University of Kentucky College of Pharmacy
Location: Lexington, Kentucky
Class Size: 135 students
Although it was established more than 100 years ago, the University of Kentucky College of Pharmacy is keeping up with the ever-changing health care landscape.
“The College is housed in a new pharmaceutical complex building, which is believed to be the largest pharmacy educational and research building in the world,” said Dean Timothy S. Tracy, PhD, in an exclusive interview with Pharmacy Times. “The pharmacy building includes a simulation lab with state-of the-art compounding and clinical practice space, technology-infused classrooms and state of the art research space where students can explore and learn.”
The school offers a 4-year professional Doctor of Pharmacy program in addition to a graduate program in pharmaceutical sciences through which students can earn a master’s degree or PhD.
“In addition, the College has partnered with other colleges on the University of Kentucky campus to offer several dual-degree options, including a PharmD-MBA, PharmD-Masters in Public Administration, PharmD-Masters in Public Health, and PharmD-Physician-Assistant Studies,” said Dr. Tracy. “In addition, plans are underway to offer a PharmD-Masters in Health Administration program beginning in 2016.”
The school is currently ranked 5th in US News & World Report’s survey of pharmacy programs, and the pharmacy research faculty rank 4th out of 354 institutions in scholarly activity.
Student organizations under the coordination of the Kentucky Alliance of Pharmacy Students coordinate a number health fairs and health screenings.
Q: What is unique about your school?A: The University of Kentucky College of Pharmacy is located in 1 of the few institutions that has an Academic Medical Center with 6 programs in 1 place: Pharmacy, Medicine, Dentistry, Nursing, Public Health, and Health Sciences. This broad array of colleges provides students with multiple inter-professional education, practice, and research opportunities. Students from all the health colleges participate in multiple shared learning experiences, simulation activities, common reading experiences, and team health care practice.
Q: What is the teaching style?A: The current University of Kentucky professional Doctor of Pharmacy degree program is grounded in basic science and applied clinical pharmacy. The curriculum is designed to introduce and re-enforce the pharmaceutical sciences while challenging students with an increasing complexity of clinical pharmacotherapeutic situations.
Students learn primary elements of practice while solving and resolving basic clinical situations that grow in complexity and demand as the curriculum progresses. Underpinning the instructed curriculum are introductory and advanced pharmacy practice experiences, as well as an “unofficial curriculum” that engages students in professional aspects of the profession.
To even better prepare students for the future, the College is designing hybrid curricula that will incorporate various pedagogy including, but not limited to, mini-lectures, workshops, simulations, and inversed or flipped classrooms. The new curricula will integrate basic and clinical sciences and place greater emphasis on personal accountability for learning, critical thinking, and the pharmacist as a provider of health care. This new curriculum will be instituted in the fall of 2015.
Q: What opportunities do students have for internships or co-ops?A: The College offers a broad array of experiential opportunities for students through our network of more than 350 volunteer community-based faculty. These experiences are not only across Kentucky, but across the United States and the world. For example, students can participate in experiential rotations in Ecuador, Scotland, Belgium, Poland, and China, to name a few.
Q: What advice do you have for students who will graduate this year?A: Be prepared to continuously learn and evolve as a pharmacist in the face of the changing health care system.