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Latest Pharmacy School Ranking?

Discussion in 'Pre-Pharmacy' started by GreenChili, 04.08.11.


  1. Thanks to Crack the PCAT
  1. GreenChili

    GreenChili Pharmacy Student

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    SDN Members don't see this ad. (About Ads)
    I was wondering if anyone knew how often US News ranks Pharmacy schools? the latest ranking I've seen is:
    http://grad-schools.usnews.rankings...chools/top-pharmacy-schools/pharmacy-rankings

    ...which is from 2008. Med Schools and other grad schools are ranked annually. It's 2011 and with all these programs changing their curriculums, I'm sure rankings have definitely changed from then.

    Of course, rankings are not EVERYTHING when deciding what school to attend, but it provides a good rough sketch of the quality of education.

    Does anyone know when the PharmD schools are ranked? Or if there is an even more current ranking available?

    Thanks.
  2. Passion4Sci

    Passion4Sci LML Moderator Emeritus

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    Rankings don't really matter at all with pharmacy.

    It's not like you get a degree from UCSF Pharmacy and can get a job immediately any any pharmacy or hospital in the country like you could from Harvard Law School or their Medical School. Pharmacy is, and will likely continue to be, highly regional... So don't let rankings influence where you go to school for pharmacy at all. Not. At. All.
    oldstock likes this.
  3. GreenChili

    GreenChili Pharmacy Student

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    the reason i ask is because i'm really interested in doing some sort of residency after. and now with all of these new pharm schools opening up -it has now made it that much harder to get into a decent residency.

    rankings, even if not the most accurate, can at least provide some sort of a network to work with while in school - especially for well established/well known programs.
  4. delano2000

    delano2000 D-Mod likes to parTAY Moderator Emeritus

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    School reputations and statistics regarding board exams should help you out.
  5. Passion4Sci

    Passion4Sci LML Moderator Emeritus

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    Meh. Can't trust them. UoP is ranked in the 50s (lol???) and has THE strongest network in Northern California. More residents in the central valley and the bay area come from UoP than even the super-duper UCSF. Like I say time and time again, I've volunteered at 3 of the largest hospitals in the bay area and worked at an independent pharmacy where we always had interns and rarely, rarely saw UCSF white coats. Lots of tigers, lots of Touros, a few USC & a couple Westerns.

    Rather than look at the retarded USNWR rankings at all, contact the schools directly and ask for their residency match %'s for the last couple of years. Also, ask for a list, detailed, of what sites they have for IPPE & APPE. That'll tell you how hard you'll have to work to be a self-advocate, as many folks from "The #1 pharmacy school" are finding out, if they choose based on ranking, they may have to do some leg work for themselves when it comes time to do so.

    It also depends where you want to do residency. I mean, you could go to the #4 pharmacy school in Washington State, but you'd probably, 9 times out of 10, be passed up for a residency in, say, Nebraska, who will likely take Creighton grads, etc.

    Those rankings are such trash and, unlike other fields like law, they mean absolutely nothing, as opposed to just being trash but valued in some way. These are valueless trash. LOL
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  6. confettiflyer

    confettiflyer Unicorn w/ dirty wings

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    yeah you can pretty much/fudge your reportings to scoot up on your rankings (ie market the hell out of your application to drive down your % acceptance yield).

    Everyone in pharmacy knows that the US News rankings don't really tell you anything (maybe so in undergrad where the school itself is much more broad based than rx school). What will define your ability to get a residency/job is going to rest on your rotations & relationships...where they are, how difficult they are, what you did, and who you worked with.

    The didactic curricula are pretty much standardized, you learn the same crap whether you go to this school or that (you'll teach yourself most of the time anyway). Rotations are like jobs and most everyone in here is in agreement that you learn best on-the-job.

    Catch my drift?
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  7. All4MyDaughter

    All4MyDaughter SDN Mommystrator Staff Member Administrator SDN Senior Moderator Lifetime Donor Partner Organization

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    Stop trolling! Everyone knows that if you go to a Top 10 school you are better than everyone else!













