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Introduction to Pharmacy

This course is a survey of the profession of pharmacy including its history, evolving scope of practice, ethical foundations, regulation, educational and career opportunities, and more. We will also explore topics relating to medication use and drug development.

Sessions

Course at a Glance

About the Course

Man has always used external materials to help prevent, cure, or alleviate the symptoms of disease. In fact, Gregory Higby of the American Institute of the History of Pharmacy has written that, “...the very concept of influencing bodily functions via an outside force must be considered one of humanity’s greatest advances.” Since its independent origins in ancient Arabic civilizations, pharmacy has evolved from a craft dedicated to the compounding of drugs to a profession focusing on helping patients get the best outcomes from medication therapies.

So what is pharmacy? How has it changed and where is it headed?

This course will answer these questions and provide a comprehensive introduction to this profession. We will explore the history of pharmacy and its evolving scope of practice; examine educational and career pathways; tackle issues relating to medication safety and adverse drug events; gain insight into the regulatory and ethical considerations in pharmacy practice; and more.

As we explore these topics together, we will hear from practicing pharmacists throughout the course and ultimately gain a better understanding of what they do and how they help us get the best results from our medications. Maybe you will decide that the dynamic profession of pharmacy is a career path that you want to pursue!  Whether student or healthcare consumer, you’re sure to find the material we cover in this course to be invaluable.

Course Syllabus

Week One: The history of pharmacy and its evolving scope of practice
Week Two: Educational pathways in pharmacy
Week Three: Career pathways for pharmacists & their role in the healthcare system
Week Four: The medication experience
Week Five: Drug discovery and development 
Week Six: Regulatory and ethical considerations in pharmacy
Week Seven: Contemporary issues and the future of pharmacy

Recommended Background

There are no prerequisites to taking this course. All you need is an interest in the subject and a commitment to engage in all instructional activities.

Suggested Readings

Materials will be provided through the course website.

Course Format

The class will consist of video modules, each approximately 10 minutes in length. Videos include lecture content as well as interviews with guest practitioners. There will be one required written assignment and weekly quizzes.

FAQ

Will I get a statement of accomplishment after completing this class?

Yes. Students who successfully complete the class will receive a statement signed by the instructor.

Other than an Internet connection, what resources will I need for this class?
You will only need to obtain required reading materials (note: these will be provided online as well).

What is the coolest thing I'll learn if I take this class?

You will learn about the positive and negative ramifications of the pervasive use of medications in our society and the evolving role of the pharmacist in medication therapy management.