Pharm D (Doctor of Pharmacy) is a well known Doctorate Degree program in Pharmacy. It is also known by the name of Pharma D. It is a 6 years (5 years academic program + 1 year internship) long course. In this article, you will be reading about Pharm D course details, eligibility criteria, admission process, syllabus, PG courses, career prospects, job profiles and scope.
Pharm D is different from the traditional B Pharm (Bachelor of Pharmacy) course in many ways. Pharm D’s duration (6 years) is longer than that of B Pharm (4 years). Other than that, Pharm D course focuses more in clinical pharmacy, pharmacy practice, pharmaceutical care as well as health care. B Pharm course focuses only on pharmacy industry and research. In short, Pharm D is much more detailed (integrated) and valuable that B Pharm course.
Pharm D: Introduction
In Western and European countries, Pharmacists are healthcare professionals. Over there, Pharm D is the professional degree required to practice as a pharmacist. Sadly, B Pharm course available in India is not up to mark, when compared to Pharm D course. B Pharm lacks quality in areas of studies such as clinical pharmacy, pharmaceutical care, patient care etc. In May 2008, the course of Pharm D was officially introduced in India.
In India, there are 2 formats in which this course is available-
- Regular Pharm D program (6 years long)
- Pharm D (Post-Baccalaureate) program (3 years long)
Regular Pharm D course may be pursued by students who have passed 12th Science board examination. Post-Baccalaureate Pharm D course is for B Pharm graduates to pursue.
The course includes regular pharmacy subjects and clinical pharmacy practices. This is why this course is called an ‘integrated course’. The program trains students in clinical pharmacy, pharmacy practice and pharmaceutical care. At the end of the course, students gain skills such as diagnosis and treatment of diseases, selection and therapeutic usage of drugs, monitoring of patients etc. In short, Pharm D graduates are capable of performing many tasks that MBBS graduates are capable of doing (monitoring patients, diagnosis etc).
- Pharm D (6 years long): This course is 6 years long. Academic program lasts for a period of 5 years. 1 year is dedicated towards internship.
- Pharm D (Post-Baccalaureate): This course is 3 years long. Academic program lasts for a period of 5 years. 1 year is dedicated towards internship.
- Pharm D (6 years long course): Science stream students (any group- Mathematics or Biology), who have passed 10+2 board examination from a recognized board OR Diploma in Pharmacy holders (from a PCI recognized institute) are eligible to pursue this course. Some institutes do have the minimum marks criteria. According to this criteria, a student must have scored at least 50% marks in Physics, Chemistry and Optional subject (Mathematics/Biology) in 12th board examination.
- Pharm D (Post-Baccalaureate): Graduates who have completed B Pharm from a PCI recognized institute are eligible to pursue this course. Minimum aggregate marks required -50%. Some institutes do have minimum marks criteria.
Admission usually takes place through State wise/Central Medical Admission authority. It is based on merit marks. Marks scored by a student in State/all India level entrance test (depending upon the type of institute you want admission in) and 12th Science board examination are taken into consideration. Based on these marks, a merit list is made. Seats will be allotted to deserving students, based on the merit list.
Some Deemed Universities and reputed institutes have their own private entrance tests (online/regular). To get admission in such an institute, a student must pass the entrance test and the interview that follows it. Here are two popular pharmacy entrance exams – NIPER JEE and GPAT.
When it comes to admission process, reservations and relaxations exists in the form of caste based reservations & relaxations, NRI quota and donation quota. Eligible and capable candidates may make use of such reservations/relaxations.
Going through course content will help us get a better idea about the course structure. Below, I’ve listed some important subjects present in Pharm D course. The academic program is divided into 5 years. We will check out subjects present in each academic year.
1st year subjects-
- Human Anatomy and Physiology
- Medical Biochemistry
- Pharmaceutical Organic Chemistry
- Pharmaceutical Inorganic Chemistry
2nd year subjects-
- Pharmaceutical Microbiology
- Community Pharmacy
- Pharmacotherapeutics 1
3rd year subjects-
- Pharmacology (Advanced)
- Pharmaceutical Analysis
- Pharmacotherapeutics 2
- Pharmaceutical Jurisprudence
- Medicinal Chemistry
- Pharmaceutical Formulations
4th year subjects-
- Hospital Pharmacy
- Clinical Pharmacy
- Research Methodology
- Pharmacotherapeutics 3
- Clinical Toxicology
5th year subjects-
- Clinical Research
- Clinical Pharmacokinetics
- Pharmacotherapeutic Drug Monitoring
- Project work
It is evident that there are recurring subjects present in this course. Such subjects appear in more than one academic year. Practical sessions are present (along with theory classes) in case of most of the subjects mentioned above. In case of final academic year, project work is also involved.
After completing 5 academic years, successful students have to go through 1 year long internship (residency training). Talking about modes of evaluation used in this course, there are 4 main types of examinations present- written examination, practical examination, oral test and clerkship examination.
Note: The above course structure belongs to 6 years long Pharm D course. The course content and structure of Post-Baccalaureate Pharm D course is may differ.
Course to pursue after completing Pharm D
MBA is a very good course to pursue after completing Pharm D. The 2 years long MBA course will help one acquire key management skills, which will be useful in landing administrative jobs in pharmaceutical industry as well as healthcare sector.
Career prospects and job opportunities
Pharm D course will help one get license to practice as a pharmacist in India and abroad. The course prepares students to practice as pharmacist in supervised or independent environments. Some places where one may practice are Government hospitals, Private hospitals, Community health centres, Nursing homes and NGOs.
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Pharm D course is accepted and recognized all around the world. It is the minimum Degree required to practice as a pharmacist in many developed countries. This means that the ‘work abroad’ scope is very promising, when it comes to this course.
Job opportunities are also available in the Pharmaceutical industry. One may take on technological, administrative or marketing positions in this industry.
Teaching is another job opportunity. One may take on the job post of a lecturer/instructor at Pharmacy Colleges/institutes. Clinical research organizations and research labs also hire Pharm D Degree holders.
Common job profiles available are-
- Research professional
- Marketing professional (Pharmaceutical Industry)
- Administrative posts (Pharmaceutical Industry)
- Quality Control Officer (Pharmaceutical Industry
- Drug Inspector
Places/areas where one may find job are-
- Government Hospitals
- Private Hospitals
- Clinical Research Organizations
- Pharmaceutical Industry
- Pharmacy Colleges/Institutes