Case for Change

The UCSF School of Pharmacy has long been highly regarded as a leader in pharmacy education. But reputation is not a measure of how well we are meeting our education mission. Times change. Situations change. The environment changes. Our doctor of pharmacy (PharmD) curriculum must continually adapt, as well—to changes in science, health information, practice models, health care systems, types of therapeutics, and more.

Our curriculum must be in step with change—even ahead of it—to best serve our student pharmacists.

In reality, curriculum transformation never stops in the UCSF School of Pharmacy. It has been ongoing since the School’s founding in 1872. So why transform so significantly, and seemingly so quickly, the doctor of pharmacy (PharmD) curriculum being offered beginning in 2018 and beyond? Why the urgency?

Rationale for the current curriculum transformation

There is a wide gap today between our potential to improve health and the state of health care.

A curriculum for 2018 and beyond will further prepare our graduates to narrow this gap by identifying problems, from isolated to systemwide, and by developing evidence-based solutions to improve the health of individuals and populations.

The potential for pharmacists to contribute directly to patient care and to use their pharmacy degrees in new ways is unfolding in unprecedented ways today.

A curriculum for 2018 and beyond will prepare our graduates to drive the profession forward by expecting them to leverage their PharmD degrees with additional advanced pharmacy practice training or advanced training in other fields.

Today’s pharmacy graduates face new obstacles to overcome, including the increasing cost of education, on their way to becoming effective practitioners.

A curriculum for 2018 and beyond will recognize these obstacles and be designed to help students overcome them before and after they earn their PharmD degrees.

Today’s complex health care environment suggests a need for high-functioning teams.

A curriculum for 2018 and beyond will embrace collaborative learning among student pharmacists and across the health professions.

Today’s profusion of pharmacy science and practice knowledge—accumulating daily, even hourly—outpaces an individual’s ability to memorize and synthesize all needed facts at all times.

A curriculum for 2018 and beyond will instill superior critical thinking and problem solving skills in our students as well professional competencies, enabling them to navigate and lead in dynamic work settings.

The digital age demands new ways of teaching, learning, and practicing pharmacy today.

A curriculum for 2018 and beyond will use contemporary teaching models, focusing on active learning. We will share the results of our approaches with colleagues beyond the School, through quality educational research.