Goals for PharmD Students — Joseph DiPiro, PharmD,USA.

Training of pharmacists at the doctor of pharmacy (PharmD) level is expanding around the world and has greatly increased clinical practice of pharmacists. Pharmacy students now spend much more time in patient-centered activities,experiential training,and in courses that teach therapeutics.While a good, clinically based curriculum is necessary for success as a pharmacy practitioner the curriculum alone is not sufficient. In these modern times, health care needs are quite extensive and the complexity of health care systems is often daunting.

“To be a truly successful pharmacy practitioner it is important that students accept 
personal goals to clearly recognize the health needs and concerns of their society.”

Recognition of these needs will keep one connected to and focused on the most important issues. In most countries the biggest societal concerns related to medications are cost (can they afford their medicines), access to medications (are they available),effectiveness (will they work), and safety (will they cause an adverse effect). Pharmacists will always have an important role in health care if they focus on these major issues. Pharmacy students who are committed to addressing these major issues will need more than factual knowledge that is gained in lecture classes.

To be effective in addressing these issues pharmacy students should also have personal goals to gain the skills necessary to solve these problems, namely, communication skills, knowledge of health care systems, information technology skills, business skills, or leadership skills. Most people will not possess a high level for all of these skills but it is possible to advance the profession and health care by acquiring proficiency in some of these areas.

“PharmD students have a lot to learn and acquiring the right skills assures the best use of your knowledge.”

Joseph T. Dipiro 
Professor and Executive Dean 
South Carolina College of Pharmacy