Interview Day Preparation

Hi there, prospective Buckeyes!

It’s Victoria here with a few words on “Interview Day preparation!” For the last two years, I’ve worked in the Office of Student Affairs – the same office that coordinates and hosts interviews for our PharmD program. I’ve gotten to see the application process from start to finish, from both the student and the administrative point of view. As a result, I’d like to offer up some “Do’s” and “Do NOTs” so that you arrive in Columbus feeling confident for your interview!

DO take the time to prepare for your interview. Go to and click around. What remaining questions do you have about our program? What about Ohio State is interesting to you? Consider practicing responses to common interview themes. But…

DO NOT be too rehearsed. Solid interview preparation is key, but more importantly you should be yourself! Have confidence in your own abilities and experiences, and simply be ready to tell your interviewer more about them.

DO stick to the facts. For example, I once took a cable car up a mountain in the Swiss Alps and walked around at the top. I would not want to claim I “hiked the Swiss Alps” in an attempt to impress my interviewer. What if they were an avid hiker and asked me what type of boots I wore?!


(Notice my poor footwear choice…I know nothing about hiking and wouldn’t want to be caught in an exaggeration of the facts. Shameless plug, I was in Switzerland for a College of Pharmacy study abroad trip this past spring break!)

DO NOT skip breakfast because you don’t want to spill anything on your suit. If anything, just pass on the cream cheese and have a plain bagel if you’re worried about it. You’ll feel so much better throughout the day if you’re not on an empty stomach.

Finally, DO remember that your interview day is for you to evaluate if the College is a good fit for you. If you were on a date, you’d pay attention to if your date was a good match for you at least as much as you’d be trying to make a good impression. This applies to PharmD interviews as well! Do focus on putting your best foot forward, but take note of if the school is a good fit for you in return.

As always, please feel free to comment here or email me with any questions you might have. Interviews are intimidating, but they don’t have to be! You were invited to campus for a reason, have confidence and the rest will fall into place!

That’s all for now! Go Bucks!


PharmCAS + Applications

Hello everyone!

Many of you are getting ready to apply or are in the process of applying! PharmCAS is the application website you use to apply to pharmacy schools. I went through this process three years ago, and I remember how stressful it was. Please bear with me as I try to remember my experience with the entire process.

I was unsure of where I wanted to go. I knew I wanted to go to a top program, but I didn’t have a specific area that I was dying to go. I fully utilized the Top Pharmacy Schools by US News website in conjunction with the School Directory on the PharmCAS website.

I started by narrowing down schools by looking at the pre-requisite criteria for each school. I looked at schools that were ranked 1-80 and were in areas that I would be okay living in for 4+ years. I knew I would end up out-of-state, so location was a big deal for me. When you are looking at schools to apply, you have to think about what type of area you want to be in. Do you want a city? A small town? What size city? Do you want to be near an airport? What is the cost of living there? What opportunities are there for you to get an internship or  complete rotations?

After I determined which schools were in areas I would live in, I narrowed down the schools by cost of living, housing options, cost of tuition, and dual degrees (MPH, MBA, etc). At this point, I had narrowed down my list to twelve schools. Eleven of the schools I would apply through PharmCAS, and only one did not utilize PharmCAS. I prepared all of this before I even started my PharmCAS application, and collected all the information within an excel sheet. Honestly, I wish I could find my excel spreadsheet because I put so much time and effort into it! I am actually quite proud of myself for that spreadsheet. It helped guide me through the entire application process.

Ultimately, I decided to only apply to eight schools. I think most students don’t apply to as many schools, but since I knew nobody else who was applying or had applied to pharmacy school, I did not know the norm. I wasn’t fortunate enough to stumble across a blog post like this or have a mentor to talk to when it comes to pharmacy school and applications.

So at this point in my application process, I was ready to start the PharmCAS Application. I thought I could quickly do this part, but I quickly found that I was wrong! I am a bit of a perfectionist, and so it took me MUCH longer than I expected. The part that took me the longest was the essay writing. I knew that there would be essays, but I didn’t realize how much time I would spend on these to make them perfect. If I could make one suggestion, it would be to ask multiple people to review your essays. Ask a friend, ask a parent, ask a mentor! Have your reviewers review your drafts several times. For me, I wanted my writing to show that I could communicate effectively to people of various educations. Communication is a huge part of pharmacy!

