Keck Graduate Institute (KGI) provides a unique opportunity to push pharmacy education to a new level because of the culture, resources, and networking KGI offers. Graduates of this school – the only graduate school in the country solely dedicated to bioscience education and research - will be very well equipped to meet the needs of a rapidly changing healthcare system in which pharmacists increasingly play a primary role in matching drugs and therapies to a particular patient. They will be equally well qualified to work in a traditional pharmacy setting, in regulatory affairs, or in the pharmaceutical industry.
Changes in technology and biotechnology have led to advances in diagnostics, devices, biologicals, and information handling. We now have better tools to help us determine the best drugs and mechanisms of delivery for an individual patient; we don't need to rely on a "one-size-fits-all" approach. However, pharmacy graduates must be trained to effectively use these tools. The landscape of health care has changed so that cost-benefit analysis must be used to weigh the risks for specific therapies; the right therapy may vary depending on the patient's age, genes, environment, or even personal choices. And, while technology can be used to expedite the delivery of medications and optimize patient outcomes, pharmacists need to be involved in setting parameters and limitations so that drug misadventures do not occur. They must harness the large amount of information available to help make appropriate clinical decisions.
While PharmD's bring needed skills to the biotech industry, pharmacy graduates can play an increasingly important role through an understanding of the culture and needs of the industry. The philosophy behind the development of the PharmD curriculum at the KGI School of Pharmacy is to provide the traditional PharmD curriculum in a more efficient manner, using the integration of subjects and extensive use of technology. The school is structured to enhance the education of all students by incorporating active learning, as well as inter-professional and teamwork experiences. The increased curricular content related to informatics, pharmacogenomics, pharmacoeconomics, clinical-regulatory affairs, entrepreneurship, and systems analysis is critical for the future of pharmacy practice. In addition to the general KGI PharmD education, students will develop enhanced expertise in one of four focused areas: medication therapy outcomes, clinical-regulatory affairs, health information technology, and healthcare management. In order to meet healthcare challenges in the coming decades, we are going to need professionals who are resourceful, data-savvy, and highly adaptable. Graduates of the KGI School of Pharmacy will possess all of these qualities, as well as many others, that will make them sought-after employees in multiple healthcare sectors.
Kathy Webster, PharmD, PhD
Founding Dean, Professor
KGI School of Pharmacy