Q&A with University of Georgia College of Pharmacy

MARCH 12, 2015
Location: Athens, Georgia
Founded: 1903
Class Size: 145
 
The University of Georgia College of Pharmacy embraces a true family atmosphere while still offering the perks of a large, research-intensive university.
 
Students interested in research have the opportunity to work with faculty in basic science laboratories and on practice-related projects aimed at improving patient care, Assistant Dean for Student Affairs Alan P. Wolfgang, PhD, told Pharmacy Times.
 
What also sets the college apart from other pharmacy schools is a new curriculum that emphasizes critical thinking, problem solving, small-group collaboration, and communication skills. These are the main qualities that employers look for in graduates, and they prepare students for the ever-changing health care environment, Dr. Wolfgang said.
 
The college’s main campus is in Athens, Georgia, but there are also regional campuses in Albany, Augusta, and Savannah. Students spend the first 2 years of their PharmD program in Athens, but some move to regional campuses in their third year.
 
Q: What is the teaching style or philosophy?
A: Learning facts, while important, is not sufficient for today’s pharmacy student. It is equally important for students to apply what they’ve learned in real-life situations for the benefit of their patients.
 
So much of our teaching focuses on active learning strategies that provide students opportunities to apply what they’ve learned. We are lucky to have a splendid group of faculty who are committed to active learning and who have a true interest in helping students become the best practitioners they can be upon graduation.
 
Q: What are some community outreach activities or programs the school participates in?
A: Students have the opportunity to participate in numerous community outreach activities, the largest of which are the Dawgtoberfest and multicultural health fairs serving individuals across northeast Georgia.
 
All PharmD students also rotate through the Mercy Clinic, which serves the uninsured in the Athens area. In addition, students have the opportunity to volunteer for a Migrant Farm Worker outreach program held in southern Georgia each summer. This program provides interdisciplinary health care services to farm workers and their families.
 
Our professional student organizations also allow students to participate in a wide range of community service activities, such as 5K charity runs and walks for cancer and AIDS.
 
Q: What advice do you have for students who will graduate this year?
A: In today’s market, flexibility is of utmost importance for new graduates. The exact job you want may not be available in your ideal location, so you have to be flexible and stay open to the wide range of possibilities that will present themselves.
 
It is also important to be committed to being a lifelong learner. Because health care as a whole, and pharmacy in particular, changes so quickly, those who aren’t committed to continually improving their skill set will find themselves at a disadvantage in the years ahead.










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