White Coat

Worldwide, the practice of pharmacy has gradually shifted from the era of drug-based therapy to the present era where the patient is the locus of pharmaceutical care. In other words, there is now a novel paradigm in which the pharmacist works closely with the other members of the healthcare team to provide holistic care to the client.

In light of this, a few years ago, the education of pharmacists in the United States of America and Europe at large saw a shift from the 4-year Bachelor of Pharmacy (BPharm) programme to the 6-year Doctor of Pharmacy (PharmD). The PharmD is more oriented to clinical practice and offers trainee pharmacists more in-depth knowledge and skills in the hospital setting that the BPharm did not provide. It is envisaged that in a few years, the PharmD will be the minimum qualification necessary to practice as a pharmacist in Ghana. This will hopefully streamline the pharmaceutical care system and ensure uniformity in quality of service throughout the country.

Very few African countries including Nigeria, Morocco, Tunisia and South Africa, and even fewer African universities offer the PharmD. Therefore, when the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology in Kumasi made the audacious move to phase out the BPharm and introduce the PharmD in 2012, it was met with excitement, hope and goodwill. The pioneer class is presently in Year 5, which is also their first clinical year.The White Coat Ceremony (WCC) is a special event that is organized to usher trainee pharmacists reading the PharmD from their preclinical years into the clinical years. It is deeply symbolic and needless to say, wields a lot of sentimental value.

The White Coat Ceremony (WCC) is a special event that is organized to usher trainee pharmacists reading the PharmD from their preclinical years into the clinical years. It is deeply symbolic and needless to say, wields a lot of sentimental value. It is done to symbolize the ‘conversion’ of the PharmD student from a ‘teenager’ in the profession into an ‘adult’ who must act professionally at all times and uphold the values and ethics of the profession.

The maiden WCC to be organized for the pioneer PharmD class in KNUST and in Ghana for that matter, comes off this Thursday, 3rd November, 2016 at the College of Science Auditorium, KNUST at 10 am. The keynote speaker is Mrs. Martha Gyansa-Lutterodt, Director of Pharmaceutical Services, Ghana. In attendance will be the Vice and Pro-Vice Chancellors of KNUST, the Deputy Registrar of the Pharmacy Council, the General Secretary of the Pharmaceutical Society of Ghana, the Deputy Director of Pharmaceutical Services for the Ashanti region, the Chief Pharmacist at the Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital, the President of the Community Pharmacy Practitioners’ Association and the Registrar of the KNUST.

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