MSPH/PharmD … Should I do it?

As arguably the most accessible health care providers in the United States, pharmacists play a crucial role in promoting and protecting the health of the public. Pharmacy, as a scope of practice, is expanding farther and farther beyond simply distributing medications from your local pharmacy and is evolving into a more patient and public health-oriented practice. For this reason, I knew I wanted to enroll in a dual PharmD/Master’s of Public Health Degree program. Upon graduating, pharmacists have invaluable clinical knowledge which makes them a great resource to the community they practice in. A degree in public health allows pharmacists to leverage their clinical knowledge beyond the health of individual patients to populations as a whole. As a second-year student pharmacist, I have experienced this first-hand. Last summer I had to opportunity to work with the North Carolina Association of Pharmacists to create an online tool-kit that independent pharmacies all over the state can use. The purpose of this resource was to help independent pharmacies set up COVID-19 testing sites at their stores. In doing so, pharmacists were using their clinical knowledge to provide an essential service to populations in need during a global pandemic, and as an added bonus, created a new revenue stream for their struggling businesses. Pharmacists are often overlooked and under-utilized as front-line health care workers who have the training to provide clinical services in the community so it was a really great experience getting to see how pharmacy and public health worked together to provide essential, clinical services to patients at a local level.

Emily Steinbock

PharmD/MSPH Candidate

Class of 2023

Campbell University College of Pharmacy & Health Sciences

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