    :smuggrin:
    Actually, great post! :thumbup:
  8. spacecowgirl

    spacecowgirl brr

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    Ranking don't matter. Find out about residency placement %, NAPLEX pass rates (although any school that doesn't have 95%+ pass rate I would run away from), rotation quality/opportunities.

    Forget rankings, no one cares :yawn:
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  9. Passion4Sci

    Passion4Sci LML Moderator Emeritus

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    But, but, people on my BRAGBOOK would care!!!!!!!

    How can I possibly brag properly on my status update if I'm not going to a top 10!?!?!?!
  10. 30Percent

    30Percent Big boy shoes

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    Is Resident Placement % the % who applied to residency and matched or the % of students of an entire class who went into residency?

    I was just wondering since a residency isn't required if a student is geared toward retail.
  11. VeraShield

    VeraShield

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    Though it's kind of interesting that a few schools in the "U.S. news top 10" ended up near the bottom with NAPLEX pass rates last year:

    U of Arizona: 90.59% pass rate (-8.09% from year prior)
    U of Washington: 92.39% pass rate (-7.61%)
    U of Maryland: 90.91% pass
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  12. confettiflyer

    confettiflyer Unicorn w/ dirty wings

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    Curious, do some schools drop in an intensive NAPLEX/juris exam reviews while others don't? I'm not at that point, I would think some schools would leave it incumbent upon the student to study for the exam while a school like USC has a pharmacy-world-famous law review course at the end of the year.
  13. All4MyDaughter

    All4MyDaughter SDN Mommystrator Staff Member Administrator SDN Senior Moderator Lifetime Donor Partner Organization

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    My school has a two day NAPLEX review right before graduation. We're also bringing in a PharmD/JD from Univ of Ky to do a law review. I can't go to either (maternity leave) so I'm doing the NAPLEX thing on my own and going to the law review being held at the Univ of Kentucky (it's earlier than ours). I'm also getting the info from a law review that the Indiana BOP holds every year for Butler/Purdue students. I think they also have a one day NAPLEX review session.
  14. DrDrugs2012

    DrDrugs2012

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    Yes, its true. In a broad sense, rankings don't mean you are a better pharmacist - you can be a straight C student at a top ten school and be a far worse pharmacist than a straight A student at the last ranked school. If you seek a career in community pharmacy, rankings do not matter the slightest - your aptitude and performance matter a lot more. In the same sense, your aptitude matters when it comes to securing residencies.

    But to suggest rankings do not mean anything is simply foolish. The US News rankings are based ENTIRELY on peer assessment of their academics. That means that all the other pharmacy schools voted UCSF number 1 in academics. While you should always take some things with a grain of salt, the rankings are a fair and rough estimate of the quality of education you receive at the schools. This doesn't mean that the education received at a lower ranked school is poor! Its a relative ranking not an absolute one!

    Do you "rankings dont matter" folks really believe it is a coincidence that the top 10-15 schools send a disproportionately large number of their students to postgraduate fellowships and residencies? Do you think that residency directors are so shallow to accept applicants just because they came from a top 15 school? Do you really believe that its a coincidence that so many of the top faculty in pharmacy schools graduated from top pharmacy schools themselves?

    Its a self-propagating system - high ranked schools tend to get more high potential students who in turn become high performing pharmacists.

    Furthermore, NAPLEX rates don't mean diddly unless its atrociously low. Some schools teach to the NAPLEX, so its no wonder why they have a 99% pass rate, but that doesnt mean that they are the best pharmacists or received the best education. Some schools have NAPLEX review courses, some don't. Some don't even have an intensive law review. Some schools end their rotations early to give their students time to prepare for the NAPLEX while other schools have rotations until just before their May graduation! Every school has a more or less standardized curriculum with respect to what is tested on the NAPLEX. Its part of their accreditation process. Ultimately, passing the NAPLEX is on the individual student and generally not a reflection of the education received at the school.
    Last edited: 04.10.11
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  15. confettiflyer

    confettiflyer Unicorn w/ dirty wings

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    Eh, I thought rankings were multifactorial and took into account alumni donations, % acceptance, and size of endowment.
  16. All4MyDaughter

