Appalachian College of Pharmacy is leading the way

Appalachian College of Pharmacy is leading the way

When you go to college, you expect to get a job in your chosen field, but that doesn’t always happen. The reason is often an oversupply of potential employees.
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Pharmacists have seen this happen. In the year 2000, pharmacists were naming their salaries because there weren’t enough of them. There were only 7,000 pharmacists nationally. Over the last decade, new schools offering pharmacy degress opened and that supply basically caught up with the need. As of 2013, there were 13,000 graduates.

It is a cycle, one that Appalachian College of Pharmacy has managed to ride with success. In fact, the school recently celebrated a milestone. The school’s graduates in 2014 scored higher on a national exam than all other pharmacy schools in the commonwealth.

Whether in the classroom or in the lab, students at the Appalachian College of Pharmacy in Buchanan County are being put to the test.

The school opened its doors in 2005 and graduated its first class in 2008. Since then, it has made a name for itself, graduating some of the top pharmacists in Virginia. Nearly 96% of the 2014 graduating class passed a national licensing exam in addition to scoring in the top five of all U-S accelerated three-year Doctor of Pharmacy programs.

Dr. Susan Mayhew, Dean of Appalachian College of Pharmacy, says “It spells academic success of our curriculum and shows that three-year accelerated programs can compete and succeed expectations of four year programs.”

Three-year pharmacy programs are a relatively new concept, but Mayhew says this is the right formula for this college located in rural Oakwood, Virginia.

The fully-accredited school graduates on average approximately 70 students per year. The school educates pharmacy students to understand and overcome the challenges of rural health care. Traditional training combined with modern advances provide students with plenty of hands on experience.

A simulated patient can mimic just about any condition a real person would experience including an increase in blood pressure, even an asthma attack.

Tyler Jauss is in his second year. He moved here from Ohio because of the school’s commitment to patient care.

Tyler Jauss, Pharmacy Student, “Most people think of a pharmacist as being who counts by five or gives pills, but here we look at patients as a whole outside of the realm of the medicine.”

Dr. Mayhew says Jauss and the other students are a solution to the growing need for primary care. “By 2030 there will be 75 million americans over the age of 65. That’s a 45% increase over what we have right now. So there is going to be an increased need for pharmacists.”

And as each class graduates, Mayhew is proud to point out that nearly 100 percent of them get jobs.

The school also points out that by graduating in three years, students are able to get jobs sooner and start earning salaries earlier than those students who attend four-year institutions.

The Bureau of Labor predicts employment of pharmacists is projected to grow 14% through 2022.

In addition to traditional school work, each student at the Appalachian College of Pharmacy is required to complete community service hours during the three-year program.

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