Welcome to the College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences

Wendy DuncanSince my recent arrival at Drake to serve as Dean, I have been regularly astonished by the passion and devotion Drake CPHS inspires in its students and alumni. In an era in which the value of higher education is increasingly being questioned, this loyalty is truly inspiring. But what is its origin? I’ve uncovered many causes.

At the most fundamental level we owe a great debt to the College’s founding faculty. Especially noteworthy is the leadership of two faculty members - Elbert O. Kagy and J. Earle Galloway, who kept the classrooms open, sometimes singlehandedly!  By skillfully navigating the twists and turns of economics and politics, and through a unique commitment to integrating professional education with the liberal arts (aimed at developing students into reflective, responsible citizens), a series of stalwart leaders has safeguarded exceptional pharmacy education in Des Moines since 1882.

This 131-year-old commitment to students and the profession is kept alive by the faculty and staff today. If you ask them what they value most, the overwhelming response will be “my relationships with the students.”  This passion – both to make students’ college experience exceptional and to enable each student to discover and embark on his or her unique path to success - is truly rare in higher education today, and is central to the “Drake experience.”

The College’s distinctive emphasis on developing entrepreneurial leaders committed to advancing healthcare is equally significant. Through a curriculum rich with high impact teaching practices, students become capable communicators, problem solvers and decision makers with competence in interprofessional, team-based, patient-centered care, health promotion, practice management, advocacy, self-learning and teaching. Nationally recognized student organizations and professional fraternities provide avenues for professional development and leadership.

Able to choose from a wide range of curricular options, Drake Doctor of Pharmacy graduates enjoy great latitude in directing their professional careers. While many continue into community-based retail practice, clinic and specialty practices, hospitals and long-term care practices, a significant number continue to post-graduate opportunities such as law school, medical school, graduate school and residency and fellowship training. Whichever path they choose, Drake graduates are recognized for their commitment to advancing their practices, supporting their communities, and advocating for their patients and profession.

Our exciting new Health Sciences program offers a variety of unique opportunities for students to develop leadership skills and explore a wide range of career options. Especially distinctive is a unique experiential capstone in a variety of health related sites. The capstone – indeed much of the curriculum - has been designed to be relevant to our students’ career aspirations and thus offers flexibility and pertinence to a multitude of health related career choices.

Graduates from the Health Sciences Program have earned placements in prestigious graduate programs in medicine, dentistry, pharmaceutics and pharmacology as well as exciting careers in a variety of contexts.

The College’s strategic commitment to communication, entrepreneurship, leadership and cultural competency ensures that graduates are prepared to enter the global workforce and to lead and advocate change to preserve and expand the role of the health professionals and health sciences in today's world.

I am confident that the hospitable yet challenging culture at the College will impress you as deeply as it has me – and I welcome you into our remarkable community!

Wendy Duncan

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