Published on January 10, 2019 by Sarah Waller  
Pharm State of the School 2019

At Samford University McWhorter School of Pharmacy’s annual State of the School address, Dean Michael Crouch reveals the school’s ongoing work to establish a new Doctor of Pharmacy curriculum, citing a need to evolve alongside the ever-changing health care environment.

“If you look at the evolution of pharmacy practice, we’ve seen so much change over the past 100 years,” he said. “I truly believe that as a school and a profession of pharmacy our best days lie ahead, but we have to be proactive. One of the greatest risks we face is to do nothing.”

The school is in its tenth year of its current Doctor of Pharmacy curriculum, and though the curriculum has changed and grown over time, this latest evaluation will result in a transformational change.

The school’s mission—to prepare students to be exemplary pharmacists—drives this decision, along with the school’s desire to fully utilize its new facilities in Samford’s College of Health Sciences, including its Experiential Learning and Simulation Center.

As a part of the event, Crouch facilitated a panel discussion with Nena Sanders, vice provost of the College of Health Sciences, Danielle Cruthirds, chair of the school’s curricular transformation task force, and John Arnold, chair of the curriculum committee.

“When we began this whole process, we started with the end in mind,” Cruthirds said. “As a faculty, we asked ourselves: What does the pharmacist of the future look like, and how can we ensure our graduates are prepared to fill that role?”

Arnold explained that his committee, which is comprised of students, faculty and alumni, will guide the development of the new curriculum, building on the competencies and general framework voted upon by the faculty. He stated the detailed work is just beginning.

“We’ve built the foundation, and now we’re framing the structure that will house our new curriculum,” Crouch said. “We have a remarkable faculty and staff, and I know the final result will be extraordinary.”

Samford is a leading Christian university offering undergraduate programs grounded in the liberal arts with an array of nationally recognized graduate and professional schools. Founded in 1841, Samford is the 87th-oldest institution of higher learning in the United States. Samford enrolls 5,791 students from 49 states, Puerto Rico and 16 countries in its 10 academic schools: arts, arts and sciences, business, divinity, education, health professions, law, nursing, pharmacy and public health. Samford fields 17 athletic teams that compete in the tradition-rich Southern Conference and ranks 6th nationally for its Graduation Success Rate among all NCAA Division I schools.