Angela is a current student in the MPH/PharmD combined degree program.
Meet Angela Pieprzak. Angela is pursuing a dual degree in pharmacy (PharmD) and a public health (MPH) with a concentration in health services administration. As a fourth year student, Angela will be completing her dual degree program in five years, something that would normally take six years if both degrees were obtained separately. Originally from Long Island, NY, Angela came to UB because of the unique collaborative degree offerings available.
“Before I applied to the pharmacy school here at UB, I had worked at a CVS. I knew I wanted to go to pharmacy school, but I didn’t want to work in retail pharmacy or a clinical setting,” says Angela. “I wanted to add to my degree; something non-traditional with pharmacy, so this idea of a combined program really appealed to me.”
Angela explains that she chose a concentration in health services administration because she was interested in learning more about public health management, practice and policy.
“Right around the time I applied for the MPH, I started working for health organization in the pharmacy management department. I thought that an MPH degree with a concentration in health services administration would be able to compliment the things I was learning in a managed care setting.”
Angela also says that taking courses for both degrees has provided her the opportunity to see things from a different perspective.
“One of my favorite aspects of this dual degree program is the opportunities for interprofessional collaboration,” says Angela. “There’s just a lot of different types of student that I wouldn’t typically encounter if I was relegated to one school. You have a lot of students pursuing their residency programs, some doctoral students and a multitude of students with different concentrations. This mix of students allows you to receive the point of view from the epidemiology student, the medical resident, or the social worker. It just makes you a well-rounded student.”
With the MPH program, Angela also notes that the variety of classes offered during the program have been very useful.
“There is such the variety of courses, which is great,” says Angela. “In addition to the courses in hard sciences, there’s also very practical courses like grant writing, or managerial classes. These are extremely practical and useful and those types of classes probably wouldn’t have been available in any other program or degree.”
“I definitely want to incorporate more of the health services administration degree towards my future employment,” says Angela. “Whether that’s helping to develop outreach programs or working at an administrative level within long-term care, that’s where I see my future headed thanks to this dual degree program.”