UQ Pharmacy graduate now working as a pharmacist in Ontario

16 September 2014

It’s been a while since we’ve talked with Deedee Xu, the Cambridge, Ontario resident, who began her pharmacy studies at the UQ Pharmacy School in February 2009.

Now a licensed pharmacist, the former OzTREKK student shares her story about how she attained her professional certification.

University of Queensland Pharmacy School
Deedee began her UQ Pharmacy studies in 2009

OzTREKK: What did you like about the UQ Pharmacy program?
Deedee: I liked that it was somewhat similar to the Canadian programs and that there were lots of Canadians at the University of Queensland to connect with—not to mention that the entire “studying abroad in Australia” experience was absolutely amazing and I miss it every day.

OzTREKK: Have you completed the Canadian pharmacy certification process?
Deedee: Yes. I recommend doing the evaluating exam as soon as you graduate to get it out of the way.

OzTREKK: You graduated from UQ Pharmacy in 2012. What are you doing now?
Deedee: I’ve recently just received my Ontario pharmacist licence and I’m now practicing at a compounding independent pharmacy in Oakville, Ontario while being a locum pharmacist as well.

OzTREKK: What was the most challenging part of the Canadian certification process?
Deedee: Studying for the MCQ portion of the Qualifying Exam. A lot of time and effort went into that but well worth it!

University of Queensland Pharmacy School
If you visit Australia, you must get a pic like this!

OzTREKK: Do you feel your studies at UQ prepared you for Canadian pharmacy certification?
Deedee: Yes and no. Some of the material from the Pharmacy Examining Board of Canada (PEBC) Qualifying Exam requires self-learning.

OzTREKK: In which Canadian province did you obtain certification? What were the steps you had to go through to obtain this provincial pharmacy certification?
Deedee: Once I completed the PEBC Qualifying exams part I and II, I moved to B.C. to do a three-month internship. In Ontario they require a three-month internship and a 3-month studentship for international graduates; however, they are in the process of changing this for domestic students so you will need to look up this information once you return to Canada upon graduation.

In the end, I received B.C. licensure once I completed the evaluating examination, qualifying examinations, TOEFL (it’s required for registration with B.C. College of Pharmacists), Jurisprudence exams (for both B.C. and Ontario), and SPT (internship). I then came back to Ontario and used my B.C. license as a bridging process in order to apply for my Ontario license.

OzTREKK: What advice do you have for current UQ pharmacy students as they prepare to return home to Canada?
Deedee: Be patient with the licensing process. You can complete the entire process within seven to nine months if you use your time wisely! I also highly recommend spending more time studying for the MCQ portion of the Qualifying exam as opposed to the OSCE (oral exam). I took the PharmAchieve OSCE prep course and found that it was extremely useful. Lastly, brace yourselves for the bitter cold and good luck with your careers!

Professional Certification/Accreditation Information

Graduate qualifications in pharmacy from Australian universities are recognized internationally. OzTREKK has had students graduate with a Bachelor of Pharmacy from an Australian university and successfully become accredited in Canada. Upon their return to Canada, graduates must also apply for certification through the provincial regulatory body in the province in which they wish to work.

Your first step is to enrol with Pharmacists’ Gateway Canada who will assess your qualifications and competence for entry-to-practice through a series of evaluations. They will also offer info and guidance in preparation for the PEBC’s licensing process.

University of Queensland Pharmacy School
When in Australia…visit the beaches!

About the UQ Bachelor of Pharmacy (Honours)

Program: Bachelor of Pharmacy (Honours)
Location: Brisbane, Queensland
Semester intakes: February & July
Duration: 4 years
Application deadline: You’re encouraged to apply a minimum of 6 months before the program start date.

Start your application to the University of Queensland Pharmacy School!


For more information about studying at UQ Pharmacy School, please reach out to OzTREKK’s pharmacy student advisor at pharmacy@oztrekk.com.

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