Last month, Kelli Sem was granted conditional acceptance into the pharmacy school at North Dakota State University (NDSU). Her acceptance has gained widespread attention because Sem, 23, has cerebral palsy, uses a motorized wheelchair, and most-likely will need an assistant to act as her hands to meet certain laboratory requirements.
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Before she even applied to pharmacy school, the North Dakota Board of Pharmacy unanimously agreed that Sem, with reasonable accommodations, would be able to complete pharmacy school's academic program and gain a license. The pharmacy board noted: "there are many roles in pharmacy encompassing mostly cognitive tasks, which would pose no barrier to Ms. Sem. Reasonable accommodations might also allow her to perform most pharmacy duties, with the help of registered pharmacy technicians."
NDSU cannot comment on the case, due to both privacy concerns and possible legal action. And it is unclear what accommodation NDSU will provide. Sem spoke exclusively to Drug Topics.
DT: When did you become interested in becoming a pharmacist and why?
Sem: As a junior in high school, we had to write a report on a career that interested us. When I came across pharmacy, it seemed like a perfect fit because technicians worked along side pharmacists to assist them with many tasks that would be physically difficult for me.