In the part 2 of a Pharmacy Times interview with Lucinda Maine, PhD, RPh, CEO of the American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy (AACP) and Lynette Bradley-Baker, PhD, CAE, senior vice president for strategic engagement at AACP, the 2 discussed how pharmacy schools are planning for the upcoming academic year and the future.

Maine said that although there are still many questions about how coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) will continue to spread and evolve, the unavoidable fact is that many schools and universities will begin in the next 6 to 8 weeks, whether online or in-person.

“What I’m seeing most consistently, apart from those schools that already declared that they’re going to be completely online for the fall…I think predominantly people are saying hybrid,” Maine said. “We’re going to do some online, but there is some learning that we want and need to do on campus, in person.”

When asked how the pharmacy profession can support students in the coming months, Maine emphasized that jobs and patience are key. If possible, she urged professionals to maintain their precepting and rotation opportunities, because they are critical to helping the class of 2021 complete their degrees.

“There’s just so much stress,” Maine said. “And there was stress in the profession before there was COVID; COVID just exacerbates it. We’ve got to talk about it. We’ve got to share with each other strategies for mitigating.”