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Pharmacist Education and Career Training Information

Majors Overview February 8, 2013

Medical professionals that dispense prescription drugs to individuals are known as pharmacist. Pharmacist will consult with other healthcare service providers, patients, and doctors to make sure that the proper dosages and prescription are given. Potential pharmacist needs to meet state licensing requirements and earn a Doctor of Pharmacy degree. Residency and fellowship needs to be completed by some pharmacists. In this article, we have outlined pharmacist education requirements.

Education Information for Pharmacist

A Doctor of Pharmacy degree is required from individuals who would like to become pharmacists. In order for students to get accepted into a Pharm.D. program, they will need to complete a pre-professional track, which usually last two years and covers scientific courses in physiology, anatomy, physics, chemistry, and biology. The program could include foundational courses in pharmaceutical practices.

Pharm.D. Accreditation

Individuals should consider pursuing Pharm.D. programs that are accredited by the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education (ACPE). Accreditation demonstrates a student’s state of readiness to satisfy professional standards. Applicants are required by state licensing boards to hold accredited graduate degree (source: ACPE (www.acpe-accredit.org)).

Pharm.D. Coursework

It usually takes four years to complete a Pharm.D. program that provides instruction on medical interactions, patient consultations, and medical dosages. Coursework includes subject areas such as health management, dosage forms, pharmacology, and pharmacy law. Students become acquainted with pharmacology equipment such as flow cabinets and filling machines.

Clinical Experience

On-the-job experience in clinical settings represents substantial portion of a Pharm.D. program. The initial two years are dominated by Introductory Pharmacy Practice Experiences where essential skills are developed by students; to this end, they consult patients, perform screenings, and deliver immunizations. During the last two years, students take Advanced Pharmacy Practice Experiences (APPEs), which is supervised by licensed pharmacists in a patient care environment. Students can experience various areas of pharmacy such as electives, ambulatory operations, and inpatient through APPEs rotations.

Career Training Information for Pharmacist

Licensing Information

Pharmacists need to satisfy licensure requirements before they can practice. Along with an accredited Pharm.D. degree, candidates have to pass the North American Pharmacists Licensure Examination (NAPLEX) that tests prospective candidates on the provision of accurate healthcare information, dispensing of medications and pharmacotherapy (source: www.nabp.net). In every state, applicants are required to pass either a state-sponsored exam or the Multistate Pharmacy Jurisprudence Examination (MPJE). In the exam, students are tested on the regulatory laws governing the profession, licensure requirements, and legal aspects of the pharmacy practice. The National Association of Pharmacy Boards administers the MPJE and the NAPLEX. There may be some additional licensure requirements in some states, such as age limits or background checks.

Residencies and Fellowships

Pharmacists should consider completing a fellowship program or residency program, if they want to work in a clinical environment, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (www.bls.gov). Fellowships and residencies are individualized programs, which train pharmacists for a specialty field or administrative work such as community care or informatics. The program could include research on drug therapy benefits and other topics in the field; it usually last one to two years.

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