Published on January 10, 2019 by Sarah Waller  
Pharmacy Students in Atrium

Samford University’s McWhorter School of Pharmacy ensures graduates’ lasting success by providing the opportunity for students to combine the clinical skills they gain in the classroom with the intangible skills they develop through their involvement in the school’s dynamic student life, which includes 12 active student organizations. 

Many of these organizations are student chapters of national or state associations, setting the stage for soft skills, like leadership and communication, to be developed against a backdrop of the pharmacy industry. 

“I like to tell people who are just starting pharmacy school: If you just go to class and take the tests, you are missing the point,” said Brandon Powell, a fourth-year student and former president of Samford’s chapter of the American Pharmacists Association Academy of Student Pharmacists. “Getting involved outside of the classroom is where the rubber meets the road.”

At the end of last year, students received approval to launch the school’s latest student organization: the Samford chapter of the International Society for Pharmacoeconomics and Outcomes Research, or ISPOR.

Landon Reeves, a third-year student, was among the student leaders who submitted the request. She said she was motivated to create the new student chapter so she and her classmates could learn more about career opportunities in the pharmaceutical industry sector.

“During our first year of pharmacy school, we take a patient care class designed for pharmacists to come and speak about their profession,” Reeves said. “While one person spoke to us about their side of industry, I quickly realized then that there are so many other fields of industry that I didn’t know about.”

Samford’s chapter of ISPOR will focus on pharmacoeconomics and outcomes research, challenging students to look at a health care system as a whole. And while many of the school’s student organizations provide opportunities for students to participate in health fairs and other clinical experiences, Reeves said ISPOR will focus on discussion and discovery and offer opportunities for students to develop their research, presentation and interview skills.

Today, as ISPOR’s team of student leaders prepare for their first meeting later this month, they have seen a lot of interest from their classmates.

“More and more people are coming to me and asking questions about ISPOR,” Reeves said, “which shows how much interest there is in learning about the multiple facets of pharmacy.”

McWhorter School of Pharmacy’s 12 student organizations include:

  • Academy of Managed Care Pharmacy
  • American Pharmacists Association Academy of Student Pharmacists
  • Christian Pharmacy Fellowship
  • International Society for Pharmacological Outcomes and Research
  • Kappa Psi Pharmaceutical Fraternity
  • National Community Pharmacists Association
  • The Pediatric Pharmacy Advocacy Group
  • Phi Lambda Sigma
  • Rho Chi
  • Student College of Clinical Pharmacy
  • Student National Pharmaceutical Association
  • Student Society of Health-System Pharmacy