UQ Pharmacy graduate now working as a pharmacist in Ontario
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.
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. It is only offered in January and July of each year
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!
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. Graduates from Canada who wish to become a pharmacist upon their return to Canada should visit the Pharmacy Examining Board of Canada website for accreditation and certification information: http://www.pebc.ca/. Graduates of an Australian Bachelor of Pharmacy degree must also apply for certification through the provincial regulatory body in the Canadian province they wish to work in.
Pharmacist Qualifying Examination – Part I (MCQ)
The Qualifying Exam Part I (MCQ) is a primary exam towards Canadian pharmacy licensure. It is a multiple-choice question (MCQ) examination. The MCQ has been designed to evaluate the knowledge of Canadian Pharmacy Graduates and International Pharmacy Graduates seeking licensure. It is written in two sittings, on two consecutive half-days. Questions on the MCQ assess the understanding and application of knowledge to problems, as well as the ability to make judgments and problem-solve in situations relevant to pharmacy practice. Each question assesses one specific competency.
Pharmacist Qualifying Examination – Part II (OSCE)
Part II of the Qualifying Examination is an objective structured clinical examination (OSCE), and is taken on a different day than Part I. The OSCE consists of a series of “stations” simulating common and/or critical practical situations. These simulations often involve interactions with a “Standardized Patient” (SP) or “Standardized Client” (SC) (e.g., parent or caregiver) or “Standardized Health Professional” (SHP).
Upcoming UQ Pharmacy School Online Seminar
Are you interested in studying at UQ Pharmacy School? Find out more by attending the upcoming UQ Pharmacy online seminar!
Date: Wednesday, September 24, 2014
Time: 8 p.m. (EDT – Eastern Daylight Time)
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For your online seminar registration details, contact OzTREKK’s Australian Pharmacy Schools Admissions Officer Rachel Brady at email@example.com or call toll free in Canada at 1-866-698-7355.
Program: Bachelor of Pharmacy (Honours)
Location: Brisbane, Queensland
Semester intake: February
Duration: 4 years
Application deadline: November 15, 2014