    All4MyDaughter SDN Mommystrator Staff Member Administrator SDN Senior Moderator Lifetime Donor Partner Organization

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    As far as I know they are not based solely on one factor.
  17. R2pharmD2

    R2pharmD2 Moderator Emeritus

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    http://www.usnews.com/education/articles/2009/04/22/health-rankings-methodology

    He's actually right, on this at least. And that just reinforces my opinion that the rankings are crap.
  18. All4MyDaughter

    All4MyDaughter SDN Mommystrator Staff Member Administrator SDN Senior Moderator Lifetime Donor Partner Organization

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  19. R2pharmD2

    R2pharmD2 Moderator Emeritus

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    Yeah, they're like some sort of massive online junk comparison.
  20. DrDrugs2012

    DrDrugs2012

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    I fail to understand why its a mutual stroke fest. Its called peer-review. Are most published papers a stroke fest because other scientists reviewed another's research and found it worthy? Do you honestly believe that schools would inappropriately rank their peers?

    You are all failing to realize, rankings are relative. Imagine ranking banks offering savings accounts - all of them are paying about 1%. Rank them in terms of return. There isn't that much that separates the number 1 bank from the number 100 bank - its probably only 0.015%. But don't try and convince me that on a pure financial basis that you would ever choose a bank offering a lower return because that is nonsensical even if on an absolute return, you're talking about pennies. But then you factor in location, convenience, etc and everyone's decision making calculus changes.

    That's why there are other aspects of a school every student should evaluate - options in experiential rotations, cost, location, post-graduate and employment opportunities, approachability of faculty, and so on. One of the top things they teach you in graduate school is that you pick your grad school on the basis of the mentor who has the right connections and the right skills to help you get to where you want to go. Ranking of academic quality is but one of many important aspects - but its not irrelevant nor is it useless. You're just doing future applicants a disservice by trying to convince them that academic quality is irrelevant.

    Rankings are general guides - not absolute decisions. Students who are making their decisions purely on the basis of rankings won't do well wherever they go because they are focusing on the wrong things.
  21. ucrx

    ucrx

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    I don't know about Arizona or Washington, but UMD is a pretty good school for pharmacy grads (especially compared to other schools in the DC area). I would look more at their rates over several years. I also don't think it's a big deal unless a school does particularly bad (<90%). I think there were 3 schools with pass rates lower than 80% last year and have worked with pharmacists from two of the schools. There seems to be a connection between their NAPLEX pass rates and the clinical skills of graduates (in my experience of course).
  22. enabler

    enabler

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    This reminds me of what I see in arguments about the usefulness of PCAT scores. Some say it is meaningless, some say it is very predictive .

    And just like the PCAT, I think answer is somewhere in the middle, as it is neither of the extremes. I personally think it leans a little more to the predictive side. But use it as a guide, not as a rule. It is only one of the things you should use when deciding the strength of a school.
  23. 2411t

    2411t

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    Rankings will never change (at least dramatically). Even if XULA dishes out the most amazing pharmacists, the pharmacy community will never know, and they will stay at the bottom of the barrel with respect to rankings (no offense to XULA grads or future students).
  24. ValeUC

    ValeUC PharmD

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    Not that I put any stock into these school rankings but notice most individuals posting against them. These are students at schools with substandard ranking. Would the same comments be made if they attended Kentucky or UCSF?
  25. Passion4Sci

