In pharmacy school, you may wonder how your teachers, professors, or other faculty members placed themselves in a position to train the future of pharmacy professionals in this country. A pharmacy student’s curriculum may be comprised of many different components of instruction to provide what the specific institution deem as most necessary to be a successful pharmacist in today’s ever changing pharmacy practice. Some of these courses and basic descriptions could include:
1. Pharmacokinetics/Pharmacodynamics – the study of a drug’s course of changes through the process of absorption, distribution, metabolism, and excretion. Pharmacodynamics deal with the effects of the drugs on the body.
2. Pharmacology – the study of drug interaction within the body or with other biochemical molecules.
3. Pharmaceutics – the study of how a chemical substance can be safety transformed into a safe and effective medication.
4. Physiology – the study of bodily system functions and processes.
5. Biochemistry – the study of nature, functions, interactions, and changes of biochemical compounds and processes within the human body.
6. Medicinal Chemistry – the study of pharmaceutical chemical compounds, structure, functional groups, and their interactions.
7. Biostatistics – how to apply the principles of statistics to properly evaluate medical studies and clinical trial results.
8. Pharmacy Law and Ethics – the study of federal and state pharmacy practice law.
9. Health Systems – the study of the current state of health policy as it pertains to insurance providers, government programs, etc.
10. Pharmaceutical Lab – the practice of compounding pharmacy
11. Pharmacotherapy – the practice of clinical pharmacy.
Pharmacy schools may have most of the above courses in addition to scores of electives outside of the general required curriculum. The above 1-7 are usually taught by professors of PhD level for the specific area of study. Numbers 8-11 are normally taught by seasoned pharmacists, some may have PhD’s or Master’s of Science degrees. Numbers 8-11 are what we will be discussing in this article.
Many pharmacy students may be interested in the practice of teaching. Those with a love of sharing knowledge from their experiences, speaking to audiences, and even research could pursue a career in pharmacy academia. An office job and the great workable schedule of a teacher doesn’t hurt either as teachers could have much needed time off during the winter, spring, and summer breaks. However, although teachers may not all have to work in a dispensing role forty hours a week due to having only to teach a few classes per week, they may have to fill clinical responsibilities at a local hospital and attend many meetings. Teachers who work concurrently as a clinical pharmacist and those with much experience are usually selected to fill the role as a pharmacy school educator. Having ongoing research and producing difference-making publications in reputable periodicals even more greatly enhances one’s reputation as an educator, and they will usually be sought as an expert lecturer at the pharmacy institution.
Pharmacy educators, teachers, and lecturers are respected professionals in the field of pharmacy. For those with much experience as a pharmacist, this may be a position where one could give back to the community by educating the pharmacists of the future. Students will always remember the teachers that have made a difference and impact in their education.