How To Become A Licensed Pharmacist in Canada
Pharmacists play a vital role in the healthcare system in Canada, providing advice and medication to patients and working closely with other healthcare professionals. If you’re interested in becoming a pharmacist in Canada, there are specific steps you’ll need to take to meet the requirements and obtain a license to practice. Here’s a guide on how to become a licensed pharmacist in Canada:
Step 1: Complete a Pharmacy Degree
To become a pharmacist in Canada, you must complete a pharmacy degree from a recognized university. Several universities in Canada offer pharmacy programs, and the duration of these programs varies from four to six years. The pharmacy program includes biology, chemistry, pharmacology, and pharmacy practice coursework, as well as clinical rotations and experiential learning opportunities. You’ll need to have a high school diploma or equivalent to apply for a pharmacy program, and you may also need to meet certain pre-requisite requirements, such as specific courses in math and science.
Step 2: Pass the Pharmacy Examining Board of Canada Exam
Once you’ve completed your pharmacy degree, you’ll need to pass the Pharmacy Examining Board of Canada (PEBC) Qualifying Exam Part I and Part II to be eligible to apply for a license to practice pharmacy in Canada. The PEBC Qualifying Exam consists of a written exam and an evaluation of pharmacy practice experience. The written exam covers topics such as pharmacology, pharmaceutics, and pharmacy practice and is offered twice a year at locations across Canada. The evaluation of pharmacy practice experience is a practical exam that assesses your skills and knowledge in a simulated pharmacy environment. You’ll need to register and pay a fee to take the PEBC Qualifying Exam, and you can find more information about the exam and the application process on the PEBC website.
Step 3: Obtain a License to Practice Pharmacy
Once you’ve passed the PEBC Qualifying Exam, you’ll need to apply for a license to practice pharmacy in the province or territory where you plan to work. Each province and territory in Canada has its own regulatory body responsible for issuing pharmacists’ licenses. To obtain a license, you’ll need to apply, provide proof of your pharmacy degree and PEBC Qualifying Exam results, and meet any other requirements set by the regulatory body. You may also need to complete a criminal record check and pass a jurisprudence exam, which covers pharmacists’ legal and ethical responsibilities in the province or territory.
Once you’ve been issued a license to practice pharmacy, you’ll need to renew your license regularly to continue practicing as a pharmacist in Canada. The renewal process may include completing continuing education requirements and paying a fee.
Step 4: Find a Job as a Pharmacist
Once you’ve obtained a license to practice pharmacy, you can start looking for job opportunities as a pharmacist in Canada. There are many employment settings for pharmacists in Canada, including hospitals, pharmacies, nursing homes, and government agencies. You can find job openings through job search websites, professional associations, or networking with other pharmacists. You may also want to consider specializing in a particular area of pharmacies, such as clinical pharmacy, community pharmacy, or hospital pharmacy, which can increase your employability and career opportunities.
Good luck with your career as a pharmacist! Becoming a licensed pharmacist in Canada requires completing a pharmacy degree, passing the PEBC Qualifying Exam, obtaining a license to practice pharmacy, and finding a job as a pharmacist. By following these steps and meeting the requirements set by the regulatory body in your province or territory, you can succeed in your journey to becoming a pharmacist in Canada.