Ranked No. 1 in the state, No. 9 in the nation and No. 3 nationally for placing students into residency programs, the University of Florida College of Pharmacy has been a leader in pharmacy education for nearly a century. Students can get either a Pharm.D., Ph.D. or M.S. degree from one of three locations: Gainesville, Jacksonville, or Orlando. Orlando students get to take advantage of the Center for Quality Medication Management, Jacksonville students benefit from having classes in the UF Health Jacksonville hospital, and Gainesville students have the opportunity to work with students from the surrounding healthcare programs.
Regardless of which campus you attend, the program’s design allows students to collaborate between locations. UF utilizes the flipped classroom or team-based learning models where lectures are watched at home and class time is used to discuss and work in groups.
“Pharmacy curriculum is headed to a model that uses more collaboration with other practices in patient activity. In the field, the doctor, nurse, and pharmacist all have a say in what happens to the patient, so UF Pharm is teaching students to work in teams and think critically,” said Mary Beth Yokomi, UF Pharmacy application specialist.
While other schools have just begun switching to this team-based learning curriculum, UF has been using this model since 2015. One of the main reasons second-year Pharm.D. student Andrew Asante turned down other offers immediately after his interview with UF is because of the establishment of the program.
“I didn’t want to be part of those other schools’ experiments in implementing a new program. UF already had this system and it has proven to be successful,” Asante said.
Asante has found many opportunities serving as professional chair for the American Pharmacy Association, as president for two organizations, and as a member of Phi Lambda Sigma pharmacy leadership society. “All these organizations are important to be able to learn from people, network, and get exposed to different areas in pharmacy. They have helped me to develop my leadership prowess,” Asante said. He was even able to participate in an intensive summer research program last year, which he realizes not all pharmacy programs offer.
Wondering if you would be a good fit for UF pharmacy school? Successful students are able to balance their social lives, community involvement, and school work. Admissions cares about the person applying and how they will be able to care for patients.
“We’re looking for compassion, empathy, and for people who serve the community and put the quality of their patient at the forefront,” Yokomi said.
Students from all over the country come to UF for Pharmacy school, but double Gators enjoy the advantage of being familiar with the college before they’re enrolled.
“Being an undergraduate at UF, I was already very familiar with campus and had a community of friends,” said Kate Webb, a first-year Pharm.D. student. As a pre-pharm student, she had the opportunity to shadow students and doctors as well as meet the faculty and staff, which helped her to build connections and get letters of recommendations. Now in the graduate program, she is able to help two undergraduate students through mentorship. Webb believes that her involvement with the English Learning Institute (ELI) and working alongside pharmacists while an undergraduate helped her stand out on her application and gave her multiple speaking points in her interview. Ultimately she chose UF because she felt that the faculty was very attentive throughout the interview process and intentionally reached out to her afterwards.
“UF really sees you as a person and not just a number. They foster their students and really want you to succeed,” Webb said.
For more information about the University of Florida School of Pharmacy, visit https://pharmacy.ufl.edu/.