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Assistant professor coaches pharmacy students

Michael Doherty of the College of Pharmacy has a large extended family. He and his wife, Nikki, and their three young children add scores of family members each year when they welcome University of Cincinnati student pharmacists.

UC College of Pharmacy Mike Doherty

UC's student pharmacists do free screenings at Cincinnati's main library. Faculty adviser Mike Doherty discusses optional finger-stick techniques with third-year pharmacy student Kristy Wirwille.

Doherty has been faculty adviser for the Academy of Student Pharmacists (ASP) chapter for six years and takes paternal pride in their awards, including being named one of the strongest student chapters in the U.S. And when ASP members offer free health services in the community (distributing poison awareness information and screening for diabetes, high blood pressure and heartburn), their adviser goes with them.

"A lot of these screenings are on weekends," he says. "Afterwards, we all go to lunch with my kids. The students know my kids, and my kids know them. One of my little girls even had a crush on a student for awhile."

Pharmacy students meet regularly at the professor's home for planning meetings, and the Dohertys host an annual autumn cookout for students and their families. Occasional "road trips" to regional and national meetings are open to the spouses and allow plenty of time for everyone to show off baby pictures.

Doherty was named director of experiential training (similar to co-op) about a year ago, but has been on the UC faculty since 1999. He currently team-teaches two pharmacy courses.

"Students think I am easygoing as a professor. That's true for the most part, but when they fail to follow directions, I can become irritated," he quickly admits.

Because pharmacy students tend to be very competitive, the assistant professor makes an effort to find out what motivates them. "I'll ask each one to talk about what they want to do," Doherty says. "I have an open-door policy, so they can stop by my office almost any time.

"I am willing to adapt my style and strengths in the classroom when necessary to improve the students' learning. If I have to be hard on them, it is because I want to be sure that they learn."


Doherty's bio

Free medical screenings

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