Meet the Dean December 10, 2018
Shawn Spencer, PhD, RPh
Shawn Spencer, PhD, RPh, dean and chief academic officer of the PCOM School of Pharmacy, began his career
at Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine (PCOM) on March 26, 2018. In addition to leading the School of Pharmacy, Dr. Spencer provides expert testimony and consulting in clinical pharmacology. His
research interests include the development of quantitative models relating drug chemistry
to bodily absorption. Dr. Spencer enjoys engaging students in discussions on how pharmacists
are helping to change health care. Learn more about Dr. Spencer’s vision for the School
of Pharmacy and his journey to becoming dean.
What is your overall vision for the school?
My overarching vision for the PCOM School of Pharmacy is to be a nationally recognized
leader in innovation, entrepreneurship, education and research in the advancement
of the pharmacy profession toward an increasing ability to improve healthcare quality
and outcomes. Initially, our emphasis had to be on developing a strong accredited
program and now our focus can shift toward addressing national priorities at a level
What initially drew you to pharmacy?
Our experiences as children often shape our perspectives. My father had allergies
which required weekly injections and I used to accompany him to Genovese Drugs in
New York for his medicine. Although I didn’t know what a pharmacist was at the time,
I remember thinking “I want to help people too.” The search for the right healthcare
career began with this experience of a pharmacist helping our family.
Please describe your leadership style.
One of the tenets of my leadership is using group accountability to influence change.
Everyone needs to know how valuable they are to an organization. Overall, you could
characterize my leadership style as a combination of situational and transformational
leadership with a bias towards value-based decision making.
What book(s) are you currently reading/have you most recently read?
Most of what I read currently is in support of our pharmacy program. One book I’m
reading, “The Science of Lateral Thinking,” is about thinking ‘outside the box’ as
a tool to achieving one’s (pharmacy practice) goals, and presents the kind of innovative
educational approaches we are tasked with delivering in our program.
What is the best advice you've ever received?
My favorite author is Emerson, known for his esteemed wisdom. He once said… “Finish
each day and be done with it. You have done what you could. Some blunders and absurdities
no doubt crept in; forget them as soon as you can. Tomorrow is a new day. You shall
begin it serenely and with too high a spirit to be encumbered with your old nonsense.”
What do you like to do in your spare time?
I enjoy being able to take a walk in one of the many nature parks in the area or read
a thought-provoking book.
What is one thing others at PCOM don't know about you?
I once played in a traveling jazz band for a couple of years… When you see me around,
ask me which instrument I played.
Tell us about one of your proudest moments.
My proudest moment was the day my fiancé agreed to marry me.
What is your favorite part of your position?
The most rewarding aspect of leading the School of Pharmacy is being a member of the
PCOM family and interacting with everyone. It comes as no surprise that PCOM has a
long history of success given the number of talented individuals dedicated to working
as a team in supporting our mission.
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About PCOM Georgia
Established in 2005, PCOM Georgia is a private, not-for-profit, accredited institute of higher education dedicated
to the healthcare professions. The Suwanee, Georgia, campus is affiliated with Philadelphia
College of Osteopathic Medicine, a premier osteopathic medical school with a storied
history. PCOM Georgia offers doctoral degrees in osteopathic medicine, pharmacy, and
physical therapy and graduate degrees in biomedical sciences, medical laboratory science,
and physician assistant studies. Emphasizing "a whole person approach to care," PCOM
Georgia focuses on educational excellence, interprofessional education and service
to the wider community. For more information, visit pcom.edu/georgia or call 678-225-7500. The campus is also home to the Georgia Osteopathic Care Center,
an osteopathic manipulative medicine clinic, which is open to the public by appointment.
For more information, visit pcomgeorgiahealth.org.
For more information, contact:
Senior Public Relations Manager
Office: 678-225-7532 | Cell:
Connect with PCOM Georgia