    Passion4Sci LML Moderator Emeritus

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    I had the opportunity to attend a highly ranked school... I harbor no ill will toward the highly ranked programs and it's not a situation of "haters gon' hate." There's just no objective meaning to attending a highly ranked program in pharmacy for many reasons (unlike in law, our best and most direct comparison in terms of USNWR). My wife attends the third highest ranked law school in the country and it matters. DA jobs, big law jobs, the best intern/SA-ships, the best connections all come from the best schools. Her shot at a $160k+ salary right out of the gate starting in the summer of her 3L year is extremely high. From a lower ranked school in the bay, like UC Hastings? Not so much. However... when I graduate from UoP, I will make just as much money as a UCSF grad, with no particular awesome opportunities being reserved for the UCSF grad. See the difference? it's not: Graduate from UoP with a Pharm.D and go work for $18/hr at a small pharmacy whereas graduate from UCSF with same Pharm.D and going to work for $80+/hr like it is in law (and I suppose medicine, although I have no first hand knowledge of the medicine rankings so I keep my nose out of that).

    Unlike with Harvard, Yale, Stanford, Columbia and NYU in law, where going to that program means you're nationally marketable and fixing to make a truckload of cash money, there is little palpable difference b/n going to UCSF vs. going to Touro or UoP. Not in residency chances, not in employment chances, not in anything. UoP places phenomenally well all over the bay area (Oakland, Marin, Richmond, San Francisco proper, Vallejo even w/ Touro right there, Pleasanton, Dublin, Livermore you name it...) despite being some-50 ranks behind UCSF. That cannot be said for a rank 50 (tier 2) law school. They do not place as well as high tier 1 law schools, and therefore we can say: ranking in pharmacy carries no weight.

    I think UCSF is a fine school, don't get me wrong... but their #1 rank is meaningless. Someone looking for a pharmacist in, say, Illinois will, I bet you, take the UIUC grad way before he takes a UCSF grad because pharmacy is pretty regional.
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  26. ValeUC

    ValeUC PharmD

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    While I agree with many points you made, it still doesn't really address the question I asked. If you went to a school ranked in the top ten, would you refute the rankings and call it a bunch of bull - or would you not? Mainly pointing out that a person will not argue their school being ranked high compared to someone at the bottom saying that their school deserves such a low position.
  27. SHC1984

    SHC1984 Removed

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    lol
  28. owlegrad

    owlegrad Uncontrollable Sarcasm Machine Staff Member Administrator SDN Senior Moderator

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    Yes, I do.
  29. WVUPharm2007

    WVUPharm2007 "I hear the WMD is the bomb."

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  30. R2pharmD2

    R2pharmD2 Moderator Emeritus

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    I start at a "Top 5" school this fall. I still think the rankings are crap.

    Seriously. I feel like one of these threads pops up every few weeks or so.
  31. ValeUC

    ValeUC PharmD

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    I still have yet to see a person with a 50 ranked school agreeing with the system.
  32. Passion4Sci

    Passion4Sci LML Moderator Emeritus

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    ah, you're going for a cognitive dissonance approach?

    Guess it'd depend on if the student went to the school over a different, lower ranked school based solely on its rank.
  33. owlegrad

    owlegrad Uncontrollable Sarcasm Machine Staff Member Administrator SDN Senior Moderator

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    Do the rankings go that low? I only ever remember seeing the top 10 list, I didn't realize that it went all the way to 50.
  34. All4MyDaughter

    All4MyDaughter SDN Mommystrator Staff Member Administrator SDN Senior Moderator Lifetime Donor Partner Organization

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    Why would they? The point most of us are making is that the rankings are crap and loved only by those who use them to pat themselves on the back.

    I started at a Top 10 school and voluntarily withdrew, transferred and finished at a new school that was more geographically desirable for me. Having attended both types of school (and rotated with students from both, as well as students from a variety of other schools), I think that the rankings are not that useful in terms of quantifying quality of education or students.
  35. spacecowgirl

    spacecowgirl brr

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  36. owlegrad

    owlegrad Uncontrollable Sarcasm Machine Staff Member Administrator SDN Senior Moderator

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    :love:
  37. confettiflyer

    confettiflyer Unicorn w/ dirty wings

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    All politics is local, so are perceptions of schools. Been hearing through the vine there's a lot of grumbling about UCSF students rotating through lately...in fact, some rotation sites that were UCSF exclusive were starting to crumble away.

