Would I Be A Good Pharmacist?

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Pharmacists are medication therapy experts. They work closely with patients and other members of the healthcare team to maximize patients' health outcomes.

Pharmacists must be interested in helping people. 

The cornerstone of any healthcare providers' duties, not unlike pharmacists, is patient care. Patient care is achieved by continuously monitoring, assessing and getting feedback from the patient regarding healthcare needs. Therefore pharmacists must have excellent communications skills. Pharmacists are also constantly interacting with other health care professionals about their patients. The team approach to health care delivery requires pharmacists to communicate specific patient care needs, solve problems, give recommendations and consider suggestions and feedback from other healthcare team members. A future pharmacist must have exceptional communication skills.

Patient care practice is constantly evolving and improving. Therefore, pharmacists have an ethical duty to their patients to become life-long learners. Every year new drugs are being discovered, previously discovered drugs are given new indications, side effect profiles change and disease management improves. Pharmacists are required to stay educated and up-to-date on all the latest patient care options.

Pharmacy practice is constantly evolving to meet patient care needs. At one time pharmacists were trained primarily for drug distribution. But over the years, pharmacists' roles have changed to patient-centered care that includes medication therapy management and working on teams to provide optimal health care delivery. Therefore, pharmacists have an obligation to embrace the evolution of pharmacy in order to put their patients' healthcare needs first.

 

The desire to continuously learn, and the ability to adapt to new situations is imperative to someone considering pharmacy as a career.

A pharmacist is constantly challenged. Pharmacists must be efficient and creative problem solvers. Pharmacists find personal and professional rewards in helping people manage their health problems through medication therapy management. Pharmacists also find rewards by managing health departments, pharmacies and working with other health care professionals. A future pharmacist must be able to work in a dynamic environment and find personal satisfaction in problem solving.

 

What Do Pharmacists Do and Where Do They Work?

Pharmacists are primarily known for their work in community pharmacies, hospitals or health care facilities. Pharmacy has undergone tremendous evolution in the past several years  from drug distribution roles like counting tablets to patient-centered care and comprehensive medication therapy management. Pharmacists are now responsible for identifying, resolving and preventing medication related problems, or providing "pharmaceutical care" to their patients.

Many pharmacists upgrade their training to provide specialized clinical service for paediatrics, oncology, geriatrics, renal (kidney) failure, oncology and many more. Some pharmacists work in the pharmaceutical industry to create and discover new drugs and educate other health care professionals on their indications. Pharmacists can work in universities educating students or researching drug therapies and patient care experiences. Government careers in pharmacy include researching drug products, developing technology associated with health care delivery and developing laws, patient care programs, drug distribution procedures and many more. Pharmacists can work in pharmacy regulatory or advocacy associations or a range of other non-traditional fields where their medication therapy expertise can be utilized (i.e. health journalism or consulting).

 

Education and Mentoring Programs For Pharmacy

In Canada, pharmacists graduate from universities with a Bachelor's Degree in Pharmacy that can take as long as five years of full-time study. Once graduates have completed a national exam administered through the Pharmacy Examining Board of Canada and completed their mentorship experiences, they are ready to practice pharmacy on their own. Pharmacists can also choose to further their education by enrolling in a Master's or Ph.D. program.

For more information on pharmacy programs in Canada visit the canadian pharmacy schools and faculties as well as the training and accreditations programs listed below.

 

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Canadian Pharmacy Schools, Faculties,Training & Accreditation Programs

The University of British Columbia Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences

Guided by a world-class faculty, the four-year Entry-to-Practice Doctor of Pharmacy degree (PharmD) offers learning that's hands-on, with opportunities to apply your skills in real clinical settings. You'll get to work with state-of-the-art equipment such as patient simulators, and in real-time learning environments such as our Pharmacists Clinic—the first of its kind anywhere in North America.


University of Alberta The Faculty of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences

The Faculty of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences offers two undergraduate degrees: a Bachelor of Science in Pharmacy and a Doctor of Pharmacy.

They also offer Canada's first Master of Business Administration and Bachelor of Science in Pharmacy [MBA/BSc (Pharmacy)] combined degree.


University of Saskatchewan College of Pharmacy and Nutrition

The College’s vision, mission, and values and Intergrated Plan for the future are solidly aligned with the University Plan and with the visions of our two professions. The Blueprint for Pharmacy: the Vision for Pharmacy and A Vision for Dietitians guide ongoing efforts to ensure the curricula continue to prepare outstanding pharmacy and nutrition professionals.


