MCW to explore School of Pharmacy

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The Medical College of Wisconsin is exploring the feasibility of opening a school of pharmacy.

A feasibility study will include several considerations related to an immersive three-year curricular model, class size, tuition and a distributed model with possible campuses in Green Bay or central Wisconsin. MCW would likely not build a new building, but may rather work with their academic and health care partners on renovating existing structures as it has in the past.

The development of specialty tracks in Milwaukee in areas such as genomics and personalized pharmacy, oncology, mental health and research will also be evaluated.

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A proposal has been submitted to MCW’s Advancing a Healthier Wisconsin endowment for development of the feasibility study. The six-month study, which is expected to be completed in the spring, will address when a school of pharmacy could be completed and ready for use.

MCW is considering a school of pharmacy because The American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy forecasts a shortage of 157,000 pharmacists nationwide by the year 2020. Furthermore, the need for pharmacists in the Midwest, particularly in Wisconsin, exceeds the national average. Since 2008, the national Pharmacy Workforce Center has consistently identified Wisconsin as one of the states with the highest demand for pharmacists.

“We believe MCW is well-positioned to develop innovative approaches to address Wisconsin’s shortage of pharmacists,” said Dr. John Raymond, Sr., president and chief executive officer of MCW.  “MCW successfully responded to our state’s projected shortage of physicians through the development of regional medical school campuses in Green Bay and central Wisconsin.  MCW would bring that same commitment to innovation in pharmacy education.”

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MCW is opening a new medical school campus in 2015 in Green Bay, and is projected to open a medical school campus in 2016 in central Wisconsin. The immersive medical educational model will allow students to complete their medical education in three years rather than a traditional four-year curriculum.

Concordia University Wisconsin in Mequon opened a School of Pharmacy in 2011, which is only the second of its kind in Wisconsin.

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