Not too many pharmacy schools? Your responses to one dean’s assertion


The dean had his say. Now you have yours.

Last week, we posted a Q&A with Ronald P. Jordan, RPh, FAPhA, founding dean of the Chapman University School of Pharmacy (CUSP) in Orange County, CA. In it, Jordan detailed the need for CUSP and addressed concerns that there are too many pharmacy schools producing too many new pharmacists.

Your responses, on our website and on our Facebook page, were swift-and illuminate what many perceive as a disconnect between pharmacy academia and practicing pharmacists.

2015: The #YearOfTheRPh

Some of you, while appreciating Dean Jordan’s enthusiasm about the future of pharmacist jobs, questioned whether his optimism matches the reality from the frontlines.

“For the jobs Dean Jordan is writing about to materialize, [it] would require a sea change in the practice of pharmacy,” one pharmacist wrote. “So far there is no sign of this sea change, not even a ripple.”



Too optimistic?

Another added: “I applaud his optimism, but he needs to do some research into what insurance reimbursement, Medicare Part D, mail order, and corporate-owned pharmacy is.”

Some pharmacists believe pharmacy schools are more concerned with turning out graduates, than whether those graduates will find work as pharmacists. “Pharmacy schools should be paying for student loans if graduates can't find a job in six months,” one pharmacist posted on our Facebook page. “Schools should be held responsible.”

“When will this madness stop?” another pharmacist posted. “[Three] schools only and arguably the toughest pharmacy board exam to pass, back in the day. Now, 10 plus schools [in California], a student loan debt bubble, easier exam to pass, and RPh's being pushed in work environment with no help and more duties.”

Pharmacy school motives

Many, many of you questioned the motives of the pharmacy schools.  “These deans live in their own little bubble and are only after their own interests. Furthermore, the revised curriculum designed to give pharmacists' a different and improvised clinical role in integrated health care has proven to be nothing but an extra barrier for current students,” one pharmacist wrote. “Why? Most pharmacy students have limited rotation sites, and will end up pursuing retail pharmacy.”


Some of you even questioned Dean Jordan’s sincerity. “Of course this guy is saying they need another diploma mill in California. WHAT WOULD HE SAY?” one pharmacist asked. “Would he be willing to admit this is a blatant stab at some easy cash? If he did, I would vote for him for president.”

“This guy was obviously bought and paid for to spout this nonsense in needing new schools, but the writing is on the wall. I would NEVER recommend pharmacy as a career to anyone that asks at this point and prospective students need to be educated to avoid new programs like this and stick with established programs,” another pharmacist wrote.

Perhaps, the best comment illustrating the differences of opinion between working pharmacists and pharmacy academia quoted the famous author, Upton Sinclair, who said “it is difficult to get a man to understand something when his salary depends upon his not understanding it.”

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