University of Manitoba College of Pharmacy

The Bachelor of Science (Pharmacy) program of the College of Pharmacy at the University of Manitoba has been awarded the status of Full Accreditation by the Canadian Council for Accreditation of Pharmacy Programs for the six year term 2013-2019.

During the past ten years (including 2013), the average pass rate for graduates on the two-part national PEBC Qualifying Examination has been 95%. In addition to academic excellence, many students appreciate the academic and personal experiences resulting from membership in a small college.

The College has been recognized at the provincial, national and international levels through receipt of research grants and participation in academic, professional and scientific programs, boards, and committees.


University of Toronto Leslie Dan Faculty of Pharmacy

Canada’s largest pharmacy school with a world class reputation in education and research, the Leslie Dan Faculty of Pharmacy currently offers a number of cutting-edge educational programs including the PharmD program (entry to practice professional degree program), the PharmD for Pharmacists program (for those who have completed a BScPhm degree and wish to upgrade to an entry level PharmD), and the Pharmaceutical Chemistry Specialist program (BSc), offered in conjunction with the Faculty of Arts and Science. The Graduate Programs offer students in the physical, biological, clinical and social sciences a challenging and rewarding research-intensive program leading to Master of Science (MSc) and Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) degrees.


University of Waterloo School of Pharmacy

The School of Pharmacy at the University of Waterloo is the first new pharmacy school in Canada in 20 years and housed in a state-of-the-art education and research building on the Health Sciences Campus in downtown Kitchener.

They offer an innovative undergraduate pharmacy curriculum that integrates foundational knowledge in the biomedical and pharmaceutical sciences with applied skills in the clinical, behavioural and social sciences to prepare our graduates to serve as medication therapy experts.


Université Laval Faculté de pharmacie

La Faculté de pharmacie de l’Université Laval se démarque par la qualité de son enseignement, ses chercheurs de calibre international et ses installations à la fine pointe de la technologie. La Faculté de pharmacie offre des programmes d’études et de formation destinés aux étudiants et aux professionnels.


Université de Montréal Faculté de pharmacie

The Faculty of pharmacy at Université de Montréal is one of the largest faculties of pharmacy in Canada. The Faculty offers three undergraduate programs: an entry-level Pharm. D., a Baccalaureate in biopharmaceutical sciences and a program for pharmacist trained in a foreign country.

Avant-gardiste et innovatrice, La Faculté de pharmacie de l’Université de Montréal offre des programmes reflétant les besoins actuels et futurs concernant la pharmacie et le développement du médicament et propose des activités de recherche actives et dynamiques portant sur tous les aspects du médicament et de son usage, reposant tant sur des expérimentations en laboratoire que sur des études auprès des populations.


Dalhousie University College of Pharmacy

The College of Pharmacy gives students the knowledge and skills to provide drug therapy which improves patient health. The program's core curriculum is offered by problem-based learning (PBL), and supported by other types of courses including Critical Appraisal Series (CAS), Practical Experience Program (PEP) and Skills Lab.


Memorial University of Newfoundland

The Structured Practice Experience (SPE) program allows students to apply their university-gained knowledge and training in a practice environment – and many of the program’s preceptors are School of Pharmacy alumni who are eager to give back because of the impact their own preceptors had on their careers.

With an annual cohort of just 40 students, detailed instruction arms graduates with the knowledge and skills required to provide an informed, effective and compassionate pharmacy practice.


Continuing Professional Development for Pharmacists (CPDP)

The College based Continuing Pharmacy Education unit of the University of Saskatchewan was established July 31, 1995. The goal of this unit is to develop, deliver, and evaluate quality, reasonably priced, continuing professional education to meet the needs of the pharmacists of Saskatchewan in terms of maintaining competence to practice and fulfilling the SCP licensure requirements.


Canadian Pharmacy Practice Program (Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences, University of British Columbia)

The Canadian Pharmacy Practice Programme (CP3) is designed for:

  • International Pharmacy Graduates (IPGs)
  • Canadian-trained pharmacists looking to re-enter practice or update core skills

International Pharmacy Graduate Program (Leslie Dan Faculty of Pharmacy, University of Toronto)

Programs designed to assist pharmacists trained in countries outside Canada.