UT-Tyler opening pharmacy school in Fall 2015 - KLTV.com-Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville, Texas | ETX News

UT-Tyler opening pharmacy school in Fall 2015

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The privately funded, $26.5 million graduate and undergraduate program will open Fall 2015 (Source: KLTV Staff) The privately funded, $26.5 million graduate and undergraduate program will open Fall 2015 (Source: KLTV Staff)

It’s a hard decision: what do you want to be when you grow up? Now, there’s a new option right here in East Texas.

Tuesday the University of Texas at Tyler broke ground on a new pharmacy school that will be opening in Fall 2015. One current pre-med student said this is another option for East Texans to find a fulfilling career path and stay close to home.

UT-Tyler student Michael Suarez said the moment officials broke ground is a dream come true for a lot of future students.

“I’ve actually known since I was in the eight grade that going into the medical field was something I was very passionate about,” Suarez said.

Born and raised in Tyler, now not only is he class president, but he’s also pre-med.

“It’s about service, it’s about caring for others who can’t really care for themselves, so I think when you have those ideals and those passions the medical field almost seems like the best fit for you,” he explained.

With the groundbreaking of the new 60,000 square foot pharmacy school, more East Texans like Suarez will have their opportunity here, too.

“This provides you a great campus, a great atmosphere, and hopefully, a great program as soon as it opens to really establish yourself as one of the professionals in the field,” he said.

The first class will be 78 students. Dr. Rodney Mabry, the President of UT Tyler, said those interested “need to be thinking math and chemistry and science of all kinds.”

The privately funded, $26.5 million graduate and undergraduate program, according to Mayor Barbara Bass, “says that Tyler, Texas is focused on what we need today as well as what we need in the future.”

As the medical field grows, so does the need for pharmacists. Lane Brunner, the dean of the new pharmacy school, said many pharmacists come to the region from other areas and don’t stay for long. The turn over rate is high.

“Keeping them in the region, educating them here, training them here, and hopefully they’ll want to stay in the region after they graduate,” Brunner said.

Suarez graduates this year and said he hopes to attend graduate school.

“This community is solely based on the ideal that they want you to be successful as a person and to contribute back to society,” Suarez said.

That is exactly why Suarez plans to come back and work right here, in East Texas.

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