Most pharmacy students are unaware of this, but behind the scenes their Admissions Offices and Deans have been working with NABP to change the standard PharmD from a 6-year to a 10-year degree.
NABP representative Ashton Gotya announced yesterday “We have evaluated the oversupply of students and are responding appropriately. Beginning in 2016 all PharmD degree students will now begin a 10-year course of study.” The move has been discussed behind closed doors for years, as the industry seeks to respond to the oversupply of new graduates and a flooded market.
What is most interesting (and most shocking) is that students currently enrolled will be required by NABP to complete the additional 4 years at some point AFTER graduation, but within 10 years of earning their PharmD. “Currently enrolled students will graduate according to the completion of their scheduled degree” says Gotya, “but they will be required to complete to additional 4 years via correspondence and classroom work on their own within 10 years of graduation in order to maintain their degree.”
The new 10-year PharmD is expected to boost tuition revenues at Pharmacy schools by 9.3 billion dollars annually, while at the same time reducing the number of graduating students to address the flooded market. Smith, the current Dean of the Central Massachusetts School of Pharmacy says, “it is not ultimately about the money or the market. It is about offering the highest quality education and value to our students.”
What will the 10-year PharmD look like? The additional 4 years will include, surprisingly, more preparation for retail community pharmacy management and stress training, in addition to obtaining full prescribing privileges.
Years 1-6: Follow current PharmD protocol of classroom based and rotation based learning
Year 7: Community pharmacy volume management. Students will be trained to manage a 1,000 Rx/day operation entirely alone, with the assistance of newer technologies and robotics.
Year 8: Margin diminishing strategies. Due to lower Rx margins from consolidated PBM’s, students will be trained to enhance their marketing skills to capture greater OTC product sales.
Year 9: Loan repayment counseling. This year will be devoted mostly to economic strategies to manager their new 500K loans, with a special focus on juggling multiple jobs and putting off ideas like raising a family until they are in their 60’s.
Year 10: The final year will be mostly focused on survival training for long-hours and limited lunch breaks, similar to that undergone by most Navy seals and will be taught by prison wardens and ex-military personnel to enhance the student preparedness for the real world.
Overall the 10 year degree seems like a reasonable approach to managing our current professional crisis. I’m personally glad to be the first one to report on this advancement, especially since it is…