU) teaches students to focus on improving health in the underserved community of Harden County, Ohio by pairing the 6-year curriculum with patient care experiences.

Q: What is unique about your school or program?

A: ONU is a unique setting to begin a career in pharmacy. The scenic, safe, and modern campus rests on nearly 342 acres in the heartland of America. Its location in Ada, Ohio, provides a quaint, small-town atmosphere that complements the friendly campus environment. Five years on campus allows for a rich undergraduate experience while students are prepared for roles as health care providers and patient advocates. More than 40% of students on campus are enrolled in a health professions major, making ONU a premier institution for health sciences and interprofessional education.

All pharmacy students participate in patient care services, including health-risk screenigns, during their time at ONU.

Q: What is the teaching style or philosophy?

A: The pharmacy program prepares students to be practice ready, incorporating extensive patient care experiences throughout the 6-year curriculum. Students learn to be primary care providers through a focus on improving health in the underserved community of Hardin County, Ohio.

The Raabe College clinical practice group includes a health and wellness program, a community pharmacy on campus, a drug and health information center, a pharmacy services center that provides a variety of patient services via telecommunication, and a mobile health clinic.

ONU students are immersed in an integrated educational style that brings pharmaceutical sciences, clinical sciences, and social and administrative sciences together. Students learn to practice health care delivery with interprofessional teams in a variety of settings.

The colleges clinical practice group includes a community pharmacy on campus, a drug and information center, and a variety of other patient services.

Q: What are some community outreach activities or programs the school participates in?

A: All students participate in health-risk screenings, wellness and health education programs, immunization events, medication education and therapy management sessions, and other direct patient care services throughout their time in the program. Student-led and student-directed health outreach activities occur daily, such as cancer awareness programs, childhood obesity intervention, drug-abuse prevention programs, and national events such as the Script Your Future Medication Adherence Challenge; Generation Rx; and Operations Diabetes, Heart, and Immunization. More than 15 student organizations also compete regionally and nationally. ONU’s National Community Pharmacy Association (NCPA) chapter was the first runner-up for 2018 Chapter of the Year, as well as the winner of the NCPA Legislative Advocacy Challenge. The ONU NCPA Business Plan Team was selected as 1 of 3 teams in the nation to present at the national convention in 2018. Raabe College students also produce and edit The Pharmacy and Wellness Review, an indexed, peer-reviewed journal.

Immersion in the profession of pharmacy for 6 years allows students to develop key leadership skills, which have been recognized by students’ selection to national offices in professional organizations, such as president of the Student National Pharmacists Association, Student Leadership Council members for NCPA, and regional leadership in the American Pharmacists Association Academy of Students of Pharmacy.

A mobile health clinic is one of the ways that Raabe School of Pharmacy Students are provided opportunities to become immersed in the profession and their community.

Q: What opportunities do students have for internships or co-ops?

A: Many ONU pharmacy students engage in paid internships in a variety of pharmacy care settings throughout the program. In addition, students take advantage of the pharmacy practice opportunities on campus, providing patient care in a rural, medically underserved community and engaging in patient care experiences built into the program to help close the health care gap in the region.

Q: What advice do you have for students who will graduate this year?

A: For our 2019 graduates, I have 3 streams of advice. Employers want pharmacists who communicate well, are self-directed and self-aware, are problem solvers, demonstrate strong personal leadership skills, and can function well on teams. Drug and disease knowledge is expected, but these other characteristics are what make our graduates stand out from the crowd.

Create a broad foundation for your career by getting as much training, as many credentials, and as much distinction as possible.Your career should span 40 years or more, and now is the time to prepare for the future.

And help everyone you can, including patients, friends, family, students, and strangers. There is no greater reward than helping someone who needs what you can do.