    Not that I'm dissing UCSF, it's a fantastic school, but my point is that the closest thing to a "rank" we have in the pharmacy world is actually a conglomeration of perception, personal experience, and what your colleagues are also seeing/perceiving. In a way, the US News rankings replicate this, but because it attempts to scale up to a national level ultimately fail because of a lack of interaction.

    Also, I'm not sure of the exact methodology, but they ask schools and not clinicians? This doesn't make sense as the preceptors are going to know best what schools are pumping out sh*t graduates.
  38. ValeUC

    ValeUC PharmD

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    Lets have confetti rank the schools.
  39. confettiflyer

    confettiflyer Unicorn w/ dirty wings

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    [​IMG]
    HICP #1!!!!

    Granted, its first class was so big, it probably could occupy the first 3-4 slots.
  40. larkbird

    larkbird

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    I've recently had to try and explain the "ranking" system to my parents- since I've been trying to decide between two pharmacy schools ~40 apart in the rankings. (TAMUK & Tech)

    My understanding from reading through this thread is that the rankings are based on a peer-review system and/or how well-known a school is. The concern that arises here, then, is how this effects job opportunities upon graduation from a particular school. There has been mention of how pharmacy is a locally-centralized profession and how connections made during school/rotations are key in securing jobs after graduation.

    Does this mean it would be difficult to find a job as a pharmacist in a state different from the one from which you graduated? =\
  41. R2pharmD2

    R2pharmD2 Moderator Emeritus

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    I think the local reputation of your school does matter somewhat, but the important thing really is the personal connections, IMO. I'd rather have a few solid connections that could recommend me for jobs than rely on the name of my school to make my app stand out. That said, you can probably make those connections regardless of where you go to school, but some schools (typically the more established schools) will make that easier than others, just based on the number of grads in the field already. I doubt that the rankings accurately reflect that sort of thing (how many east coast school administrators would you expect to know the first thing about schools in Texas, for example?).

    As far as whether it would be difficult to find a job out of state, I can only speculate. I've worked with plenty of pharmacists who graduated from schools other than the one school in my state (Kentucky) that has graduated pharmacists (Sullivan graduates its first class this year). However, they're all from other regional schools, like Cincinnati, Purdue, Mercer, etc. That's just my experience, so take from that what you will.
  42. Passion4Sci

    Passion4Sci LML Moderator Emeritus

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    Ouch! :(((
  43. DrDrugs2012

    DrDrugs2012

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    Plenty. You'd be very, very surprised to see what administrators know about competing programs, preceptors and professors. While I cannot and will not go into specifics, I will assure you, and everyone else, that most of the top schools are not at the top because they are old, or because of their research (though indirectly this is true), its because of their academic reputation as seen by the experience each school has with their graduates. And they got there by evaluating their own programs, especially against what their peer schools are doing, and constantly evolving and growing their curriculum through continuous development.

    You're all forgetting that if you can assume that administrators would grade their peer schools fairly (which is not a hard leap to imagine), they have the option of not responding about schools for which they have no knowledge of their program, faculty or graduates. This eliminates the bias of "lack of information". Accordingly, only schools with experience with UCSF academics, faculty, students and graduates would rate UCSF. As such, doesn't it speak volumes that the aggregate score is that high? What does that tell you about the lower tier schools?

    You all harp on rankings as being superficial and self-congratulatory, and to some degree this is true, but you're missing the overall picture of how the rankings came to be and on what the rankings are based. You're committing serious fallacies in logic.

