Pharmacy Dean Discusses His Background, Vision For The Future
Faculty Focus: COP Dean Dr. Jim Scott
June 02, 2022
Each month we highlight one of our exceptional faculty and administrators through the same set of five questions. This feature is meant to allow you an opportunity to get to know current TUC leaders.
- When did you start working at the campus and where were you before coming here?
My time at Touro University California began September 1, 2021. I came here from WesternU, down in Southern California, where I had spent 21 years. My last 11 years there was the Associate Dean for Experiential Education. Going back a bit further, I completed my Bachelor’s in Zoology (1989), Maters in Secondary Science Education (1991) and Doctor of Pharmacy (1994) at the University of Florida, and a geriatrics residency at the Gainesville VA Medical Center (1995). I then spent 2 years completing an Infectious Diseases Fellowship at the University of Illinois at Chicago (1997). I move to Buffalo, New York, where I spent 3 years at the Millard Fillmore Hospital-Gates Circle doing clinical practice and research, and at the D’Youville College Physician Assistant Program, where I taught their pharmacology course. I moved to Los Angeles in May 2000 to start my full-time academic role at WesternU.
- What inspired you to follow your chosen path of study?
As often happens, there were many factors that lead me where I am today. My goal as I was preparing to graduate from UF with my PharmD was to work in the HIV field. That influenced my residency activities and lead me to the ID fellowship in Chicago. My time in Buffalo was not focused on HIV, but the yearning was still there.
As such, when the opportunity came up to move to an academic position focused in HIV (at WesternU), I took it. I thoroughly enjoyed the 10 years I spent in HIV…teaching, precepting, doing research, and providing care. During that time, my other academic activities increased, and I enjoyed them as well. Eventually, I caught the leadership bug and took on an administrative role…and eventually my current role as Dean at the TUC COP.
- What do you like to do outside of campus?
I have a number of varied hobbies. First was cooking. I started checking out kids’ cookbooks from the library when I was 7 or 8 years old…and I just kept cooking. I spent a bit of time biking (even though I was older than most of my friends when I finally learned how to bike), and in 2001 I did the California AIDS Ride…riding from San Francisco to LA over 7 days on my bike. In 2007 I picked up my trombone (after a 20-year hiatus) and joined a community band (and met my husband in that band).
I am still looking for the right band and the time to join a group in Northern California. A couple of years ago I finally picked up woodworking, which I had wanted to do since I first took a woodworking class in middle school. When possible, I also like to travel. I have been to all continents (including the sub-continent of India…twice) except Antarctica (and I hope to complete a trip there in the next 2 years).
- What do you think makes TUC (and your particular program) great?
Pride and commitment. The students, alumni, faculty and staff are very proud of our program. We have developed a great PharmD program with highly capable faculty, and have produced alumni who continue to make us proud…from licensing exam results to career progressions. Our curriculum is unique…one-of-a-kind in the US…and we feel that it is above par for training high quality pharmacists.
- What would you like TUC alumni to know?
While we do have a great program right now, the field of pharmacy is changing. We are currently experiencing what we feel is at or near the lowest applicant pool levels the US has seen in almost 20 years.
The current candidates are educating themselves about programs and have strong ideas about what they want. Touro University California College of Pharmacy will need to evolve with the needs of our applicants so that we can continue to be a top-notch PharmD training program. Alumni should expect to see changes from the College in the near future as we continue our evolution, while remaining committed to graduating the best pharmacists in California, and the US. We look forward to seeing where we can go, and hope you will continue joining us on our pathway to the future.