Southwestern Oklahoma State University College of Pharmacy

January 7, 2015

After celebrating its 75th anniversary, the Southwestern Oklahoma State University College of Pharmacy remains dedicated to providing training and education to future pharmacists in an evolving field.

Weatherford, Oklahoma

Founded: 1939

Class Size: Approximately 85 students

After celebrating its 75th anniversary, the Southwestern Oklahoma State University (SWOSU) College of Pharmacy remains dedicated to providing training and education to future pharmacists in an evolving field.

“We continue to tackle today’s global pharmaceutical opportunities and challenges in a nurturing, student-focused, educational environment,” said dean Dennis F. Thompson, PharmD, FASHP, FCCP, in an exclusive interview with Pharmacy Times.

In addition to their PharmD program, the school offers a combined PharmD and MBA program, residency and research opportunities for students, and an expanding rural health program that provides clinical support to critical access hospitals and rural community pharmacies.

In addition, the school is home to the SWOSU Center for Research in Pharmaceutical Sciences (SCRiPS). The center promotes research in the pharmaceutical sciences and strives to advance drug discovery and development. SCRiPS provides students and faculty with research and scholarship opportunities.

“We are dedicated to harnessing the passion and work ethic of our students, faculty, alumni, and stakeholders to create the very best pharmacy education,” said Thompson.

Q: What is the teaching style or philosophy?

A: We take tremendous pride in educating the next generation of pharmacists. The College of Pharmacy offers an innovative and student-focused curriculum. Our faculty members excel in the classroom, taking advantage of our small class sizes to provide learning experiences with personalized attention. We utilize combinations of active learning, flipped classrooms, traditional lecture, and case-based problem-solving methods. In addition, we have a series of 6 pharmaceutical care labs that provide a continuum of activities leading to the advanced pharmacy practice experiences.

Q: What are some community outreach activities or programs the school participates in? What volunteer opportunities are available to students?

A: There are a number of opportunities for SWOSU pharmacy students to get involved in their community through service and fund-raising activities. Faculty and students at the college help to provide free medical and pharmaceutical care to local residents in Oklahoma City and Weatherford who are in need. Students are also involved in international medical missions, such as our 2014 mission trip to Panama. Fund-raising for charities and as a mechanism to raise funds for their organizations is a constant part of the student experience at SWOSU.

Q: What opportunities do students have for rotation experiences?

A: Students at SWOSU have a wide variety of rotation opportunities at clinical, retail, institutional, and selective/elective settings. A brief list of examples includes nuclear, long-term care, professional organizations, benefit management, leadership, scholarship, academic, and a private physician’s office. The College of Pharmacy has a strong relationship with the Indian Health Service, and multiple opportunities in different practice settings are available for students throughout the state.

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

A: Consider doing a residency to enhance your patient care, research, and administrative skills. Develop your leadership skills and continue to be involved in professional pharmacy organizations.