NACDS offers mini-internship for high school students


nacds promotes pharmacy to his students



NACDS offers mini-internship for high school students

The National Association of Chain Drug Stores has established a mini-internship program for high school students in an effort to lure them to a career in pharmacy.

The six-week mentoring program is slated to begin in the fall. The program is part of NACDS' Pharmacists of the Future, which is a component of the group's Pharmacies of Promise program and the chain drugstore industry's partnership with America's Promise: The Alliance for Youth. The latter is a program founded in 1997 by Colin Powell to build the competence of young people.

Phil Schneider, v.p. of external affairs and program development, NACDS, said the mini-internship program would provide high school students with the opportunity to come into a pharmacy one or two afternoons a week.

"They will interact with pharmacists, learn what it's like to be a pharmacist, learn what kinds of patient care services a pharmacist provides, and learn how a pharmacy operates," said Schneider. "The whole objective is to interest the student in pursuing pharmacy as a course of study."

Pointing out that NACDS has had several discussions with pharmacy school deans about getting schools involved in the internship program, Schneider said, "We have talked about some of the roles there might be for pharmacy schools. They are very enthusiastic and excited about exploring and developing partnering roles."

One of those roles would be to enable pharmacy school students to meet their graduation requirements of providing community service by participating in the mentoring program. Pharmacy students would teach high school students in a pharmacy close to their pharmacy school.

Schneider believes that high school students would benefit from a "peer-to-peer" mentoring approach with pharmacy students since there's not much age difference between the two.

Acknowledging that pharmacy schools don't have large budgets for extensive high school recruiting, Schneider sees the mini-internship program as a tool to increase students' interest in pharmacy as a profession. Emphasizing that the program is not a panacea to the existing R.Ph. crunch, he said, "It is just one of many steps that need to be taken to address the overall pharmacist shortage."

Sandra Levy


Sandra Levy. NACDS offers mini-internship for high school students.

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