    Employers don't say "oooh, you went to the #1 school. you must be awesome. you're hired!" That's superficial. But they do say "you went to the #1 school and I know it has great academics, and looking at your transcript/GPA, you did well so clearly you must have learned a lot. you're hired." They put the quality of the school in context with your application. And if you think otherwise, you're delusional. Whether or not this is a fair assessment of one candidate versus another is irrelevant. I agree that a student who graduated from a lower school could be just as qualified and talented (if not more so) as this graduate from the #1 school... but do you really think its just coincidence that universally, graduates of the top schools in every discipline, at every levels of academia be it high school, undergraduate or graduate studies, tend to be "more successful" and "higher paid" than everyone else?
    - from someone who has worked in human resources

    At the end of the day, you cant escape the vicious cycle - top students tend to apply to top schools, which in turn have greater selection over the quality of student admitted, which in turn means they tend to graduate top pharmacists. Is it any wonder then that their ranking is maintained and that rankings don't fluctuate much?
  44. R2pharmD2

    R2pharmD2 Moderator Emeritus

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    I don't doubt that administrators know a good deal about competing programs. But which schools are going to be considered competitors? Regional schools and the handful of programs that are well known throughout the country.

    While I would like to think that everyone is going to grade their competitors fairly and without regard to their own self interest, I doubt that's the case. If the rankings are as important as you suggest, I'm guessing there are some administrators out there who would like to see competing schools ranked as low as possible, no? What's the downside to ranking an in-state rival, for instance, lower than they should be? Or what's to prevent schools from banding together and saying "You scratch my back, I'll scratch yours?" Call me cynical, but there is plenty of opportunity for bias here beyond the potential lack of information on other schools.

    You assume that the rankings have some correlation to the academics, when they really don't provide any objective measurement of the quality or difficulty of the curriculum at a given school.

    In regards to the pay and success of graduates of highly ranked schools, in some fields that's true, but pharmacy might be the biggest exception. More successful could be debated, but higher paid? The vast majority of pharmacists make roughly the same amount, with few exceptions.

    How many of the top schools are actually providing the best education though? They may be providing excellent education, or they may be relying heavily on their reputation to attract students.

    The whole thing is subjective, and as you've mentioned, superficial. Looking at someone's grades and assuming they're learned a lot because they're good is silly, and it doesn't make any more sense to justify that approach by saying "Well, they went to a school ranked X, so we can assume this GPA is an accurate reflection of this pharmacist's ability." I'm sure employers do consider the quality of the school you attended, but we differ on whether the rankings are an accurate reflection of school quality. I see them as little more than a popularity contest.
    oldstock likes this.
  45. DrDrugs2012

    DrDrugs2012

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    We have to be operating under one simple posit, which I think anyone would agree with: every school has every incentive to seek out the best students, the top faculty, and best researchers. From UCSF to the bottom of the list, every school wants to overreach themselves.

    Competition exists against regional schools and your peer schools. I would define region loosely, but its obviously geographical reference. Peer schools are the ones similar in ranking/reputation. For example, UCSF's competing schools would be the west coast regional schools plus the top 10-20 schools not in their region. UCSF isn't competing against LECOM in Erie, PA or Presbyterian, SC for anything - not students, not faculty members, not research grants.

    Its a safe bet that UCSF knows precisely what its competing schools are doing about their curriculum, how they are enticing students/faculty to join their schools, the research being performed, and so on. And its also a safe bet that UCSF has little or no clue about LECOM or Presbyterian simply because they don't really need to know.

    And the inverse is also true, Presbyterian and LECOM don't need to know what UCSF is doing either. Its not as if the administrators at lower tier schools are sitting in their plush leather chairs behind their mahogany desks pondering "now, what can we copy that UCSF does..."


    But you are not evaluating what rankings would look like in a world in which self-bias is such blatantly offensive to higher education. and your assumption of horrific self bias is not supported by the data.

    If what you say is true, there is no way the top schools would consistently survive the bloodbath of negative impressions. Every school not in the top 10 in the country would have an incentive to rank UCSF poorly for the next ranking. And in the following ranking, UCSF wouldn't be at the top, but again, every non top 10 school in the new ranking would ensure the new #1-10 lose their spots. Because there are more plebeians than aristocrats, this would be definitive! The characteristic of self bias in rankings would be constant turnover in ranking, and yet the data doesn't support this. The top 25 schools are more or less constant with minor fluctuations up and down a few spots. This means that the schools are self-regulating their assessments of their peers to make them more truthful.

