Published: 08 Nov 2016 Source: University Relations Office (URO)
The Faculty of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences (FPPS) of the College of Health Science has held the first White Coat Ceremony for fifth year students of the Doctor of Pharmacy (PharmD) programme. The ceremony is as symbolic as well as historic as it is the firsts of its kind in the country since the inception of the Faculty since January 1953. It became necessary to replace the Bachelor of Pharmacy (Bpharm) with the pharmD programme with the changing trends in modern pharmacy, according to Professor Mrs. Rita Dickson, Acting Dean FPPS.
She said the move was to align the training of pharmacists from medicine centered to patient centered in tandem to intentional pharmacy practice.
Professor Mrs. Dickson stated that the passage into the last two years in the pharmD programme after four years of rigorous professional training emphasized moral and ethical principles in their training to be dependable healthcare practitioners.
She said it also ushers the students into training, care and mentorship by their senior colleagues and was confident that they have the academic aptitude to be better placed to improve their pharmacy practice and challenged them to the best.
Martha Gyansa-Lutterodt, Director of Pharmaceutical Services at the Ministry of Health, the keynote speaker for the occasion spoke on the topic: Applying Theory into Professional practice. Mrs. Gyansa-Luttrodt said students should walk away from the university challenged in a positive way, and that university education should be life changing.
She noted that a successful professional practice is a result of the application of impeccable theory as there are a modern dynamics such as “pharmacoeconomics”, that is the economy of pharmacy and other issues which should be considered in their practice.
She advised them to make use of opportunities to integrate theory with practice, humble themselves to learn from practitioners who may be below them and to be mentored, as recommendations can go a long way to make and unmake them.
The Director of Pharmaceutical Servicess urged students to make use of Information Communication Technology (ICT) to seek information and use problem based learning and enquiry to seek information. Mrs. Gyansa-Lutterodt charged them to avail themselves for continuous upgrading and to prove to the world that they are the first fruits of the programme and to change the world with the knowledge obtained.
Reverend Professor Charles Ansah, the Pro Vice Chancellor stated that the Faculty is the first pharmacy school in the country and has over the past years trained about 95% of pharmacists in the country who are working in the health care, manufacturing, regulation, academia and industry.
The pro vice chancellor noted that there is currently a change in the pharmacy practice which requires a change in training in order to improve competence to respond to the changing needs of society.
Rev. Prof. Ansah said the Bpharm programme has been enhanced with the PharmD programme to help in training to enhance the profile and visibility of pharmacists as indispensable professionals and to instill in students confidence, integrity and professional responsibility. The design of the course requires vacation training, internships from the first to final year, which is meant to mentor students consciously to be responsible professional pharmacists.
With the quality training received, the pro vice chancellor expected students on their graduation to exhibit a high sense of professionalism in their practice to mankind and to be competent contemporary pharmacists.
He used the occasion to thank stakeholders such as the National Accreditation Board, Ministry of Health, Ghana Health Service, Pharmacy Council, the Pharmaceutical Society of Ghana among others for the support in running the programme.
Professor Mrs. Frances Owusu-Daaku, Head of the Department of Pharmacy Practice administered the white coat pledge and faculty helped robed the students in their white coat.