Newswise — The Ernest Mario School of Pharmacy and Robert Wood Johnson Medical School mark 10 years of the pharmacy and medicine dual degree program, the only such program in the nation.

So far, the rigorous course of study has produced 21 graduates who have completed or are participating in medical residencies across the United States.

Speaking at the anniversary celebration, Rutgers Biomedical and Health Sciences Chancellor Brian Strom, who leads Rutgers Health, cited the accomplishments of the program’s graduates, adding that “beyond the accolades and achievements, the essence of this program lies in its profound impact on patient care.”

The program combines the pharmacist’s understanding and prescribing of medications with the physician’s diagnostic and clinical skills to improve patient outcomes.

“This program is designed as a gateway to new perspectives that unite health professionals in cooperative care to give patients the benefits of interdisciplinary knowledge, skills and solutions,” said Joseph Barone, dean of the Ernest Mario School of Pharmacy.

“The program has been a springboard for amazing professional growth opportunities in clinical care, service to the community, research and innovation during and after medical school,” said Carol Terregino, senior associate dean for education and academic affairs at Robert Wood Johnson Medical School.

Producing leaders in the health care professions is the goal, she added.

“Our vision is to help build a health care system in which people from different professions contribute their expertise to solving health problems,” said Carol Goldin, senior associate dean for planning and assessment.

Graduates of the program have completed or are participating in residencies in family medicine, surgery, anesthesiology, pediatrics, neurology, psychiatry, internal medicine and obstetrics and gynecology at major institutions throughout the U.S. This year, another eight pharmacy students have been recommended to the medical school to continue their education.

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