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KU students tour local, rural pharmacies - KOAM TV 7

KU students tour local, rural pharmacies

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BAXTER SPRINGS, KANSAS -

Students with the University Of Kansas School Of Pharmacy are taking part in a 3-day road trip. It’s a way for them to see what it'd be like to be part of a smaller community as opposed to a "big box store". One of their stops, today, was in Baxter Springs.

KU students get a glimpse into their future. Jake Dugan says it helps motivate him in school.

“Getting to hear his stories of what he's doing and what he continues to do to better patient's lives, I mean that’s what’s really able to push us through school and let us know it’s really worth it at the end,” says second year pharmacy student Jake Dugan.

The students inquire about business plans and services.

“There’s pharmacies all over from chain stores to independent stores. Seeing how these pharmacists can distinguish themselves and set themselves apart from the others is really what I’m trying to get out of this,” continues Dugan.

The owner of Wolkar Drug in Baxter Springs says although there are challenges to owning a smaller scale pharmacy, there are great rewards.

“A lot of times when you get into this profession of pharmacy, you do it for people, to help people out. And here, instead of just standing behind a counter and not being able to talk to people 1 on 1, you can reach out and touch people, you can make a difference in their lives,” says Brian Caswell, owner of Wolkar Drug.

A lesson KU professors hope to show their students on the trip.

“I can talk to the students in the ivory halls of academia about what I consider to be the advantages, the enthusiasm, but just take them out and let them see it,” says Senior Associate Dean with the School of Pharmacy, Gene Hotchkiss.

And rural communities are generally made up of an aging population, increasing the demand for these types of pharmacies.

“We don't have as much access to health care, or as much as maybe the larger cities, and so as our patients grow a little bit older, then they have a first line health care provider that they can actually come to and access to ask questions and to help solve some of their problems,” says Caswell.

And although he has 2 more years left of school, Dugan can picture himself solving those problems.

The students will also visit pharmacies in Miami and El Dorado Springs. KU has been doing the tours since 1998.

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