In an effort to prepare students and faculty to participate in an international landscape, the School of Pharmacy and the Keck School of Medicine are launching the first of its kind Doctor of Pharmacy/Master of Science in Global Medicine dual degree program.
The program was created to meet the challenges of providing effective health care to a variety of communities and economies worldwide. A combined pharmacy and medicine curriculum gives graduate students the applied knowledge and experience they need to address not only global health crises, but also the social issues that come with these crises.
“We are very proud to introduce the new Pharm.D./MSGM dual degree program because we feel it will add to the diversity of our class, which already includes a variety of pre-health professional students, progressive degree students, and international medical graduates,” said Jennifer Yoohanna, a student services advisor for the program.
Dr. Elahe Nezami, co-director of the Global Medicine Program, said the program is expected to attract a mixed bag of students. The only academic requirements are an undergraduate degree with a 3.0 GPA minimum and a 1000 GRE score minimum.
“Having a diverse student population is always great, as it allows for a variety of experiences and personal histories for students to use when discussing pharmacy and health care in general,” Nezami said.
The program has already sparked the interest of potential students a few months after the official announcement of its creation.
“I recognized the importance that collaboration between health-care professionals from all over the world has on overcoming stigmas that prevent the ill from getting much-needed aid,” said Nassim Lashkari, a new Pharm.D. candidate and applicant for the program.
Students benefit from a collaborative curriculum from the School of Pharmacy and Keck and conclude their education with one year of experiential training. The clerkship will allow students to work in different specialties to gain exposure to the myriad of populations and settings in which they might work following graduation.
With more students being accepted to the graduate program, the School of Pharmacy and Keck expect a spike in admissions after in the first-year “trial.” They expect the program to expand vastly as they educate more pharmacy and medicine students about the variety of domestic and international opportunities the curriculum offers.
“USC prides itself on creating innovations in education that lead to innovations in our world,” Nezami said, “and this dual degree certainly aims to uphold that same standard.”