As for the content of your essays, just stay true to yourself. Don’t get caught up in what you think the school wants to hear. Answer each question honestly and in a manner that is a great representation of you. Show your passion for pharmacy!

I wish you all the best of luck with applications, PharmCAS, and interviews!

If you have any questions, please feel free to email me at and I will answer them to the best of my ability! If I can’t answer them, I will be able to find someone who can help you.

Sarah Pic

Preparing for the PCAT


I’m sure many of you have questions as to how to start preparing for the PCAT. I’m here to help guide you and give you some advice.

  1. Take a practice test. Find out what areas you are weak in, and what areas you are strong in.
  2. Create a study plan, and make sure you are spending time on each section (even if it’s a strong section).
    • I took the PCAT on the first test date in July, and so I started studying in June. But I did enjoy my summer, and I would suggest you make sure you are still doing fun things! I actually went to California for a week, and brought my study materials.
    • Set specific goals for each week and for each day. Link these goals to each subject. How much time do you want to spend on Chemistry vs Biology vs Verbal?
  3. Carve out a specific time of your day to study.
    • I personally studied from 4-6pm Monday through Friday. Sometimes more and sometimes less depending on what kind of groove I was in. Of course life happens, but always try to dedicate time to the PCAT studying each week!
  4. Find the resources that you want to use.
    • I personally used the Kaplan PCAT Prep Book. It should come with one online practice test and one practice test in the book. Definitely utilize those. The book is listed as $55, but on Amazon you can find it for cheaper!
    • If you are able to spend more money, I would recommend the PCAT Prep Course by Dr. Collins. It is a looooot more money than the Kaplan book, but I know people who have taken it, and it increased their PCAT score significantly. Like from the 60th percentile to the 90th!
    • Another source that I personally used was this man named Chad. He is (potentially was now) an instructor at Arizona State University. He would create review videos for chemistry that was one of the reasons I did very well in Gen Chem and O Chem. When I was preparing for the PCAT, I was able to utilize the videos he had. Now he and some other gentlemen have a website called CourseSaver! You can gain access to all videos and quizzes for $50 for 30 days. The chemistry may be very helpful to you, I definitely thought it did. It has 14.5 hours of gen chem, 14 hours of ochem, 5.5 hours of quantitative and 7.5 hours of biology. Currently the biology videos are free of charge because they are incomplete! I have met a dental student that studied for the DAT using Chad’s videos from CourseSaver, and he only says amazing things 🙂
  5. Use the resource!!
    • I tried to review the material then answer/solve questions.
  6. Try to find a study buddy.
    • I was fortunate enough to have a friend that was studying for the MCAT at the same time I was studying for the PCAT. It was nice having someone to meet at the library and to hold me accountable!
  7. Ask pharmacy students.
    • You will find a wide range of answers as to how they studied. But pick what method is good for you!

As always, if you have any questions at all please email me at! Enjoy your summer 🙂

Sarah Pic

Welcome Day 2016

Hello all!

Saturday, May 21st is Welcome Day for all incoming P1s! We are so excited to see you! This day is a great day to meet your fellow classmates, some faculty and staff, and hear from some peers. If you are looking for what you can expect for the day, continue reading!

You will be able to meet some amazing people! One is Dr. James McAuley who is Associate Dean for Academic Affairs, and he will teach you all about anti-epileptic drugs in P&T! You will also meet Dr. Donald Sullivan who is Director of Professional Experiential Programs and he will be your law professor. For Welcome Day, Dr. Sullivan will be giving you a sample class and talk about the health requirements. Joe Orozco, Director of Student Affairs, will be there as well to go over the curriculum! He can help answer all your questions towards this. You will also get another chance to talk with some students, so come prepared with any questions you may have!

We won’t just be in Parks Hall all day, so bring some shoes you can walk in. 🙂 You will be going to The James Cancer Hospital and Solove Research Center where you will get a hospital tour. You will also head to the Ohio Union, where you will hear from an Alumni Spotlight!

It will be a long day, but it will be a great start to your PharmD education as well as a time to learn what the next four years will be like! So please come! Be there at 8:30am, and be ready to eat breakfast with Brutus!!

Last year was our first Welcome Day, and we had an awesome turnout. I can tell you that many others and myself are so excited to meet and get to know all of you! If you have any questions at all, please email me at!

Sarah Pic

Finding Fit

Hey everyone!

