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Want to know more about Touro University - California - College of Pharm?

Discussion in 'Pre-Pharmacy' started by fr3d33, Apr 12, 2007.

  1. fr3d33

    fr3d33

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    Apr 11, 2007
    Touro University - CA is one of the newer pharmacy programs on the block, so you may not know about us. The PharmD program is currently in its 2nd year, and for those interested in learning more about it, I wrote this article for US Pharmacist, published sometime in Feb 07. I posted here the unedited version (I like it better, hehe), and I like to think it's a good intro to my PharmD program and also the Charter Class experience. Enjoy! Hope it helps and possibly get you interested in our program or pharma in general... and good hunting as you all venture into the thick of it.

    fr3d

    THE NEW FACES OF PHARMACY
    Touro University and the Charter Class

    It seems at least a quarter of the prescription consults I give as a pharmacy intern end with patients inquiring about the College of Pharmacy at Touro University – California. “Never heard of it,” they tend to mention when noticing the college’s emblem on my white coat. Even some of the pharmacists I work with have wondered about this new California pharmacy school I attend.

    It is understandable that there is a lack of name recognition for Touro University - COP. The program is just only in its second year of the accreditation process and has had no more than 145 students sit in its classroom facilities. Still, I like to believe it is my class’s duty and privilege to get the word out about Touro. We are after all the Charter Class; the first class to go through the developing curriculum and the first to eventually graduate from the program. For all the opportunities that Touro has given us, it is the least that we – the Charter Students – can do in return.

    The College of Pharmacy

    For those of you unaware of one of the newest additions to pharmacy academia, let me introduce you to my school. Touro is a Jewish-sponsored university established in the San Francisco Bay Area in 1997. The College of Pharmacy is the fourth college at the Touro campus, which also serves as home for programs in the fields of medicine, education and health sciences.

    Touro offers a four year PharmD program based on a two-year didactic plus two-year clinical rotations model not seen in any other national pharmacy school. It is proposed that the two years of clerkships will help develop pharmacists with a higher level of clinical preparation.

    But beyond these characteristics that I would consider “brochure” material, the college has some unique subtleties that I feel inclined to discuss. For example, The Touro faculty and staff, led by Dean Katherine Knapp and Associate Deans Debra Sasaki-Hill and Paul Goldsmith, made a promise to be there for the students throughout our endeavor. This support may not sound like much on paper, but knowing that their doors are always open for office hours and much more makes such a difference. Whether our conversations with them are about the deeper pharmacy experience, the Beatles, or even about a personal loss or struggle, it is amazing to see that our staff has blurred the lines between mentors and caring friends.

    Touro’s heavy emphasis on group work is another notable characteristic. Our class of sixty three is divided into ten teams so that we can participate in Student Group Discussions (SGDs). These daily sessions supplement our lectures and encourage group process through presentations, debates, clinical skits and other active learning assignments. Those who crave to flex their creativity and imagination in such activities will find much to like here. They also provide a nice break from the traditional lecturing routine, giving us time to socialize and help each other solidify our understanding of difficult topics. Through teamwork, SGDs essentially make us more appreciative of our classmates as both friends and professionals.

    The Charter Class experience

    There is a tremendous concern that goes with being a student at a newly established college of pharmacy that is still working towards full accreditation. Transitioning into a professional college is difficult in its own right, but to do it with no other pharmacy classes around to intermingle with makes for a possibly isolated and trying experience. Add to that the responsibility for not only their own growth and development as professionals but also the PharmD program’s as well, one has to wonder why students would accept the risk and uncertainty that come with attending an unproven college.

    When I discussed the Charter Class experience with my peers, many expressed that they chose Touro because they desired the challenges, rewards and opportunities that comes with being trailblazers. I admit that this ambitious, entrepreneurial spirit is why I am here as well. We understood the risks involved, but we also saw the more complex, bigger picture at Touro and found endless possibilities.

    Both faculty and students rose to the challenges of being first and have brought into fruition nearly everything we felt our college needed. A few of my peers became class officers to set precedent for us and future classes. Some helped establish community outreach programs where none had existed before. One person even sold homemade drug information cards to the class. Clubs were started, national association applications were completed, weekly newsletters were published, and even pharmacy apparel was designed and sold. Our greatest feat - I will argue - is that our college achieved Candidate Status in our first year of eligibility. Considering how much hard work we put into our first year, this is something we are unabashedly proud of.

    Not many pharmacy students get the chance to play with an empty canvas like we do as the Charter Class. There was so much to do before we got here, and it is amazing to look back at what we have accomplished already. Besides the education and the friends we have made, being able to see what our creativity and enthusiasm can muster up is truly one of the greatest gifts Touro has ever given us.

    Opportunity in our responsibility

    One of the most significant responsibilities given to the Charter Class has been the duty of giving consistent feedback to staff regarding the ongoing development of the college. The program is still in a fluid state and the faculty made it quite clear how essential student input is in shaping all aspects of the program’s structure. Indeed, a plethora of communication channels have been made available for us to express our honest assessment of the curriculum, professors, learning atmosphere and other issues of significance.

