Why BESt Pharmacy?

In recent years, the practice of pharmacy has propelled itself into a more integral and highly visible role within the healthcare delivery system. Pharmacists and physicians are now working collaboratively in the treatment of patients, establishing pharmacists as the clinical experts in the area of medication therapy.

Despite these accomplishments, the profession of pharmacy continues to face a number of challenges, including a shortage of pharmacists, a lack of diversity within the profession, and an urgent need to revamp the educational process to meet the needs of today’s diverse patient population.

As our nation becomes more racially and ethnically diverse, pharmacy schools along with other health professional schools have struggled to have similar representation from underrepresented minority students. With the United States Census Bureau projecting a significant shift in the nation’s ethnic and racial make-up, similar changes in the number of individuals entering the health care provider workforce becomes critical. The Bureau anticipates ethnic and racial minorities to constitute approximately 53.7% of the population by 2050, up from 34.4% in 2008[1]. Given these statistics and the changing face of America, it is apparent that the need for underrepresented minorities entering the pharmacy profession is greater now than ever.

Cultural diversity in pharmacy is crucial if our nation’s health care system is to ensure patient-centered, culturally competent, quality health care outcomes. By increasing the representation of multicultural students graduating from PharmD programs, the pharmacy profession will play an active role in securing a diverse, culturally competent pool of educators, researchers, and practitioners. The goal of the BESt Pharmacy Summer Institute is to assist in this process.

[1] U.S. Census Bureau, “Monthly Resident Population Estimates by Age, Sex, Race and Hispanic Origin for the United States: April 1, 2000 to July 1, 2008” (released May 14, 2009).
U.S. Census Bureau, August 14, 2008. Table 4. Projections of the Population by Sex, Race, and Hispanic Origin for the United States: 2010 to 2050 (NP2008-T4)