One thing that I feel is very important in deciding which school you go to is determining which place you feel is a good fit. Now everyone may have different ideas of what “fit” means to them. Here is what fit means to me:

  1. A place that feels like it could be home. Because let’s face it, pharmacy school isn’t going to be rainbows and butterflies. Having a place that provides comfort and support really helps with the (frequent) times of stress.
  2. A university that is more than just a pharmacy school.  I wanted a university that had more to offer than just professional school. Having football, other professional schools, a huge medical center, and so much more was so important to me. OSU has so many organizations outside of pharmacy! All you have to do is explore. 🙂
  3. Students and faculty that are warm and inviting, yet experts in their fields (for faculty! Students will get there one day!). Knowing that students and faculty reach out to new students and are willing to interact and help students in any way was really important to me. I wanted to know that the students and faculty here are people I could really mesh with. Gauging this at your interview day is important. I loved the casual, laid-back nature of my interview here, but professionalism was everywhere and within everyone.
  4. Location. Fit to me was being in a location that offered the same things my hometown did. I am from a large city, and so I wanted to have access to all the conveniences that cities have to offer. I knew a good place for me wouldn’t be in a small town. Plus a city like Columbus has so much to offer! There are constantly festivals, food, and so much more. Check out some of our other blog posts about Columbus!

My best advice for deciding which school to attend is this: go with your gut. What school makes a good fit for you and can feel like home to you? For me, I applied to schools and based everything off logic for applications. But my decision to go here was that it truly felt like it could be my home for the next 4 years. Honestly, I was not expecting to fall in love with OSU COP before my interview, but it was the best decision I could have made.

At the end of the day, you need to determine what fit means to you. Stop looking at schools like they are just numbers and look at fit during your interviews. You won’t regret going to a school that feels like a home away from home! And remember that your interviews are just as much as you interviewing the school as the school interviewing you.

Good luck!

If you have any questions, feel free to contact me at


Overview of the Profession: What is Pharmacy?

According to the Ohio Revised Code, the practice of pharmacy means…

“Providing pharmacist care requiring specialized knowledge, judgment, and skill derived from the principles of biological, chemical, behavioral, social, pharmaceutical, and clinical sciences.”

Then, how is “pharmacist care” defined in the State of Ohio?

Pharmacist Care

  • Interpreting prescriptions
  • Dispensing drugs and drug therapy related devices
  • Compounding drugs
  • Counseling individuals with regard to their drug therapy, recommending drug therapy related devices
  • Assisting in the selection of drugs and appliances for treatment of common diseases and injuries
  • Providing instruction in the proper use of the drugs and appliances
  • Performing drug regimen reviews with individuals
    • Discusses all of the drugs that the individual is taking
    • Explaining interactions between drugs
  • Performing drug utilization reviews (DURs)
    • Occurs when the pharmacist determines that an individual with a prescription has a drug regimen that warrants additional discussion with the prescriber
  • Advising an individualized therapy
  • Acting pursuant to a consult agreement with a physician to practice medicine and surgery or osteopathic medicine and surgery, if an agreement has been established with the physician
  • Engaging in the administration of immunizations

What is Pharmacist Provider Status?

  • Pharmacists are currently not listed as providers in Medicare Part B
  • This limits Medicare beneficiaries from being covered for pharmacy services in outpatient pharmacy settings, and limits pharmacists from being compensated for their services
  • Achieving provider status is important because pharmacists play an important role in improving patient health outcomes and reducing overall healthcare costs
  • Without provider status, the beneficial services that pharmacists provide are less accessible to patients
  • Currently, there is a movement to win provider status for pharmacists in the US

As a Pharmacy Student, What is the Role of a Pharmacy Intern?

Assisting a pharmacist with technical functions, perform the following professional functions under the direct supervision of a pharmacist:

  • Sale of schedule V controlled substances
  • Receipt of oral prescriptions
  • Transfer of a prescription copy
  • The act of patient counseling pursuant to paragraph
  • Administration of approved immunizations
  • Documentation of informed consent to administer immunizations

Potential Career Pathways

  • Community
  • Hospital
  • Mail Order
  • Managed Care
  • Academic
  • Consultant
  • Home Infusion
  • Anticoagulation
  • Integrative
  • Nuclear
  • Federal

Board Certified Pharmacy Specialties

  • Ambulatory Care
  • Critical Care Pharmacy
  • Nuclear Pharmacy
  • Nutrition Support Pharmacy
  • Oncology Pharmacy
  • Pediatric Pharmacy
  • Pharmacotherapy
  • Psychiatric Pharmacy

The above lists aren’t comprehensive, and the opportunities for pharmacists are endless!  Contact me at with any questions! 🙂


Doctor of Pharmacy Admissions

Hi everybody!  Applying to pharmacy school can be very stressful, so here I tried to explain the best way to go about applying to OSU’s PharmD program.  Hope this helps!

