What formal training is required of a pharmacist?

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Pharmacy is a University level program, which in Alberta, is offered at the University of Alberta as a four year Bachelor of science degree. Prior to entrance into the pharmacy program, a minimum of one year of science prerequisite courses must be completed (including Chemistry, Biology, Math and many others).

Once accepted into Pharmacy, the program focuses on teaching patient-centered care through with the use therapeutics based lectures as well as providing hands on experience. Students have the opportunity to work with patients in seminars and labs as well as through work experience in both community and hospital pharmacies. Each student must complete 800 structured internship hours prior to graduation.

The new program at the University is a module based learning system in which each course focuses on a body system. For example, in Cardiology, pharmacy students are taught the basic anatomy and physiology of the cardiovascular system, disease states, and then spend time learning the pharmacology and medications used to treat cardiovascular disease. Within each module case based seminars and practice laboratories are used to enhance learning and allow for a practical application of knowledge.

For more information on the Pharmacy program at the University of Alberta visit http://www.pharmacy.ualberta.ca/. If you have any additional questions feel free to e-mail Jaclyn at jaclyn@staffordpharmacy.com [Jaclyn was a third year student at the University of Alberta, Faculty of Pharmacy when she originally posted this information and is now a clinical pharmacist on staff, here at Stafford Pharmacy & Home Healthcare. She was kind enough to provide the response to this frequently asked question, for which she is more than qualified to address.]

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