By Julia McClure
Spring term at the University of Florida College of Pharmacy has brought a full round of support from its students and faculty for W. Thomas Smith, Pharm.D., J.D. , a clinical associate professor in pharmaceutical outcomes and policy.
Voted Teacher of the Year, Smith now takes the helm as director of the college’s Online Master of Science in Pharmacy program, developed for working professionals in non-dispensing areas of pharmacy administration.
“We have the responsibility to assist each and every one of our students in becoming professional and responsible citizens,” Smith said. “Every day, I pause to appreciate how fortunate I am to be able to make such a profound difference upon the profession of pharmacy.”
Smith’s teaching philosophy grew out of his own student experience, he said, learning much more by “rolling up his sleeves and practicing.” He also uses real-life examples from his early work in pharmacy practice to show students what they will be doing as professionals.
Since joining the college in 2008, Smith has taught a class on pharmacy law and ethics, and another on the process and outcomes of regulations. Promoted in 2011 to clinical associate professor, he also lectures on clinical research ethics.
His research focus is on disability education in pharmacy curricula and legal and ethical issues related to disability and health care. Smith has been a speaker in 2011 at the American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy Institute, and in 2010 at the American Pharmacists Association and at the American Bar Association national meetings. He has published articles in the Mississippi College Law Review, the American Journal of Pharmaceutical Education, and Academic Medicine.
Smith has served on Education and Scholarship Committee for the American Society for Pharmacy Law. He was named chair-elect to an AACP Special Interest Group on cultural competency and health disparities and holds ABA leadership positions in the Health Law Section and on the Special Committee on Bioethics and the Law. Smith also recently completed a three-year presidential appointment on the ABA’s Commission on Mental and Physical Disability Law.
Smith earned a Doctor of Pharmacy degree in 1994 from the St. Louis College of Pharmacy and a Juris Doctorate degree in 2005 from the Center for Health Law Studies at the Saint Louis University School of Law.
Prior to joining the University of Florida, Smith served as the Director of Operations for Corum Health Services, Inc., a long-term care pharmacy in St. Louis, Mo., and as a faculty member at the St. Louis College of Pharmacy.