Sixth Grade Science Leads to Passion for Pharmacy
Amongst a busy hallway of mid-semester pharmacy students, donning sweatpants and focused faces, stands a bright-eyed, hopeful future pharmacist. Casey Leipheimer, a sixth grader at Glenwood Middle School, was invited to visit the University of Findlay College of Pharmacy to get an in-depth look at what it means to be a pharmacist.
While Leipheimer doesn’t personally know any pharmacists, she has a good idea as to what the position entails. “I really want to be in the medicine field, like a doctor, but I want to do the chemistry side too. Pharmacists get to do both,” she explained. Chemistry is her favorite subject and a driving factor as to why she wants to be a pharmacist. Currently, Leipheimer is learning about movement and states of matter in her chemistry class.
The day started off with a tour of Findlay’s facilities led by Pharmaceutical Science Department Chair Ryan Schneider, Pharm.D. The College of Pharmacy contains a skills lab, a Medication Therapy Management Center, mock patient rooms and an experimental lab. “I really liked the labs. That was my favorite part. You get to be so hands-on in the lab,” she said. Throughout the day, Leipheimer attended lab with a current student, compounded her own hand cream and went through the process of filling a ‘prescription’ of Skittles.
She was able to see a typical day in the life of a pharmacy student as well as something out of the ordinary. Dr. Schneider welcomed her into his lab where he is currently doing research on cancerous cells. His research and being able to look at cancer cells was deemed “very cool,” by Leipheimer.
While Leipheimer still has six years of schooling before making a college decision, she is one of the lucky people who know what they want to do in their career. “If my classmates ever say that they want to be a pharmacist but all they do is count pills,” she said, “I’ll tell them that there is a lot more and they should really check it out because it is really fun.” Being a pharmacist is about combining a passion for improving patients’ lives with the scientific knowledge to do so. Leipheimer certainly has the brains and the drive, and when asked if she still wanted to be a pharmacist she replied, “Yes, even more than I did before.”