MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – When asked what they want to be when they grow up, children might say “fireman” or “astronaut.” After a day at The Children’s Discovery Museum of West Virginia, though, some children might say, “I want to be a pharmacist.”

Students from the West Virginia University School of Pharmacy helped The Children’s Discovery Museum of West Virginia kick off its career spotlight series by telling children and their parents about what a pharmacist does and how they help patients. The career series is designed to give children the opportunity to get a closer look at careers in the health sciences.  
The student pharmacists hosted a variety of activities to show children some of the aspects of the profession of pharmacy. They also spoke with parents and guardians about the importance of speaking to their pharmacist about any medication questions they have and how to properly give medication to their children when it is needed.

According to, a project of the Henry J. Kaiser Foundation, children age 18 and younger in West Virginia had an average of six prescriptions filled – nearly double the average for the United States as a whole – in 2010.

“It’s important for children and parents to understand that pharmacists are there to help them better understand their medications, such as why they need the medication and how and when to take it,” WVU student pharmacist Michael Underwood said. “The more medications a person is taking can increase the chance of them being taken incorrectly. We hope that parents and their children learned that pharmacists are medication experts and to speak with them every time they go to the pharmacy to make sure they are getting the best care possible.”

The student pharmacists were partnered with The Children’s Discovery Museum of West Virginia through the West Virginia University Center for Civic Engagement for their Introductory Pharmacy Practice Experience course, which promotes service to the community.  

Photo caption:
WVU student pharmacist Ibrahim Kaddourah demonstrates how a pharmacist can make medication.

For more information: Amy Newton, School of Pharmacy, 304-293-7192
db/an: 04-09-12