How Much Education Does a Pharmacist Need? – Pharmacists are experts in medical industries who specialize in the safe and effective use and consumption of pharmaceuticals. That is to say, if your doctor has ever prescribed you a medication, high chances holds that you will probably met a community pharmacist during pick-up when you visit your hospital or even in local drugstores in your street.
Typically, pharmacist are saddled with the responsibilities of Receiving prescriptions from physicians, Dispensing medications and other drug therapies, Counseling patients about their prescriptions, Ensuring safety by reviewing prescriptions for interactions with other drugs patients & patient allergies, Advising patients on over-the- counter medications, Conducting health screenings, Giving immunizations, such as COVID-19 vaccines, polio, outbreaks, flu shots, or other vaccinations, Communicating with physicians and other healthcare professionals, they Process insurance claims and complete paperwork to make sure that payment comes from insurance providers.
That is to say, pharmacists’ roles and job description have expanded beyond simply counting & dispensing pills. If you wish/dream to work as part of a healthcare team, and you are interested in learning about medications, do you enjoy teaching others about leading a healthier life, then picking a career in pharmacy might be an excellent career for you.
This article will do justice to everything you need to know about the education requirements to become a pharmacist, it discusses the minimum and maximum education that you need to become a pharmacist, so read on!
What Skills Do Intending Pharmacist Need to Have?
To be a pharmacist and to be successful in this career path, you should be so much passionate about providing solutions to medical challenges that will help your patients to live better lives. And based on the fact that pharmacist won’t be necessarily interacting with their patients directly to some significant degree, you will still need to be even more passionate knowing the benefits/effects that pharmaceutical drugs & additives to patients who are under your care.
As you start with your undergraduate studies, you should focus on disciplines like biology, calculus, chemistry, human anatomy, & statistics. The above mentioned skills will directly/indirectly finally translate into long-term success as a career pharmacist. Also, you will need to be well skilled-up in 3 different sub-disciplines which are relevant to pharmaceuticals: pharmacognosy , pharmacology, and Pharmaceutical Chemistry.
How Much Education Does a Pharmacist Need
If you wish to become a Doctor of Pharmacy (Pharm.D.) and you are sure this is your career of choice, you should start with an undergraduate degree in the field of biology or chemistry. There are colleges that offer a pre-pharmacy major which covers prescribed coursework to get you ready for graduate school. Volunteering to work in a pharmacy or applying for jobs to work as a pharmacy technician is actually an advantage on your side when applying to enter a pharmacy school. Always note that excellence is compulsory and this is actually so in order that you get prepared for the rigorous coursework that is in a pharmacy program. The normal Pharm.D. degree can be obtained within four years and it covers classes like
- cell biology and
- business management.
Specialty options may choose to focus on forensic sciences,
- regulatory policy and
- medication-therapy management.
While some specializations require an added year of internship, which ever way you choose, here is a breakdown of the amount of education needed to become a pharmacist;
1. Getting a Bachelor’s Degree
To become a Pharmacist, students must complete a bachelor’s degree in any science-related field or enrol in not less than two years of undergraduate pre-pharmacy preparatory classes. You will have to identify with your desired pharmacy program to know the exact requirements you will need for your entry-level application. As you commence with your undergraduate studies (to obtain bachelor’s degree), you should focus on disciplines like biology, calculus, chemistry, human anatomy, & statistics. These courses will directly/indirectly finally translate into long-term success as a career pharmacist.
Usually, pharmacy schools also require that students have minimum grade point average of 3.0 or more and mostly there are emphasis on biology courses, physics courses, and chemistry courses.
2. Taking the PCAT
You should take the Pharmacy College Admissions Test (PCAT) as majority of the pharmacy schools out there currently need that you present the PCAT as part of their admissions process.
In the PCAT , there are sections/columns that covers tests to check your verbal ability, there is the chemistry section, biology, reading comprehension section, quantitative ability section and writing skills section.
3. Enrolling into a Pharmacy Program
To become a pharmacist, you should earn a Doctor of Pharmacy degree, or Pharm.D, you can obtain this degree from an accredited pharmacy program. The accreditation is usually done by the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education (ACPE) . Typically, these programs may take four years to round up, though some schools make provisions for expedited programs that can be obtained within three years.
A standard pharmacy school will attend to training in a healthcare setting and it should encompass coursework in a wide range of topics, the likes of: Pharmaceuticals, Biology, Non-Perscription Therapies, Compounding and Calculations, Metabolism and Cell Biology, Chemistry, Pharmacy Law, Community Practice, Pharmacology and Body Systems, Hospital and Community Practice, Oncology Medications and Infectious Diseases.
4. Asides the Educational Degree, You Should Take State Pharmacy Licensure Exam
Immediately the pharmacy school curriculum is rounded-up, students are need to pass the North American Pharmacist Licensure Exam (NAPLEX) , they should also pass the multi-state Pharmacy Jurisprudence Exam (MPJE). As for people who are not within this jurisdiction, you must pass an exam that is specific to the state in which you will be working
How many years of studies does it take to become a Pharmacist?
Doctorate of pharmacy degrees needs up to four years beyond a bachelor’s degree. Once you are successful and you have cleared your papers you can work in a career that keeps to the health and well-being of all categories of patients. You’ll be a worker who is on the front line of patient safety & health care. You will also become fully part of the healthcare delivery teams.
There are a variety of specializations in pharmacy that can be pursued which can be obtainable via studies or after completing a PharmD degree, you may pursue courses covering critical care, infectious diseases, compounding, nuclear, oncology, pediatrics, and academic pharmacy. Which ever way,you should be advised to start with an undergraduate degree in the field of biology or chemistry. There are colleges that offer a pre-pharmacy major which covers prescribed coursework to get you ready for graduate school. Volunteering to work in a pharmacy or applying for jobs to work as a pharmacy technician is actually an advantage on your side when applying to enter a pharmacy school. Please note that excellence is compulsory and this is actually so in order that you get prepared for the rigorous coursework that is in a pharmacy program.
Also, many of the schools also offer dual degrees and students can be able to obtain a PharmD degree while still earning MBA, MPH, or even a PhD alongside.
Frequently Asked Questions
How many years can I study pharmacy?
5 years for Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME) candidates & 4 years for Direct Entry
What is the requirement for pharmacy?
All candidates are expected to have a NSC with Bachelor’s
What is the difference between pharmacy and doctor of pharmacy?
Pharmacy is to run for 5 academic sessions while the D. Pharm is a 6 academic cycles
Which course is best for pharmacist?
Bachelor of Pharmacy is in the list of the best Professional degrees among the students
What is the highest qualification for a pharmacist?
Pharm. D, it is the professional doctoral degree for pharmacists.
- Work.chron.com – How Many Years of Schooling Does a Pharmacist Need?
- Nursing.org- Steps to becoming a pharmacist
- Northcentralcollege.edu – Pharmacist Education Requirements: Starting in Undergrad
- College ensuring.com – WHAT DEGREE DO YOU NEED TO BE A PHARMACIST?
- Healthcaredegree.com- Becoming a pharmacist