    Stability in the rankings despite the total growth in pharmacy schools indicates that the rankings are roughly fairly assessed. Self-biases are largely neutralized.


    I never said it was objective or that it was accurate. But it is a rough estimate, yes. I have experience with students from many pharmacy schools across the country. While my n value for each school is low, the caliber of student at many of the lower tier schools is simply not up to par compared to the caliber of average student in the top 25 schools. That being said, I will be the first one to admit that there are some lower tier schools that do a fantastic job of training community pharmacists - better than that of many of the top schools. But taken as a whole, across all spectrums of the profession, I would still contend that rankings are roughly reflective of the overall academic quality.

    You're either making some very dangerous assumptions or misrepresenting your argument. While it is true that an entry level community pharmacist salary of a UCSF grad is not all that different than that of the lowest ranked school, its probably a matter of 10K or less, which we can argue over its significance when it represents less than 7% of total annual compensation.

    But you're operating under the assumption that graduates at the top schools end up with the same career distribution as the other schools. And more importantly, that their career paths take them through the same waters.

    Graduates of top schools are more likely to make their way through management (which is paid higher) and into peripheral fields (like analysts on Wall St, corporate executives in managed care, etc) than graduates of lower tier schools.

    But I will readily concede that this isn't strictly a product of the school per se, its also heavily influenced by the character of the student body at the top schools. This is where my "self-perpetuating cycle" comes into play - by getting the "top students", top schools can give their students an edge when it comes to these non-direct patient care jobs. You may think this is irrelevant, but many students come into top schools thinking community and clinical and end up elsewhere.

    I have coached many high school students over my years, and I have noted that there is one big difference between students who were accepted to Harvard (and other top schools like Stanford, MIT, etc) versus those accepted at other very well reputable schools (University of Michigan, Duke, Northwestern etc). It is unquestionable that the incoming classes of Harvard and Northwestern are very similar in terms of GPA, SAT, AP scores, extracurriculars, etc. But the difference is that that the students at the top schools are already successful by the time they get to Harvard. I know of a great many students who entered Harvard, at the age of 18, and they had already started a small investment group, owned and operated real estate ventures, and started summer camps for students. And that doesnt include the students who made success using their parents' wealth.

    In the same way, a larger number of students who are accepted and matriculate at the top pharmacy schools are already successful in other endeavors. I know of one top ten school that has five to ten physicians as students. Students who are already PhDs and MS in science are more likely to matriculate at top schools. You mean to tell me then that the salary of that MD/PharmD will be equal to that of lower tier schools?

    Preempt: You will say then that this is a characteristic of the students, not the schools. And the answer is yes and no. The school's academic reputation attracts these students, offers them specific opportunities, and then unleashes these students. Its a chicken-and-the-egg argument (hence why I say its a self perpetuating cycle). But at the end of the day, you cant escape the fact that the schools had to do something right to get there in the first place. And if they were to do some poor things, they would drop in the rankings.

    Remember, pharmacy is a very small world...

    That depends largely on what you want to do. If you want to be the average community pharmacist, I think there are many unranked schools which do a better job at training their students than top schools - based on today's pharmacy profession. But if you want to be trained for tomorrow's responsibilities, the top is better because its the graduates and faculty at the top schools who are leading the charge in revolutionizing the practice of pharmacy, and the students at those schools are the first recipients of "tomorrow's education". If you want to have exposure to innovative, revolutionary ideas in pharmacy practice, you go to top schools and you will have exposure to the individuals who are on the front lines of that offensive, you will develop personal contacts, and then you will have a better opportunity upon graduation to take upon yourself that same charge.


    I am not saying that graduates of lower tier schools are bad by any means. Rather, that the character of the students at the top schools is very different. Top students are attracted to top schools and will become top graduates because of the different opportunities afforded to them at those top schools by the faculty, administrators, graduates and preceptors of those schools.

    Remember, is a comparative scale, not an absolute one. Just because a lower tier school isn't bad doesn't mean there isn't a better school. I refer you back to my "rank the banks savings account example".

