By Amy Yensi

BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Top honors for the University of Maryland’s School of Pharmacy. It earned a spot on a prestigious list, making it one of the best in the country.

As Amy Yensi reports, staff and students are excited about the recognition, but certainly not surprised.

Students learn how to dispense and decipher complex and common medications in a practice lab that doubles as a working pharmacy.

With a focus on patient care and scientific discovery, the University of Maryland’s School of Pharmacy earned a top spot on U.S. News & World Report’s graduate school list — ranking 9th in the country out of more than 130 pharmacy schools.

“When the semester ends and I see that light bulb moment — when a student has one of the ‘aha’ moments — I feel like we’ve really done our job,” said Dr. Jill Morgan, associate professor and chair of the school’s Department of Pharmacy Practice and Science.

Morgan and other faculty teach students that pharmacists are more involved in patient care than ever before.

“I’ve had a lot of opportunities that maybe people at other schools of pharmacies haven’t had and it does create a stronger sense of responsibility,” said student Lauren Haggerty.

“We learn pharmacoeconomics, pharmacogenomics, what drugs are doing to our bodies, how our bodies are reacting to those drugs,” said Micahel Goldenhorn, another student pharmacist.

The ranking comes as the school celebrates its 175th year.

“Our faculty are trailblazers when it comes to their specialty, so I think this is a noteworthy accomplishment, but very deserved,” said Jasmine Ebron, a 4th year student pharmacist.

University officials say the rise in rank is no small feat. The school jumped from 17th to 9th in the country in just four years.

Along with the diploma, students also earn: “Great friendships, great relationships with some of the faculty, the wealth of knowledge that comes with being a pharmacist,” said student Jonathan Chen.

The Johns Hopkins School of Nursing clenched top honors this year as well. Its master’s of nursing program is up from second last year.

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