LECOM Launches Long-Distance Pharma.D Program



When a group of students starts on an innovative path to a degree today, The Bradenton campus for the Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine will become one of only two places in the country where a long-distance Doctor of Pharmacy program.

LECOM's Class of 2018 includes 24 students enrolled for the "Distance Education" pathway to their doctorate in pharmaceuticals. The students come from California, Texas, Michigan, Maryland and Georgia, and all will owe a certain debt of knowledge to faculty on the Suncoast when they graduate.

"The distance education program," said Dr. Katherine Tromp, LECOM director of distance education, "furthers LECOM’s mission of providing education to those who would otherwise not have an opportunity to pursue a doctoral degree in pharmacy." School officials say the program allows a greater felxibility for students to study around other professional obligations. Only one other institution in the country, Creighton University in Nebraska, offers a remote program for earning a Doctor of Pharmacy degree. 

LECOM spokesman Michael Polin said the students in the class do have to arrive on campus today. "They will still have to come here for labs and some coursework," he said. That's includes today's introductory course and some summer lab programs in mid-2015.  But for the vast majority of the time, students will receive on-line instruction from faculty both from the Bradenton campus of LECOM, where the program is officially headquartered, and LECOM's original campus in Pennsylvania.

The curriculum is a four-year pathway to a degree, though LECOM's Pennsylvania campus does offer a three-year accelerated program for the same program for students who wish to take all their classes in-person at that campus.

The LECOM School of Pharmacy in Bradenton is starting its eighth year today. The 167 students in the Class of 2018 begin today at noon.

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