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Steps Leading to a Pharm. D. Pharmacist Career in the U.S.

                  Robert S. Hsu, Ph.D., R.Ph. (California)

 

A B.S. or B.A. degree from a foreign university (22 y/o)

       

Sending foreign university undergraduate transcripts to the U.S, for evaluation of the prepharmacy courses (Many pharmacy schools in the U.S. do not accept foreign university transcripts as the fulfillment of prerequisites requirements for admission into their Pharm. D. degree programs)

       

Completion of prerequisites in a U.S. pharmacy school; Application for SSN; Volunteering work in a pharmacy to gain practice experience (24 y/o)     

        ↓        

Taking PCAT test (some U.S. pharmacy schools do not require PCAT) (PCAT score is good for 5 years)

          

Applying to PharmCAS for admission into the pharmacy school Pharm.D. degree program or applying directly to a U.S. pharmacy school for admission

       

Invitation from a pharmacy school for an interview with the applicant (no invitation means application has failed)

       

Acceptance of the applicant into the Pharm.D. degree program (4 years: 2 years of course work and 2 years of clinical training)(About half of applicants who have been interviewed are accepted)

       

Pharm. D. degree (28 y/o)

       

Passing NAPLEX/CPJE or NAPLEX/MPJE

       

Registered pharmacist license (clinical pharmacy generalist)(28 y/o)

        ↓

Pharmacy specialty residency (1 year) (clinical pharmacy specialist) (29 y/o)

        ↓

Clinical specialist and/or pharmacy school faculty member

        ↓

Application for Permanent Resident visa (30 y/o)

        ↓Naturalization examination

U.S. citizenship (35 y/o) (Five years of continuing residency as a permanent resident in the U.S. are required for naturalization)

        ↓

Institutional clinical pharmacists retire at 65 years of age.  Community pharmacists still work at their 70s or even 80s.

 

Note:

*All candidates including foreigners will face fierce competition for admission into the U.S. universities Pharm. D. Degree programs.

*Usually the TOEFL test score is not required for admission, but an interview with the applicant is required.  This puts the non-English speaking foreign applicants in the harsh test of their ability to communicate in English.

*Residency in a state may or may not be required, depending on the states.

*The successful applicants will have 6 years of conversion to the way pharmacy is practiced in the U.S.: 2 years of prepharmacy and 4 years of Pharm. D. education.

*The accepted foreign applicants must be financially capable of completing 6 years of education in the U.S., the total cost being approximately U.S.$200,000 or more.

*The ROC pharmacy experience is in my view for the most part useless in the U.S. as far as the clinical pharmacy practice is involved.