NATION'S NEWEST PHARMACY SCHOOL WELCOMES FIRST CLASS IN OHIO

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The first class of student pharmacists has officially enrolled at the nation's newest pharmacy school-the Northeastern Ohio Universities Colleges of Medicine and Pharmacy in Rootstown, Ohio.

The new pharmacy college is a collaboration among 4 universities in the region- the University of Akron, Kent State, Youngstown State, and Cleveland State. Students who complete prerequisites at those institutions get preferential admission.

Unlike many other pharmacy programs, the new college enables pharmacy students and medical students to train side by side. According to the school's president, Lois Nora, MD, JD, the result should be future doctors and pharmacists working more closely together to avoid errors and improve patient care.

The 73 members of the college's inaugural class are expected to earn their doctor of pharmacy degree in 2011-a date eagerly anticipated by health officials in northeast Ohio, which is suffering a severe pharmacist shortage. Most of the students in the college's first class are from northeast Ohio. Dean David D. Allen noted that "the people who come from the area are going to stay here, and that's our main focus, to address the pharmacist shortage."