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All hail the first batch of PharmD graduates!

Monday, 16 July 2018   (0 Comments)
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All hail the first batch of PharmD graduates!

by Albert Opare


First batch of PharmD graduates celebrate their successful completion of the 6-year program


From the days of the Apothecaries to today, Pharmacy in Ghana has grown and evolved to meet the ever-increasing demand for better pharmaceutical care with improved patient outcomes. The pharmacist is regarded as the expert with in-depth knowledge of medicines. Seeing as pharmacy practice is multi-faceted, from industry, community-based practice, hospital practice to a host of other areas, it is not uncommon to find that the profession continues to evolve. There arose the need to introduce the Doctor of Pharmacy programme which is more clinically-oriented as a pre-emptive measure to adequately help tackle more complex health-related issues in our hospitals. This is in keeping with the current trends in healthcare training. The Doctor of Pharmacy programme was thus birthed in KNUST in 2012 to address this need. With this, heralded the quest to admit gallant and daring “soldiers” who would dedicate 6 years of their lives to master the art of everything medicines – a feat unprecedented in the country.

The health sector as a whole has over the years, undergone various functional and structural changes in order to adequately serve the people. With a host of variegated professions, the sector seeks to unite all these professions together under one front to pool ideas and knowledge together for the betterment of the general public. Although the sector is far from being replete, the Doctor of Pharmacy could serve as grease needed to alleviate the friction which emanates from an "unlubricated" health sector.

The Doctor of Pharmacy will thus be tasked to help make pharmaceutical care interventions, monitor patients’ outcomes, engage in drug therapy reviews among others. These roles will ostensibly improve the quality of healthcare administered in our hospitals, improve patients’ quality of life and give the sector a further face-lift.

As a Doctor of Pharmacy student myself, waking up every morning to go to class knowing there is a weight of responsibility on me to ensure that such a gap is filled not only gives me a sense of responsibility, but of purpose too. The future of the profession rests on me. More so, the graduating class of 2018. Being pioneers, they should feel the weight even more. The mandate to make an impression heavily lies with them as the world awaits and watches in earnest, to know what they are made of. The journey has not been all rosy. Sitting on the sidelines, I am filled with such exhilaration at how far they have come. Long have we chanted “Pharm D has come!” and it is truly here.

A medicines-themed cake for the celebration

As the first batch of the Doctor of Pharmacy profession are being ushered into the world, these are my little words of encouragement to them: there is no shortcut to great achievement. There is no substitute for doing the work. You have taken the long route – 6 long years to get to where you are now. Through years of toil, heartaches, perseverance and above all, faith, you have finally crossed the finish line. Congratulations to every single one of you. Now, your watch has ended.

As you immerse yourselves in frenzy and elation that accompanies graduation, do not forget why you started this journey. To effectively move from an unfavourable position, you must decide where you wish to go. Create a formidable intention for yourselves and feed that intention with the passion and energy that is in your desire for change. You have been prepared, yes and adequately so. But to be prepared is only half the victory. Go forth and permeate the world with your knowledge. To quote the legendary Chinua Achebe; “A boy sent by his father to steal does not go stealthily but breaks the door with his feet”. You have been entrusted with a mandate. You have been set on a mission.  Let the world know better pharmaceutical care is here. Let them know Pharm D has come! And Pham D is here to stay!!!

The writer is a founding member of PharmediaGH . He is a 6th year Pharmacy student in KNUST and doubles as a script analyst and writer for PharmediaGH.