Education of pharmacists in Canada

Am J Pharm Educ. 2008 Dec 15;72(6):128. doi: 10.5688/aj7206128.


In Canada, the education of pharmacists is built upon a foundation of strong, research-intensive publicly funded universities and a universal health-care system that balances government and private financing for prescription medications. The evolution of pharmacy education and practice in Canada has laid the foundation for a variety of emerging trends related to expanded roles for pharmacists, increasing interprofessional collaboration for patient-centered care, and emergence of pharmacy technicians as a soon-to-be regulated professional group in parts of the country. Current challenges include the need to better integrate internationally educated pharmacists within the domestic workforce and tools to ensure continuous professional development and maintenance of competency of practitioners. Academic pharmacy is currently debating how best to manage the need to enhance the pharmacy curriculum to meet current and future skills needs, and whether a doctor of pharmacy (PharmD) degree ought to become the standard entry-to-practice qualification for pharmacists in Canada.

Keywords: Canada; comparative education; international pharmacy education.

MeSH terms

  • Canada
  • Curriculum
  • Education, Pharmacy / organization & administration*
  • Education, Pharmacy / trends
  • Humans
  • Pharmaceutical Services / organization & administration*
  • Pharmaceutical Services / trends
  • Pharmacists / organization & administration*
  • Pharmacists / trends
  • Professional Role
  • Schools, Pharmacy / organization & administration
  • Schools, Pharmacy / supply & distribution
  • Students, Pharmacy