With about 40,000+ pharmacies and counting in Canada, joining the Canadian Pharmacy would not be a bad idea. However, an intending Canadian Pharmacist does not just wake up and join the league, there are criteria to meet up with and steps to follow before one becomes licensed to operate in the Canadian Pharmacy.
The first task to becoming a pharmacist that will be allowed to practice in the Canadian Pharmacy is by obtaining a Bachelor’s or Doctor’s degree from any of the top 10 Canadian Universities. Some of the Universities that are recognized for the study of Pharmacy in Canada are:
The University of British Columbia is recognized as the best university to run a program in Pharmacy. UBC’s Pharmacy program primarily focuses on research and a minimum score of 7.0 is required for IELTS. UBC Pharmacy graduates are open to getting up to funding of about $21,000 in funding.
The University of Waterloo is one of the top league universities that is reputable for quality pharmaceutical education. Students of Pharmacy in this university can specialize in a wide area of Pharmaceutical areas like Pharmacoepidemiology, Pharmacotherapy Evaluation, Pharmacodynamics and Toxicology, Molecular Pharmacology and Rational Drug Design and Medicinal Chemistry. To gain admission to study Pharmacy at the University of Waterloo, a minimum average of 78% is required plus academic transcripts.
Other universities that are topping the list for undergraduate and post-graduate studies in Canadian Pharmacy are Western University, University of Manitoba, McGill University, University of Saskatchewan, and the University of Alberta. Each of the universities mentioned has specific admission requirements and you should check the admission portal of the universities before putting in for admission.
Studying Pharmacy in Canada costs about $40,000 for Undergraduate studies and about $20,000 for postgraduate studies. Getting a Pharmacy certificate in Canada might take as little as 2 years or as long as 5 years depending on the area of specialization and coursework.
Now that you have your Pharmacy degree, the next step is to complete a National Board Examination through the Pharmacy Examining Board of Canada(PBEC). The PBEC is the national body that is responsible for certifying people that are willing to join the Canadian Pharmacy. This board accesses the qualifications and competence of candidates for licensing to practice in Canada.
Graduates of Pharmacy are to undertake this certifications exam by PEBC for them to be able to practice in all provinces except Quebec, the intending pharmacist’s qualifications are evaluated and exams are conducted after which a certificate of qualification is offered.
The aim of the PEBC assessment is to evaluate and confirm that the pharmacist entering the Canadian Pharmacy has the abilities, knowledge, and skills to carry out and practice pharmacy without any restriction. Since the quality of the Canadian pharmacy is not to be undermined, this board ensures that every intending pharmacist meets up with the set conditions.
Another step to take before becoming a practicing pharmacist is by getting involved in an internship or a training program that gives you the experience. Fluency in English Language and French is another addition to improving your chances.