Timeline Prior to Enrollment

Begin the application process 12-18 months prior to the intended enrollment date.  The Ohio State Doctor of Pharmacy program operates on rolling admission. Review of applicants begins in September. Interviews occur between January and March. Applicants are encouraged to apply as early as possible after the opening of the PharmCAS application on June 1.

18-14 months: Begin preparing for the PCAT by reviewing your course material. Take at least one official PCAT Practice Test, and study using course notes, purchased study guides, the PCAT Prep Class, or the Kaplan PCAT Test Prep.

15-10 months: Apply through PharmCAS and submit your official transcripts and PCAT scores directly to PharmCAS. After applying through PharmCAS, eligible applicants will be asked to complete a supplemental application directly with Ohio State.

10-5 months: Ohio State will conduct interviews with competitive candidates and will notify these candidates of admission decisions.


The Application Process

1.  Take the Pharmacy College Admission Test (PCAT), a standardized test that is divided into 6 separate sections:

    1. Verbal
    2. Biology
    3. Reading Comprehension
    4. Chemistry
    5. Quantitative Ability
    6. Written Essays

2.  A bachelor’s degree in any major is required for admission to The Ohio State University Doctor of Pharmacy program.  Prerequisite Courses:

General Requirement Description Ohio State Course Number
Human Anatomy/lab Anatomy 2300 or 3300 or EEOB 2510
Introductory Biology/lab Biology 1113
General Chemistry/lab Chemistry 1210-1220
Organic Chemistry/lab Chemistry 2510, 2520, 2540, and 2550
Calculus Math 1151
Statistics Statistics 1450 or 1350
Basic Microbiology/lab Microbiology 4000
Physics/lab (regular or calculus based) Physics 1200-1201

3.  Complete the Pharmacy College Application Service (PharmCAS).  Send three letters of recommendation directly to PharmCAS, following the directions on their website to submit these letters.

4.  Make sure you have a strong and well-rounded application that accurately reflects you.  The admission committee consists of faculty and staff will use the following criteria to review candidates:

    1. Performance in prerequisite course work
    2. Cumulative and science grade point averages (Effective 11/1/14, minimum overall GPA required is 2.70 for autumn 2015 admissions.  Average GPA for our most recent admitted cohort was 3.52; range of GPAs was 3.00 – 4.00.)
    3. Pharmacy College Admission Test (PCAT) scores (minimum composite percentile of 50 with a typical competitive range of 60-99)
    4. Pharmacy experience
    5. Full disclosure of prior misdemeanor or felony convictions
    6. Personal statements completed by the applicant
    7. Extracurricular leadership and work experience
    8. Letters of recommendation
    9. Personal interviews

5.  Complete the Supplemental Application.  Upon submission and verification of your PharmCAS application, candidates will be emailed by Ohio State to create an Ohio State user ID and account login information. The following day you will have access to the supplemental application through the Applicant Center.  The supplemental application will ask you to answer basic personal information and complete two short essay questions. Those questions are:

    1. Describe your interest in the PharmD program at The Ohio State University (250 words or less).
    2. What strengths do you possess that you believe will help you achieve academic success in the Ohio State PharmD program (250 words or less)?


International Applicants

Ohio State does accept international applicants for the Doctor of Pharmacy program. International applicants are encouraged to apply early to allow time for transcripts to be reviewed.

Key information for applicants with international coursework:

  • Send your original transcripts directly to the Graduate and Professional Admissions Office in a sealed envelope.
  • English language proficiency tests are required for all students who graduated from an institution in a non-English speaking country. International candidates will need to submit test scores for Test of English as a Foreign Language or Michigan English Language Assessment Battery scores for non-native English speakers (minimum TOEFL score of 577 for the paper-based test or 90-91 for the computer-based test or MELAB of 84)
  • If accepted international students will need to complete a financial review prior to being able to matriculate to the program.


For other questions pertaining to the application process for the PharmD program, please e-mail