Monday, August 15, 2022

UM School of Pharmacy Holds Students to Professional, Real-World Standards

Photo courtesy UM Communications
Photo courtesy UM Communications

The University of Mississippi’s School of Pharmacy is a professional based major, and its students must present themselves as they would in a professional working environment.

Along with business attire, they must uphold a business approach to their schooling. Much like a technician at a pharmacy, the students must undergo random drug testing.

“We must take drug tests because we’re supposed to be held to a professional standard,” pPharmacy student Lanaesha Cox said.

Pharmacy students are all tested at random throughout the year. “We began testing our students in the fall of 2013,” said David Gregory, Associate Dean for Academic Affairs for the school. “We have 115 students in each class, and all are tested at some point. In order to remain in Pharmacy school, our students have to agree to drug testing.”

Once students are contacted, they must take the drug test as soon as possible.

“We receive emails that say we have 48 hours to get tested,” said Cox.

They take a standard test much like student athletes take. Similar to drug testing in the work field, pharmacy students must undergo consequences for getting a positive drug test.

“If a student doesn’t pass the test, there is a formal review process,” said Gregory. When a student doesn’t pass, it is kept confidential.

Undergraduate students do not undergo drug testing until their first professional year of pharmacy school, which is referred to as Py1.

“Drug tests are given before being completely accepted into the school of Pharmacy,” said Danielle Green, undergraduate pharmacy student.

Py1 and Py2 are extra years to help build the skills and training that is needed for the pharmaceutical field. Students must uphold a higher professional standard within the pharmacy guidelines.

“Because of the nature of the profession of pharmacy, we want to ensure that our students are acting appropriately in regard to pharmaceuticals,” said Gregory. “Our students receive a great deal of training that is different from other programs on campus because this enables them to excel in the pharmacy profession.”

Pharmacy students must do rotations at hospitals and clinics where they must represent the university school to a high standard.

“Random drug test are a good idea,” said Green. “Pharmacists are supposed to sell medicine to people to help them, not fulfill recreational needs.”

Jasmyn Brown is a student in the Meek School of Journalism and New Media and can be reached at

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