Physicians Hall Front

Medical College of Wisconsin School of Pharmacy launches doctor of pharmacy program

Milwaukee, July 14, 2017 – The Medical College of Wisconsin (MCW) School of Pharmacy Doctor of Pharmacy (PharmD) program has been granted pre-candidate status by the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education (ACPE), the national agency for accreditation of professional degree programs in pharmacy. The pre-candidate designation is effective immediately. As a result, the MCW School of Pharmacy will move forward with the matriculation of an inaugural class in August of 2017.

"The School of Pharmacy is a collaborative endeavor to educate the pharmacists of the future, and to create new and innovative practice models and inter-professional health care teams that leverage the role of the pharmacist to deliver patient-centered care with improved health outcomes," said John R. Raymond, Sr., MD, president and chief executive officer for MCW. "This milestone represents the culmination of nearly three years of hard work, dedication and enthusiasm among the MCW community."

The MCW School of Pharmacy offers an innovative three-year doctor of Pharmacy curriculum to provide students early and extensive exposure to a variety of clinical settings and world-class research in specialties such as precision medicine, pediatrics, pharmacogenomics, primary care, cancer and psychiatry. The MCW Pharmacy School is the only three-year PharmD program in the Midwest located at an academic medical center, providing access to the world-renowned resources at Froedtert Hospital, Children's Hospital of Wisconsin, and the Clement J. Zablocki VA Medical Center. In addition, students will have opportunities at a variety of community, hospital and institutional sites across the state of Wisconsin, including the MCW regional campuses in Green Bay and Central Wisconsin.

"The MCW School of Pharmacy is one only a few pharmacy schools in the country offering a three-year PharmD degree, blending 124 years of rich medical education tradition at MCW with cutting-edge educational technologies and team-based learning models found in our 21st century pharmacy school curriculum," said George E. MacKinnon III, PhD, MS, RPh, Founding Dean of the MCW School of Pharmacy. "As the founding faculty and staff of this unique program, we all have the exciting opportunity to leave our distinguishing mark as we educate pharmacists to meet the ever-changing healthcare needs of our communities."

A unique attribute in the MCW School of Pharmacy curriculum is the incorporation of longitudinal inter-professional education through which pharmacy students will interact and learn with other healthcare students, including medical students. The inter-professional education curriculum will begin in the classroom and extend through laboratory and clinical experiences.

Clinical/experiential education is a major component of the PharmD program, comprising more than 30 percent of the total curriculum. Often referred to as "rotations," experiential education provides students with opportunities to integrate and apply their didactic classroom knowledge into practice experiences. Students will spend every Friday in practice settings during the first two years, allowing the opportunity to bridge what is taught in the classroom with what is seen in practice.

"MCW's School of Pharmacy offers an innovative model of pharmacy education, helping to develop a pipeline of new, world-class pharmacists for Wisconsin to ensure that high quality health care continues for future generations in both urban and rural communities throughout the state," said Dr. MacKinnon. "Upon graduation, MCW PharmD graduates will have the knowledge, skills and abilities to fulfill all aspects of the expanding role of the pharmacist, including administering vaccines, conducting basic medical tests (strep throat, flu, etc.), performing physical assessments and helping patients to manage chronic diseases such as diabetes, asthma, and high blood pressure."

The initial class size is expected to be approximately 40 students. Orientation begins on Aug. 7, 2017, with classes starting on Aug. 14, 2017.

Currently, the MCW School of Pharmacy offers 3 + 3 dual degree pipeline programs with three partner institutions – Wisconsin Lutheran College in Wauwatosa, Carroll University in Waukesha and St. Norbert University in De Pere. The dual degree, six-year program is comprised of three years of undergraduate curriculum at a partner institution followed by three years of study in the PharmD curriculum at MCW. This option alleviates some of the financial burden of tuition for students seeking to obtain both a bachelor's degree and PharmD degree. These pipeline programs also provide students a seamless track for those that desire an expedited entrance into a pharmacy practice.

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