Pharmacists and Pharmacy Schools
pharmaceutical care that entails the skills, knowledge, and the
ability to provide medication services to patients. They attempt to
achieve definite outcomes from medication use that improve patients’
quality of life. The outcomes include: 1) cure of a disease; 2)
elimination or reduction of symptoms; 3) arresting or slowing a
disease process; 4) prevention of disease; 5) diagno sis of disease;
and 6) desired alterations in physiological processes, all with
minimum risk to patients.
and Future Outlook. Pharmacists must have excellent
interpersonal and communication skills. As professionals committed
to public service, pharmacists must illustrate business savvy since
their job revolves around purchasing and selling items. They must be
dedicated and dependable with unquestionable ethics.
Pharmacists enjoy the third
lowest rate of un employment of all health professionals. With
growth in chain stores such as Wal-Mart and ambulatory care centers,
employment should be stable in the future. Salary ranges from
$40,000 to $75,000 with an average of $42,500 based on a 44-hour
week. Employment opportunities exist in community pharmacies,
hospitals, nursing homes, extended care facilities, neighborhood
health centers, HMOs, U.S. Public Health Service, the Armed Forces,
and the Department of Veteran Affairs.
How to Get into Pharmacy Schools
Preparation. The typic
al pre-professional requirements are 8 credits of English and
communications, 8 credits of life science with lab, 8 credits
general chemistry with lab, 8 credits organic chemistry with lab, 4
credits of calculus, 3 credits of human anatomy, and 3 credits of
introductory microbiology. Also one course must be taken from each
of the following general education areas: 1) social and behavioral
sciences, 2) economics and finance, 3) fine arts, 4) physical
sciences, and 5) humanities. An applicant can take these c ourses
during freshman and sophomore year and apply to pharmacy school
during sophomore year. Then, the student transfers into a pharmacy
school for four years after fulfilling the prerequisites at the
University of Scranton. A majority of pharmacy schools only offer a
Doctor of Pharmacy (Pharm.D.), but some continue to offer a B.S.
Either degree fulfills the requirements to be a licensed pharmacist.
One can pursue a pharmacy degree with any major as long as the
required classes appear on the transcript.
Admissions. With 75
pharmacy schools in the U.S. and Puerto Rico, you should write to
those schools that interest you to determine entrance requirements.
The following categories are important for acceptance: undergraduate
GPA, residency status, letters of recommendation, applicant
interviews, and experience in health related extracurricular
activities and/or employment experience. Many pharmacy schools
require the Pharmacy College Admissions Test (PCAT). Students can
find specific requirement s for each school in the Pharmacy
School Admission Requirements, published by AACP.
To apply, you must achieve
junior standing by completing 61 credits, have a competitive
cumulative and science GPA, and take the PCAT.
A timetable for application
during the sophomore year follows: apply to take the PCAT in
September, take the PCAT in November, send out applications in
December for early admission, apply for financial aid in January,
retake the PCAT if necessary in early February , send out
applications in mid-February, interview between April and June, and
wait for admissions notifications from May to September.