ACADEMIC CAREERS: CHANGE THE FUTURE!
Dr. Maine is executive vice president and chief executive officer of the American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy, Alexandria, VA.
Lucinda L.Maine, PhD, RPh
"Never worked a day in my life!"This was the response of Nick Popovich,PhD, to the question of whether he enjoyedhis career in academic pharmacy. Dr.Popovich serves as professor of pharmacypractice and chairs the department at amajor US college of pharmacy. Certainlythis award-winning pharmacy educationleader works hard at his teaching, leading,and scholarly pursuits.
Yet, if you ask those committed to careersin academia why they love their work, youwill hear similar responses: "I love mentoringand teaching future pharmacists. I haveso much diversity and flexibility in the workI do. It is never boring!"
Pharmacy faculty positions vary, but allhave some component of teaching, research,and other scholarly activities and service. Facultyteach in classrooms, laboratories, and ina wide variety of pharmacy practice settings.
Research and other scholarly activitiesspan a vast landscape. Faculty members havediscovered new drug molecules as well asreceptor sites for pharmacologic activity;they work on dosage forms, pharmacokinetics,and pharmacogenomics. Health outcomesresearch, clinical trials, and sociobehavioralresearch are other examples offaculty research priorities.
Similar diversity is found in faculty memberservice activities. Advising student organizationsand participating in communityoutreach projects represent service opportunities.Many faculty hold elected leadershiproles in state and national pharmacy practicescientific specialty associations.
Diversity, creativity, and making a differencein the lives of others are all characteristicsof academic careers. If you have an interestin changing the future of pharmacy, theresimply is no better avenue than this!