Southern Illinois University Edwardsville School of Pharmacy


Southern Illinois University Edwardsville (SIUE) School of Pharmacy values 4 areas: teaching, pharmacy practice, research, and service.

Edwardsville, Illinois

Founded: 2005

Class Size: Around 80

Southern Illinois University Edwardsville (SIUE) School of Pharmacy values 4 areas: teaching, pharmacy practice, research, and service.

Gireesh V. Gupchup, PhD, FAPhA, dean and professor of SIUE School of Pharmacy, told Pharmacy Times that there are a couple of ways in which the school stands out.

For example, SIUE School of Pharmacy is 1 of 12 Centers of Excellence in Pain Education in the National Institutes of Health Pain Consortium, and it houses the Express Scripts Drug Information and Wellness Center, which is one of its kind in the region.

SIUE School of Pharmacy also has 15 affiliated residencies that span the central and southern Illinois area, Dr. Gupchup said.

The school graduated its first class, in 2009, the same year it received full accreditation. The SIUE pharmacy school is the only one located in southern Illinois, offering a 6-year program of study to approximately 80 pharmacy students, of whom around 90% are from Illinois. Dr. Gupchup spoke further with Pharmacy Times about some of the student offerings at the SIUE School of Pharmacy.

Q: What is unique about your school/program?

A: SIUE School of Pharmacy is an interdisciplinary educational community dedicated to the preparation of pharmacy professionals, scholars, and leaders to improve the health and well-being of the region and beyond.

Our program has many unique features. We have 18-week semesters, and our introductory pharmacy practice experiences (IPPEs) are embedded within our semesters. This allows students to apply what they learn beginning in their first semester. We value the concept of the augmented PharmD, and to this effect, we have several programs that students can complete alongside their PharmD degree:

• Students can complete specializations in education or pediatrics without taking additional credits beyond the PharmD

• A PharmD/MBA concurrent degree option is available, and students in this program can graduate with dual degrees, finishing both in 4 years

• Our students and alumni can complete online certificates in organizational leadership or health informatics from St. Louis University

• We have a Bachelor of Science of integrative biology/PharmD joint degree option available

• In addition to the traditional 2+4 PharmD degree option, we have a conditional entry program, which is a direct-entry program for a limited number of freshmen applicants (0-6 program)

With the significant success of our faculty in garnering research funding, we have a new Master of Science in pharmaceutical sciences degree with 3 tracks in medicinal chemistry, pharmacology, and pharmaceutics.

As part of the strong cadre of health sciences programs in the Southern Illinois University system, we have created several opportunities for interprofessional experiences for our students. For example, our PharmD and dental medicine students complete the ethics course together. Also, our PharmD students work with nursing students on cultural competence modules, and our experiential program is closely tied with experiential opportunities through the SIU School of Medicine.

Q: What is the teaching style or philosophy?

A: Our PharmD curriculum is designed to provide the didactic and practical educational experiences that prepare our students to be generalist pharmacy practitioners able to provide patient-centered care.

Furthermore, our curriculum provides a rigorous foundation such that our students can elect to advance to specialized practice. Utilizing an evidence-based approach, we provide opportunities for students to become critical thinkers, communicators, and ethical decision makers.

Our graduates participate as interprofessional team members and display the characteristics of lifelong learners by becoming agents of change for pharmacy and society.

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

SIUE School of Pharmacy has a strong commitment to community outreach and improving the health and well-being of the region and beyond. As part of this mission, all first-year students participate in a large-scale community service event. Students design and deliver a health-related presentation to local elementary classrooms throughout the community. Topics include poison prevention, proper nutrition and wellness, and prevention of the spread of germs.

We have received overwhelmingly positive feedback from our students, as well as our community partners over the last 10 years since this program was initiated. The service learning program continues to grow in size each year.

Every summer, the SIUE School of Pharmacy also organizes a week-long residential health careers camp for minority students in our geographic area. Students are exposed to careers in nursing, pharmacy, dentistry, and medicine. This program is funded by Walgreens.

In collaboration with the American Diabetes Association, the SIUE School of Pharmacy also conducts the Diabetes Patient Education Symposium. This is an interdisciplinary program that includes pharmacy students. In January 2016, 125 patients with diabetes participated in the symposium.

Also, every April, the SIUE School of Pharmacy faculty and students participate in the Roll-Up Your Sleeves Edwardsville and Glen Carbon event. The event is a blood pressure screening event held in collaboration with the Offices of the Mayors of Edwardsville and Glen Carbon. In 2015, more than 500 patients were screened in 1 day.

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

Students have many opportunities to experience pharmacy practice outside of the classroom, both through paid internships and also within the experiential education program.

We have many incredible partners and preceptors who provide learning experiences during IPPEs and advanced pharmacy practice experiences. Students are able to select from a wide variety of experiences, both locally and outside the region.

We currently have global partners in India and Guatemala, in addition to opportunities for students in Alaska, Colorado, Washington, and South Dakota.

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

Challenges lead to innovations. There will be many challenges in the profession, but you are well- equipped to surmount them. Be a change agent, and remember what Gandhi said, “You must be the change you want to see in this world.”

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