Chirag and Rimple Patel have spent a lot of time together these past three years in pursuit of doctor of pharmacy degrees from Roosevelt University’s College of Pharmacy (COP).
Chirag, 24, and Rimple, 25, both graduates of Elk Grove High School and the University of Illinois, have taken classes together, studied together, and looked out for one another.
This week, the Des Plaines siblings also will graduate together from Roosevelt University, and then will start jobs in very different branches of pharmacy.
“They’ve definitely been close, but they are two very different personalities,” said Claudia Muldoon, experiential education advisor at Roosevelt’s College of Pharmacy.
Chirag is the quiet one, chipping away at the many requirements needed in order to graduate as a pharmacist, while Rimple is outgoing and engaged in most every activity offered, including Roosevelt Pharmacy Student Council and Roosevelt’s student chapters of the Pediatric Pharmacy Advocacy Group and the American Pharmacists Association.
Initially when their classes began in one of the Midwest’s premier PharmD programs located at Roosevelt’s Schaumburg Campus, Rimple was inclined to protect her younger brother. “In the beginning she was always looking out for Chirag, making sure he turned in his homework and things like that,” said Muldoon.
However, as time went on, Chirag came into his own at Roosevelt.
“We had our arguments here and there, but all in all it has been a great experience,” said the younger Patel, who learned to prefer being on his own to do his studying, which was not a problem, as Rimple had three part-time jobs, in addition to all of her extracurricular activities.
In fact, Rimple interviewed at 13 hospitals for a Post Graduate Year 1 (PGY1) pharmacy residency, matching at a prestigious program with NorthShore University HealthSystem in Glenbrook, Illinois. Meanwhile, Chirag recently secured a job with Walgreens in Waterford, Wis., where he will start later this summer.
“We have had a phenomenal 98.5 job placement rate among our pharmacy graduates, and the Patels are carrying on the tradition of securing good jobs in pharmacy upon completion of our program,” said Melissa Hogan, dean of Roosevelt’s College of Pharmacy.
Both Roosevelt students are following the footsteps of their 30-year-old sister Veronica Patel, who works as a pharmacist for Walgreens in Park Ridge, Illinois, and also lives with her younger siblings in Des Plaines.
“We always taught our children that they have to go to school, work hard and get good grades if they are to have a better life,” said Mikendra Patel, father of the three who were born in the United States. Patel and his wife, Indira, first came to the United States in 1987. Both parents initially worked two jobs each in order to be able to put their children through school.
“They wanted a life that would be better for all of us,” said Rimple Patel of her parents. “With our degrees and some great job opportunities, I am proud to say that my parents’ goal in coming to this country and making a better life for us is now coming true.”
She and her brother will participate, along with 58 members of Roosevelt’s pharmacy class of 2018, in a hooding and awards ceremony on Thursday at the Hyatt Regency Schaumburg. A commencement ceremony follows on Friday at the Auditorium Theatre in Chicago.