University of California, San Diego, Skaggs School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences

University of California, San Diego, Skaggs School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences (UCSD SSPPS) has a 3-part mission: education, research, and service.

San Diego, California

Founded: 2000

Class Size: 60

University of California, San Diego, Skaggs School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences (UCSD SSPPS) has a 3-part mission: education, research, and service.

More than half of the school’s graduates pursue postgraduate study. The school boasts that it has one of the highest percentages of graduates who go on to take research internships.

In terms of service to the public, the school offers both free clinics and health fairs. The program also aims to be the regional center for informing the community about drugs, toxicology, and general pharmacogenomic information.

Students have several degree options and paths to pursue at UCSD SSPPS:

· PharmD degree awarded in a 4-year program

· Joint BS in chemistry/PharmD degree awarded in a 7-year program in cooperation with UCSD's Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry

· PhD degree in pharmaceutical and biomedical sciences

· Post-PharmD pharmacy practice and specialty residencies and research fellowships

For those interested in learning more about what other health care profession students do, UCSD SSPPS offers lessons in interprofessional education. UCSD features interdisciplinary education and cooperation between the pharmacy and medicine fields in particular.

James H. McKerrow, PhD, MD, dean of UCSD, told Pharmacy Times more about what students can expect if they are accepted into the school’s program.

Q: What is unique about your school/program?

A: We are committed to training the pharmacists of tomorrow and emphasizing their new role as health care providers. We teach patient contact skills and team-based approaches to providing health care.

Pharmacy and medical students also share classes in their second professional (P2) year. This builds intellectual and social connections that facilitate team approaches in the P3/P4 years.

Q: What is the teaching style or philosophy?

A: A combination of lecture, small group teaching, student-run presentations, and a diversity of experiences in P3/P4.

Our practice sites include the new Jacobs Medical Center at UCSD, Hillcrest Hospital near downtown San Diego, community hospitals from Long Beach to La Mesa, the Naval Medical Center, Camp Pendleton, and both independent and retail pharmacies.

Q: What are some community outreach activities or programs the school participates in?

A: UCSD is famous for its student-organized and student-run free clinics. These provide medical care to underserved and uninsured people. We also sponsor a variety of health fairs for many San Diego ethnic and cultural groups.

Q: What opportunities do students have for internships or co-ops?

A: At our research-intensive school of pharmacy, all of our students complete a research project while they are here. There are also opportunities for training abroad in several countries and on hospital ships. (Students have the opportunity to do internships abroad because the school developed collaborative programs with institutions in Taiwan and Vietnam, for example.)

Q: What advice do you have for students who will graduate this year?

A: Aim to become an advanced-practice pharmacist. This is the new health care provider status that is now law in several states. There are several ways a student can become an advanced-practice pharmacist, such as pursuing residencies.