OUR VIEW: Med school now churns out druggists

It’s back-to-school time.

After two full weeks under their belts, K-12 students are likely back into the routine.

College students are heading to class, too.

This semester, Georgia Gwinnett College is holding class for 5,000 students and for the first time welcomed students into the campus’ new dorms.

The UGA Gwinnett campus offers a variety of graduate academic programs, non-credit continuing education opportunities, business-oriented training programs, and K-12 technology training initiatives.

But the biggest advancement in Gwinnett education this year goes to the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine, which opened its new School of Pharmacy.

The Suwanee school that opened in 2005 offers the doctor of Osteopathic medicine degree, the master of science degree in biomedical sciences and now the doctor of pharmacy degree. Seventy-eight students are in the inaugural School of Pharmacy class.

The pharmacy school’s impact falls well beyond Gwinnett’s borders.

The increasing need for primary care physicians and other health care professionals in the South, and specifically in Georgia, is what led P-COM to locate its only branch campus in Suwanee. The same strategy applied to the pharmacy school. It’s hope that some of those trained here will stay here.

“We hope all citizens of Gwinnett County share our pride in this major accomplishment,” campus executive officer John Fleischmann said. “We couldn’t be more pleased we’re able to offer a second professional program here.”

Only a few years ago, high school graduates in Gwinnett had few choices other than to leave this county to further their education. There was a time when you couldn’t get a four-year degree on Gwinnett soil.

Imagine now that a student can go from kindergarten to college to medical or pharmacy school. From first grade to pharmacist — all within the borders of Gwinnett.

The unsigned editorials reflect the opinion of the Gwinnett Daily Post. Columns, letters to the editor and cartoons reflect the opinions of the individuals who penned them. It is the policy of the Gwinnett Daily Post to correct all errors of fact. Corrections usually run on Page 4A.