Cooperative Doctoral Program in Pharmacy

State
Texas
Academic Level
Graduate
Issue Area
Academic Program
Key Personnel
Program Focus
Health

Overview

Developed in 2001, the UTRGV/UT- Austin College of Pharmacy Cooperative Doctoral Program in Pharmacy (CDPP) encourages students from the Rio Grande Valley and Laredo regions of South Texas to pursue pharmacy as a career, and provides recruitment, training and retention of proficient pharmacists that understand the language and culture of the largely Hispanic South Texas community. There is a disproportionately low enrollment of Hispanics in the majority of pharmacy schools in Texas and many of the CDPP students would have had limited opportunities to pursue a pharmacy career without the support of this program. Our students include migrants, single moms and other hardship cases. Lastly, the CDPP has evolved into a source of opportunity for students that are committed to giving back to the community in the Rio Grande Valley.

Program Description

The goals of the CDPP include the following:
1) Address the pharmaceutical care needs of the underserved in the Rio Grande Valley and Laredo Regions
2) Nurture student interest in pharmacy as a professional career
3) Enhance the accessibility of a pharmacy education to students residing in the Rio Grande Valley and Laredo regions
4) Alleviate the shortage of pharmacists in the Rio Grande Valley and Laredo regions
5) Diversify the profession by educating more pharmacists who are sensitive to the unique needs of the region
6) Research border health issues

Outcome

The 12 CDPP students accepted annually represent a cross-section of the 89% Hispanic student population of UTPA. Since 2001, the CDPP has graduated 84 PharmD trained pharmacists (first complete graduating class in 2007). Almost 81% of alumni have stayed to work in this area. For the past four years, 100% of students achieved success at their first attempt for the National Boards and State Jurisprudence exams. The CDPP initiated a celebration of American Pharmacists Month in 2010. Local practitioners and pharmacy students established a pharmacist-led annual health fair and free flu vaccine clinic for the community, and administered all services. For the past 2 years, The Texas Pharmacy Association has designated one of our students as the Distinguished Pharmacy Student for the entire state.