    Curriculum meetings, which discuss the work and progress being made in the program, are the students’ most significant means to help shape the learning environment. Our comments and concerns are given to student representatives who present them to the staff for deliberations at these meetings, and we have seen many progressive outcomes as a result. One of our biggest contributions has been helping synchronize our biology, pharmaceutics, clinical and social/behavioral courses together to layer our learning experience and make it more effective.

    The future

    It really is a gift to have our voices heard and appreciated. Having this much impact on the College of Pharmacy’s growth was not something I expected to have in spades at Touro. I realize now how tremendous and essential the role of the Charter Class is in breathing life into the vision of a developing college.

    Of course, we are only the beginning at Touro. We look to future classes and faculty to continue the evolution of the program and take it to new frontiers. With so much to be done and many more opportunities still to be had, I am excited to see what Touro has in store for pharmacy. Obviously, I am also looking forward to seeing what my peers and I have in store for pharmacy as professionals. History has been made by the Charter Class, but it will be in the future where we will be making the grand, ardent strides in our profession and our community. If you never heard of us, trust me, you will soon enough.
     
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  3. jesterman

    jesterman New Member 5+ Year Member

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    Jul 13, 2006
    This is GREAT! Thanks for sharing it on this forum. I'm currently deciding between Touro and another school, and have to say that this certainly helped tip the scale in Touro's favor.

    I'm curious to see what the edited, published version was like.
     
  4. marine123

    marine123 Junior Member 2+ Year Member

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    Jul 29, 2006
    Awesome article! I definitely believe in Dean Katherine Knapp's dedication to the school. When I interviewed for that school, I was impressed with their honesty and genuine care for their students.
     
  5. joejoe75

    joejoe75 2+ Year Member

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    Apr 5, 2007
    fr3d33, do you have any information about the campus that Touro plans to open up in Manhattan? If so, please PM me. Thanks.
     
  6. pharmd4me@510

    [email protected] druggist_2_be 10+ Year Member

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    Jul 5, 2006
    Bay Area
    Great article! I look forward to joining Touro this fall
     
  7. Da Alchemist

    Da Alchemist 2+ Year Member

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    Sep 6, 2006
    the pharmcas list for touro prereqs are

    Inorganic (General) Chemistry
    8 sem. hrs. 12 qtr. hrs.
    Organic Chemistry
    8 sem. hrs. 12 qtr. hrs.
    Human Anatomy/ Physiology 4 sem. hrs. 6 qtr. hrs.
    Microbiology 4 sem. hrs. 6 qtr. hrs.
    Calculus


    that's it?? is there something wrong here?? no english courses?
     
  8. airen

    airen 10+ Year Member

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    Nov 2, 2006
    Does anyone know what date is the May interview at Touro? thank you.
     
  9. Jack555

    Jack555 5+ Year Member

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    Mar 13, 2007
    I'd swear that they just lowered their requirements. Last week I was looking and I thought they required a lot of humanities if you didn't have your bachelors. Heres the official pre-reqs

    "
    • 8 semester/12 quarter units of Inorganic Chemistry with lab
    • 8 semester/12 quarter units of Organic Chemistry with lab (4 semester units of Biochemistry may be substituted for the second semester of Organic Chemistry)
    • 4 semester/6 quarter units of Human Anatomy/Physiology (combined course) with lab OR one course each of Human Anatomy and Human Physiology with labs
    • 4 semester/6 quarter units of Microbiology with lab
    • 3 semester units of Calculus
    • All prerequisite coursework completed with a grade of "C" or better
    • Minimum cumulative and science GPA's of 2.5 (Candidates who qualify for secondary applications typically have GPA's substantially higher than 2.5)
    Candidates without a Bachelor's Degree
    Though it is strongly recommended that candidates for the Doctor of Pharmacy Degree program obtain a Bachelor's Degree prior to the start of classes, candidates without a Bachelor's Degree who have completed more than 60 college units may be accepted to the program provided they meet all of the prerequisite requirements and coursework listed above as well as the following additional coursework:

    • 3 semester units of College English
    • 3 semester units of English Composition
    • 3 semester units of Speech/Communication
    • 3 semester units of Economics
    Specific questions regarding these requirements "
     
  10. ownit

    ownit 2+ Year Member

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    Dec 26, 2006
    the whole candidates without a bachelors thew me off... i got so excited about it ( a first year student in college at a CC takin pre-reqs) but later on found out 100 Percent of the incoming class had a bachelors. Im sure many students tried applying without a bachelors but seems none of them got accepted correct me if im wrong... which i hope i am... is it that hard without a bachelors to get into touro? and do u have to be a 4.0 student to stand a chance? thanx
     
  11. mr. rx

    mr. rx New Member 2+ Year Member

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    Jun 10, 2006
    I've also wondered about this. It seems pointless to apply without having a bachelor's degree despite what the school does not require it.
     
