What classes am I taking!?!?!

I know I’ve been talking a lot about my exams and what not, and for those of you who are planning to apply to pharmacy school, you’re probably wondering what classes do first-year students take. The first year is really geared towards basic science and the concept of pharmaceutical care.  I’ll give a brief description of each class so you’ll have a general idea what the classes are like 😀

Here’s a list of what I’m currently taking for the first semester (total of 18 credits) :

PHAR 6061: Physiological Systems as Targets for Drug Action
This is the class we have every single day and having it everyday means that physiology is super IMPORTANT in pharmacy. We pretty much go through all the body systems and learn the basis of how the body functions as a whole. I’d say this physiology class is quite different than the one I took during undergrad since this one now includes pharmacy applications. For example, what kind of drug classes can be used to target hypertension? How does Digoxin work in a patient who has congestive heart failure? This class is an introductory class that prepares us for pharmacology, which we’ll be taking in our second year.

PHAR 6111: The Practice of Pharmaceutical Care I
As the title suggests, this class is all about pharmaceutical care. Besides being lecture on what pharmaceutical care is, we do get to go outside of class and interview people about their medication experiences. We also get to perform an assessment on the patient’s medications and identify drug therapy problems, and then come up with a care plan to resolve the problems. We also do in class stimulation in pairs where one student pretends to be a pharmacist and the other pretends to be the patient. Occasionally we would have pharmacists coming in to talk about their job responsibilities and how they incorporate pharmaceutical care in their practices.

PHAR 6141: Medical Microbiology and Immunizations
This is a one-credit class that runs for about half of the semester. But don’t let the one-credit trick you, it still requires A LOT of time studying! We get to learn all the common bacteria, viruses, and worms that cause diseases in human. Like I mentioned before, we also have to know the pathologies and symptoms of the diseases. I’d recommend taking an upper-level, or more challenging microbiology course for your pre-req, and I promise it’ll make it much easier during pharmacy school 🙂

PHAR 6151: Biochemistry of Medicinals I
KNOW your amino acids and organic chemistry is all I have to say. For the first section of the class, we had to know all the amino acid structures and their properties. I did struggle a bit at first since the undergrad biochemistry class that I took, the professor never asked us to memorize any of the structures. Now take out your flashcards and start memorizing the structures!

PHAR 6171: Pharmaceutical Care Skills I
LAB! This is one of my favorite classes where we get hands-on experience on compounding ointments, preparing IV drugs and learning how to perform patient education! There is a pre-lab for each lab and I’ll have to be honest that it is a bit time consuming (not complaining, though 🙂 ). The pre-labs are meant to help you to learn about the medications and disease states that you’d be dealing as a pharmacist, so you know what you need to educate the patients on to make sure that the medication is indicated, effective, safe, and convenient for them!

PHAR 7001: Early Pharmacy Practice Experience I
This is one course  that we don’t have a specific lecture for. For this class, we get to go out and do things! For example, PD1 students are paired up with PD2 students, and we are assigned a “community teacher”. We visit the community teacher twice a semester outside of class to go through their medication list and learning about their medication experience. After each visit, we have to write a reflection paper that talks about the visit and how it applies to our future practice as a pharmaceutical care practitioner. We also get to attend “super-group meetings” where groups of the students get to present their visit experience to our mentors. Fun stuff 🙂

Picture of the week:

PDX initiation! We are no longer pledges, we’re finally active members!!!!! 🙂

Leave a comment


  1. girl1431

     /  November 19, 2012

    I really appreciate your effort on these blogs. Keep posting:)
    Also, any tips on studying for pcat. There are so many books out there, any in particular that you recommend?

    • susanatumn

       /  November 20, 2012

      Thanks for reading!
      Great question! I’ll answer your question in my upcoming post! Stay tuned for that 🙂

      • girl1431

         /  November 20, 2012

        Thanks! Can’t wait!! 😝😝😝

        Good luck 👍

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