Over 3,000 full-time faculty members work in the nation's colleges and schools of pharmacy. They are involved with teaching, research, public service, and patient care. Others serve as consultants for local, state, national, and international organizations. Becoming a member of the faculty at a college of pharmacy usually requires a postgraduate degree and/or training (e.g., Ph.D. degree or residency or fellowship training following the professional degree program). While some pharmacists who complete graduate school exercise the option to teach, there currently exists a shortage of faculty, creating an array of excellent professional opportunities.
Pharmacy Practice faculty has significant responsibility for patient care, in addition to their work in teaching and research. These academicians often are called educator/ practitioners, and they serve as role models for pharmacy students and residents in many education/practice settings. Faculty in disciplines other than pharmacy practice usually are involved in pharmaceutical sciences research. The pharmaceutical scientists are mainly concerned with research that includes sophisticated instrumentation, analytical methods, and animal models that study all aspects of drugs and drug products. Moreover, social, economic, and behavioral science research often uses survey methods and statistical analyses to solve complex problems of drug utilization management, health care delivery, marketing, management, and other practice issues. To paraphrase one current pharmacy faculty member, "Perhaps no other job in pharmacy has such far-reaching effects on the profession as that of an educator. It is in academia that one can excite individuals about pharmacy and lay the groundwork for continuing advances in the field."