  12. anh80

    anh80 Going through PharmD 10+ Year Member

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    Jul 7, 2006
    well.......the high rank u can get w/o a BS or BA is med.alternative. they'll give u some lame ass reason for waitlisting u.
     
  13. marine123

    marine123 Junior Member 2+ Year Member

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    Jul 29, 2006
    Hey guys....just in case you want to know....this is from Julie Trung

    "Dear Incoming Pharmacy Student,


    The start dates for your entering Fall 2007 class have been confirmed. The faculty of the College of Pharmacy has determined that the first day of mandatory orientation for the PharmD Class of 2011 will be Wednesday, August 1, 2007. More information regarding orientation will follow. The first day of classes will be on Monday, August 6, 2007. We look forward to seeing all of you in the fall."
     
  14. Da Alchemist

    Da Alchemist 2+ Year Member

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    Sep 6, 2006
    it wouldve been better if they just wrote for bachelors only.
     
  15. terse

    terse Senior Member 7+ Year Member

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    Oct 26, 2006
    suprising how they don't require at least 8 sem units of general bio.
     
  16. pharmd4me@510

    [email protected] druggist_2_be 10+ Year Member

    177
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    Jul 5, 2006
    Bay Area
    They do this because they want people to apply. The more people apply, the more $ they get. They will weave out most people without a bachelors or bad GPA eventhough their minimum GPA requirement is 2.7.
     
  17. anh80

    anh80 Going through PharmD 10+ Year Member

    308
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    Jul 7, 2006
    it sounds a little shady to me. i believe, for a new institution, they shouldnt act this way. shady shady....:mad:
     
  18. Jack555

    Jack555 5+ Year Member

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    Mar 13, 2007

    Many if not most of the California Schools do this. Its not just Touro.

    Its actually not even shady at all. Yes, they do get money from a bunch of people they don't accept but occasionally people with 2.8 gpa's do get in to these schools.


    UCSF and especially UCSD are really hard to get into with a B.S.
     
  19. AnPharmD

    AnPharmD 2+ Year Member

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    Oct 9, 2006
    anyone knows about the $1000 deposit that's due in May. What date exactly in May and do we just send to admission office or attention someone specific. Anyone with information, please let me know. Thanks in advance.
     
  20. marine123

    marine123 Junior Member 2+ Year Member

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    Jul 29, 2006
    I just called them. They said...

    The secondary $1000 deposit is due May 15. The check if payable to "Touro University." Send the check to

    Touro University
    Attn: Bursar
    1310 Johnson Lane
    Vallejo, CA 94592
     
  21. moldovanits

    moldovanits 7+ Year Member

    good info! but wish all universities were straight up.
     
  22. fr3d33

    fr3d33

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    Apr 11, 2007
    Hey guys, I'm sure all of you already know how it is getting harder to get into pharmacy school across the board. Such is effect of competition to get into any health care profession, not just pharma. The selection process has indeed gotten tougher for ALL schools, make no doubt about it, and yes that includes Touro. If you think you can skate on in with just the bare minimum, realize there's going to be someone else who smartly sees beyond that who just happens to be competing for that same position you want. So word of advice, sure, go ahead and pay attention to the prereqs that all the schools give, but realize they are looking for far FAR more... So grades are vital to prove you can survive in school, but community service and work background will prove your real worth. Seriously, that's a big deal. But even that may not even get you a "consideration." I want to express to you how important communication skills are as well in order to stand out in the selection process. Pharmacists are indeed on the front lines in a health care environment that is evolving into a more clinical and more patient oriented landscape. Now I am not sure whether or not English is a prereq or not any more at Touro (i'll take your word), but it is very important. So if you don't have that ability to communicate and educate clearly, it will be noted by most if not all pharmacy schools that look at you. Seriously, if you can't communicate now, how good will you be as a pharmacist when you start doing patient consultations?

    Now this little reply may get your blood boiling or possibly get you a little apprehensive... and maybe it'll get you to do more to be a better person (and pack your resume). It's not easy getting in, but i can't think of any great endeavor that is easy, can you? work hard ya'll, and trust me... it's damn worth it.

    This is just MY opinion on the matter...
     
  23. AntiviralsRule

    AntiviralsRule Student Pharmacist 7+ Year Member

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    May 9, 2007
    Bay Area, Calif.
    How much community service is enough? (I know, I know -- if you have to ask....;-)

    I mean, can you give a profile of what a successful candidate might look like as far as their list of community activities? I know there's no ONE formula, but an example would help.... Thx!
     
  24. hpharm07

    hpharm07 Banned Banned

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    Apr 3, 2007
    Just to let you all know, the reason why write this post/blog here is because want to advertise Touro univ so more people out there can apply and reapply, and this translate to more application money to the school and pharmcas. Even though we only accept a few. :p
     

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