Eastern Europe's Andrew De Niese to Visit California to Learn More About Pharm.D. Programs in America

Andrew De Niese is from Ukraine and has devoted many hours over the past six years to pharmacy. But he has recently become friends with fellow Pharm.D. program students from California and has planned a trip to come to America to learn more about their respective programs.

"Coming to the United States to learn more was an easy decision after talking with my new friends," De Niese says. "I really want to expand my knowledge and what better way to do that than to come to America."

While Andrew De Niese has spent years studying Pharmacy in Eastern Europe, he plans on meeting in the United States and learning how universities teach their students. De Niese notes he hopes to learn from his friends about the subject in a casual setting than in a classroom. In the United States, the Doctor of Pharmacy (Pharm.D.) educates and prepares graduates for practicing the profession of pharmacy in a variety of health care settings, including the community, medical institutions, health care facilities, and the pharmaceutical industry — as well as for future graduates or professional study.

The Pharm.D. curriculum consisting of two years of pre-professional coursework followed by four years of professional schooling is structured to develop the high levels of theoretical comprehension and professional skill required in this challenging profession. "Coming to America and learning more is just going to help me in the long run," adds Andrew De Niese. "Any knowledge I can bring back overseas is just going to help my studies and also help me in the future in the profession."

The Pharm.D. program across numerous colleges and universities in the United States are designed to create independent thinkers and problem solvers who are knowledgeable in all aspects of drug therapy, and who can communicate and counsel health care professionals and patients.

In the United States, the curriculum always includes courses in biological, physical, and social sciences and the humanities, and an expansive variety of clinical field experiences. Additionally, because the pharmacist functions in the context of contemporary society, the curriculum is designed to provide students with an understanding of, and a sensitivity to, the socioeconomic, ethical, and legal aspects of professional life, as well as an appreciation of the border context of social and cultural life in the 21st century.

Andrew De Niese is not worried about overloading himself with information, especially from a foreign country. He welcomes the challenge and knows that learning the American philosophy of Pharm.D. will help me become a better student and in his career. But he will be learning from the best, as his friends have completed the required coursework here in the States.

Acceptance to a Pharm.D. program is a competitive and laborious process. Along with excellent natural science grades, most schools require students to take a pharmacy college admissions test (PCAT) and complete 90 credit hours of university coursework in the sciences, mathematics, composition, and humanities before entry into the Pharm.D. program.

The current Pharm.D. degree curriculum is considerably different from that of the prior B.S. in Pharmacy. It now includes extensive didactic clinical preparation, hands-on clinical practice experience in a wider array of healthcare settings, and a greater emphasis on clinical pharmacy practice pertaining to pharmacotherapy optimization. Requirements in the United States to becoming a pharmacist include graduating from a Doctor of Pharmacy from an ACPE accredited program, conducting a specified number of hours in an internship under a licensed pharmacist (usually 1800 hours in some states), passing the NAPLEX, and passing a Multistate Pharmacy Jurisprudence Examination (MPJE). While the process is a grueling one in the States and overseas, Andrew De Niese is looking forward to coming to America and learning more.

Source: Andrew De Niese