Future Pharmacists Get Up-Close Look at Profession

July 17, 2019

This summer, a small, select group of high school students from Young Women’s College Prep (YWCP) and Pittsford Central School District experienced an up-close look at pharmacy thanks to a first-ever summer camp hosted by the Wegmans School of Pharmacy at St. John Fisher College.

Dr. Ramil Sapinoro (left) taught the students about antibiotics.

Led by Dr. Lipika Chablani, the camp introduced students to the pharmacy profession through hands-on lab activities and interactive sessions with current pharmacy students and professors from the School.

“Wegmans School of Pharmacy colleagues were very excited to offer a Pharmacy Summer Camp to our community members and provide an opportunity to high school students to see pharmacy as a profession up-close,” said Chablani. “This summer camp was diligently designed to expose the attendees to various roles a pharmacist plays in patient care and well-being.”

For Dyashia MacMillan, a rising junior at YWCP, the camp helped solidify her interest in health and medicine, noting that she enjoyed learning about how to combine medicinal ingredients to compound pharmaceutical products. “It was a good experience and a good opportunity to come and see about the profession," she said.

Pittsford student Ellery Stamp agreed.

“I am interested in pharmacy and nursing, and this made me more aware of the different things you can do in pharmacy,” Stamp said. “I learned how close you actually work with patients and I also enjoyed the lab.”

During the three-day camp, Dr. Todd Camenisch hosted a session called Spice Wars and the Plague, where the students tested which household spices attract or repel fruit flies. In another session, led by Drs. Kobi Nathan and Anthony Corigliano, along with fourth-year pharmacy students, the campers engaged in a role-playing exercise, acting as a pharmacist as they learned how to counsel patients.

Dr. Ramil Sapinoro taught the students about antibiotics, where students were able to examine their bacterial culture plates to observe the impact of antibiotics and discuss the growing issues concerning antibiotic resistance.

The camp also included field trips to URMC and the Anthony Jordan Center, where the students observed pharmacists at work.

Free for the students to attend, the camp was funded in part by a diversity and inclusion grant from Walgreens.