    I want to reiterate for those reading my posts... I do NOT think that students at lower tier schools are bad, nor that the lower tier schools are bad. But there is a fundamental difference in the character of the student bodies, the academic and post-graduate opportunities afforded to the students by the schools, and the educational pedagogy of the schools - and that is a difference which results in the difference in ranking. Its a self-reinforcing "vicious" cycle which is why it is difficult for change to exist in rankings.
    Last edited: 04.17.11
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  46. All4MyDaughter

    All4MyDaughter SDN Mommystrator Staff Member Administrator SDN Senior Moderator Lifetime Donor Partner Organization

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    I went to a Top 10 school for two years and there were no physicians in my class nor any hedge fund managers nor any trust fund millionaire babies or anything else like what was described above. The VAST majority of my classmates were under 25 years old with an average of 2 or 3 years of college. I think there were only 10 (or so) of us who were even considered "non-traditional." My classmates, for the most part, are now community pharmacists. Quite a few went into residencies (my guess would be 20%) and are now either looking for jobs or doing PGY2. One person is a Fulbright Scholar, which is pretty impressive. But on the whole, NOTHING like the above poster describes is true about my Top 10 classmates. Maybe it's because the school is a state school and accepts 90% of students from our (relatively small) in state population? The student body, while well qualified, seems pretty ordinary compared to what was described above.

    My current (new) school has more out of state students, more students from different ethnic backgrounds and more non-traditional students. More long time pharmacy technicians going back to become the boss and more career changers. About 20% of the class is doing residencies but the majority are going to community pharmacy.

    We have some BIG dummies in my current class, but there are some real winners among my peers at the Top 10 school (one hour down the road from us). The worst student I've rotated with this year comes from that school. His asshattery is LEGENDARY amongst preceptors and students in this area. :laugh:

    I'm just not seeing the huge difference between the two student bodies that one might expect, given the difference in reputation and ranking. :shrug:
  47. DrDrugs2012

    DrDrugs2012

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    You need to read my post again, because in the context of it, never do I say there are trustfund millionaires or hedgefund managers in pharmacy school. You are completely taking my post out of context and giving it your own spin. Please stop sensationalizing.

    I was, however, comparing the difference in the student bodies at top schools (not necessarily specific top schools, but top schools in general) compared to those at lower ranked schools. I was explaining the difference using an example from undergraduate as a comparison. Please, please, please read and comprehend!!!!!!!
    Last edited: 04.18.11
  48. 297point1

    297point1 5 years of this $#!+?

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    Someone has a mighty high opinion of their own opinion. :smuggrin:

    A ratings system based upon peer assessment and nothing else is useless, especially when subjected to the whims of a local competitor for students, research dollars, and faculty. Several deans have made their disdain for new programs known far and wide. How do you think they are going to rank these new programs once they achieve full candidacy and are eligible for the USN&WR ratings? They are going to give them a crap rating; to suggest otherwise speaks to your naivete.
  49. All4MyDaughter

    All4MyDaughter SDN Mommystrator Staff Member Administrator SDN Senior Moderator Lifetime Donor Partner Organization

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    Oh I read. And comprehended just fine. You make the mistake that so many others on SDN make: assuming that those of us who don't AGREE with you just don't "understand." It's condescending. And arrogant. And laughable.
    Last edited: 04.18.11
  50. owlegrad

    owlegrad Uncontrollable Sarcasm Machine Staff Member Administrator SDN Senior Moderator

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    I would love to see data supporting that on average students from the top x schools have different endpoints to their careers than student who do not. That would put an end to any arguments right there.

    Some of my classmates are pretty impressive - one was a researcher before going back for a PharmD. Some of us have been published. But most of us are just your average student with no outstanding qualities - their are certainly no physicians in my class. I doubt my classmates, on average, are so much more impressive than any other schools. I could be wrong of course, I have no experience with other schools classes - but if we are the cream of the crop, that's kind of depressing. :laugh:

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