Changing Pharmacy Education in British Columbia
Pharmacy education in British Columbia and Canada continues to advance with the profession. Most currently licensed pharmacists in BC have a bachelor’s degree in pharmacy. Over the past several decades many pharmacists have earned the Doctor of Pharmacy (PharmD) degree through UBC’s Graduate PharmD Program, or other full-time or part-time programs in the US or other provinces. UBC’s last BScPharm class will graduate in 2018. All Canadian pharmacy schools will offer the PharmD degree as the entry-to-practice (E2P) degree by 2020. UBC’s first E2P PharmD class will graduate in 2019. The most recent addition to pharmacy education in BC is UBC’s recently approved Flexible Doctor of Pharmacy (Flex PharmD) degree program.
92% of Canadians believe Pharmacists play an essential role in Canada's health care system and will be able to improve health outcomes and reduce healthcare costs.
The program has been designed to provide opportunities for practicing pharmacists to enhance their skills and knowledge in order to meet the challenges of the changing scope and complexity of pharmacy practice. The Flex PharmD will offer bachelor-trained pharmacists the prospect of advancing their clinical pharmacy practice and patient care roles and earning the PharmD degree while they continue to work.
Through the Flex PharmD program, best practices in adult and online learning have been combined to create a curriculum that motivates and encourages self-directed learning. The majority of the didactic coursework is delivered online. As a flexible part-time program, students can personalize the learning modules and schedules around their professional and personal commitments. The curriculum integrates topics such as physical and laboratory assessment, critical appraisal of pharmacotherapy literature, applied pharmacokinetics and pharmacogenomics and nine pharmacotherapeutics courses, all of which are aimed to provide practicing pharmacists tools to meet the shifting landscape of medication management. Additionally, students will gain first-hand experience in application of their learning through 26-weeks of experiential rotations in various clinical settings.
A feature unique to the UBC Pharm Sci Flex PharmD program is Prior Learning Assessment and Recognition (PLAR), which provides the opportunity for students to gain credit for course learning outcomes that have been met through formal and/or non-formal learning experiences. Examples include certification by the Board of Pharmacy Specialties (BPS), hospital or community pharmacy residency programs or work experience. Up to 50% of the overall credits in the Flex PharmD program are eligible for PLAR credits. If credit is awarded, it will reduce the time commitment required to earn course-credits, or the number of weeks of experiential learning required for program completion.
Applications will open in September 2017, with the first cohorts starting the program in the 2018 Winter terms (September 2018 & January 2019). UBC Pharm Sci is excited to support practicing pharmacist in their journey to becoming advanced medication therapy experts.
Madeleine is the Program Manager with UBC’s Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Flexible Doctor of Pharmacy program. She has over 7 years of experience in developing and implementing programs in non-profit and education sectors. She is expanding her education through UBC’s Master of Educational Technology program and exploring ways to bring innovative technology to online learning and adult education.