In the Doctor of Pharmacy program, each week we are inundated with copious amounts of biological science, pharmaceutical mathematics, pharmacy practice, deadlines and professional expectations. It came as no surprise, after-all this is a Doctor of Pharmacy degree program right? I expected the sleepless nights, the strange feeling after a complicated lecture and asking, “What did I get myself into?” They don’t just hand these degrees out like skittles but I didn’t expect the WWF tag team event.
In both physiology and biochemistry, the course coordinators explained that in order to teach each section of these courses “in depth”, it would require multiple PhD level professors throughout the semester. What? You’re joking right? With biochemistry, there are 10….yes I said 10 different instructors in this one semester course. That has WWF cage match written all over it. Lets explore what this means.
The subject matter is so entailed, complex and intricate that it requires 10 different instructors to teach one student. This means that although each instructor is a PhD level expert in their respective fields, I am just one person but still required to absorb and maintain a mastery level of proficiency in the subject matter. Hardly seems fair but it is necessary to make sure the millions of patients who require medications each day are safe.
Each year over 1,000 new pharmacists survive the gauntlet of information poured over them and manage to retain enough to pass a board exam and hold the responsibility of ensuring medicinal safety, quality and effectiveness. So, tomorrow, this week or this month, go to your local pharmacy and tell them thank you for being a Doctor of Pharmacy. Let them know you appreciate them guarding your life each time you refill your prescriptions. It’s not just counting pills.