Oxford, Mississippi, and Jackson, Mississippi
Class Size: About 120 students
In addition to its PharmD professional program, the University of Mississippi School of Pharmacy offers MS and PhD degrees in environmental toxicology, medicinal chemistry, pharmaceutics, pharmacognosy, pharmacology, and pharmacy administration.
“We are known for our internationally renowned research enterprise, as well as for producing highly competent graduates from our various degree programs,” said Dean David D. Allen, RPh, PhD, in an exclusive interview with Pharmacy Times.“Our Doctor of Pharmacy graduates currently have a 100% pass rate for the NAPLEX exam, and we are continuously ranked near the top in the nation for our external funding.”
Outside of their coursework, pharmacy students dedicate their time to serving the community by participating in outreach projects throughout the year. Additionally, students and faculty provide a wide range of services through the school’s Community-Based Research Program.
The project was launched in 2008 to demonstrate the impact of pharmacist medication therapy management (MTM) services among underserved patients in the Mississippi Delta. Since then, additional projects have been implemented in partnership with the Mississippi State Department of Health and the Mississippi Public Health Institute, among other partners. The school was awarded the American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy’s Lawrence C. Weaver Transformative Community Service Award in 2012 for its work with the program.
“Our mission is to improve health, well-being, and quality of life of individuals and communities by educating students, pharmacy practitioners, and pharmaceutical scientists; conducting research; and engaging in service,” Dr. Allen said.
Students of the University of Mississippi School of Pharmacy provide flu shots to faculty, staff, and students on campus, and they participate in health fairs, offering counseling and screenings to community members.
In their third and foruth professional years, students attend the new pharmacy education and research building on the campus of the University of Mississippi Medical Center in Jackson.
Q: What is the teaching style or philosophy?A: Our students are active rather than passive learners in a student-centered curriculum that includes abilities-based outcomes and ensures the development of higher-order thinking skills. Additionally, we are approaching 20 years with our rigorous problem-based learning model, which differentiates us from many programs.
Q: What opportunities do students have for internships or co-ops?A: Our curriculum incorporates Introductory Pharmacy Practice Experiences (IPPEs) and Advanced Pharmacy Practice Experiences (APPEs). The IPPEs are designed to provide initial exposure to different areas of pharmacy within the first 3 years of the professional program. The APPEs consist of 8 5-week rotations during the students’ fourth year.
Four of the student experiences are required: ambulatory care, adult medicine, institutional, and community. The students select 4 electives, ranging from patient care experiences, like emergency medicine and critical care, to more non-traditional pharmacy practices, like veterinary medicine, nuclear medicine, and managed care experiences.
The school has more than 300 preceptors at more than 180 sites for these experiences throughout Mississippi, Tennessee, Louisiana, and 1 site in Kentucky.
Q: What advice do you have for students who will graduate this year?A: One of the best pieces of advice I’ve ever received is to be nice to people. I truly believe that the simple act of being kind has a tremendous impact on achievement in the professional world. It has definitely had an impact on my career and is one of the factors that led me to be dean of what I consider to be the best pharmacy school in the nation.