Positive accreditation news

The Canadian Council for Accreditation of Pharmacy Programs informed the University of Saskatchewan of positive accreditation results for the pharmacy programs:

  • The Bachelor of Science in Pharmacy program of the College of Pharmacy and Nutrition of the University of Saskatchewan has been awarded Accreditation by the Canadian Council for Accreditation of Pharmacy Programs for the four year term 2017-2021.
  • The Doctor of Pharmacy program of the College of Pharmacy and Nutrition of the University of Saskatchewan has been awarded Provisional Accreditation by the Canadian Council for Accreditation of Pharmacy Programs for the four year term 2017-2021.

Letter to our preceptors

The following letter was sent to our preceptors earlier this week, which included a summary of the new curriculum and community pharmacy immersions for year one of the PharmD program.

Pharmacy Preceptors and Colleagues:

The College of Pharmacy and Nutrition is currently working on the curriculum renewal from the BSP to a PharmD which will begin in September of 2017.

Significant changes to the program include:

  • Increase in experiential learning from 920 hours in the BSP to 1600 hours (plus immersions) in the PharmD
  • The skills labs will be integrated with the Pharmacy Practice course in which students are introduced to the patient care process, patient counselling, prescription processing, dispensing, and compounding in year one
  • OTC and self-care courses will be taught in year one
  • Pharmacotherapeutics will begin in year one and continue through to the end of year three
  • The fourth and final year in the program is comprised entirely of experiential learning
  • Students will begin their experiential placements with a different skill set and increased pharmaceutical knowledge earlier in the PharmD program as opposed to the BSP

The attached PharmD UpdateUofSMarch28 provides additional information about the program including prerequisites for the PharmD, an overview of courses in Year 1, a comparison of the experiential components of the BSP vs. the PharmD, and a diagram of the overlap in experiential courses in the BSP and PharmD.

We are beginning to recruit for our community pharmacy immersions for year one of the PharmD program. Students in first year will be required to complete four immersions (two per term) in community pharmacies in Saskatoon (among other sites, including MAC and medSask). Immersions will be offered only in Saskatoon for logistical reasons (location, student travel time to site, etc.) since they will occur over the course of the school year from September to April.

Features of the immersion program include:

  • The same student will visit your community pharmacy site in Saskatoon for four scheduled visits (between September and April)
  • Immersions will last for 3 hours each visit
  • Students will arrive with a subset of learning outcomes and related tasks (such as skills related to dispensing, working with provincial laws, third party billing, communication, etc.) designed to help them achieve those outcomes. Detailed learning outcomes and tasks will be available soon.

We ask that you mentor, guide, and facilitate the student’s learning while they are at your site. We do not anticipate any additional work for the preceptor after each immersion besides a short debriefing and assessment session with your student. The College will provide preceptor training, development, and support; access to and support with new evaluation software; access to library resources; site visits; and a small stipend to those pharmacists and or sites that participate.

Please respond to shauna.gerwing@usask.ca to indicate your interest in participating in the year one immersions, and I will follow up with you.

We value and appreciate your skills and expertise in pharmacy and look forward to your ongoing participation with our students and program.

If you have any questions about this opportunity or the PharmD program, please do not hesitate to contact myself or Dr. Yvonne Shevchuk at yvonne.shevchuk@usask.ca.

Shauna Gerwing & Dr. Yvonne Shevchuk

First year curriculum finalized

The first year PharmD curriculum has been finalized, and the classes are as follows:

Year 1

Term 1

PHAR 190.0 Introduction to the College/Program
PHAR 121.3 Foundational Sciences I: Foundational Pathophysiology & Pharmacology
PHAR 122.3 Foundational Sciences 2: Medicinal Chemistry and Physical Pharmacy
PHAR 153.4 Self Care I: Non-prescription Pharmaceuticals and Supplies
PHAR 110.3 Introduction to Pharmacy and the Health Care System
PHAR 162.3 Pharmacy Practice I: The Patient Care Process
PHAR 170.3 Pharmacy Skills Development I
PHAR 181.1 Introductory SPEP I
PHAR 183.1 Service Learning I
PHAR 191.1 IPE Activities

Term 2

PHAR 123.3 Foundational Sciences 3: Foundational Pathophysiology & Pharmacology 2
PHAR 124.3 Foundational Sciences 4: Introduction to Pharmaceutics
PHAR 152.6 Pharmacotherapeutics I
PHAR 154.3 Self Care II: Non-prescription Pharmarceutics and Supplies
PHAR 112.1 Pharmacy Law and Introduction to Ethics
PHAR 111.1 Foundations for Practice: Pharmacy Mathematics & Calculations
PHAR 171.3 Pharmacy Skills Development 2
PHAR 182.1 Introductory SPEP 2
PHAR 184.1 Service Learning 2
PHAR 192.1 IPE Activites

PHAR 185.4 Introductory Community Pharmacy Practice Experience (spring/summer)

These classes will appear in the 2017-18 course catalogue, which will be published in February. 

Years 2, 3, and 4: Under development.

Preceptor Education and Appreciation Event: Invitation and Information

We are pleased to announce we will be hosting a preceptor appreciation and education event.   We are offering this event in Saskatoon on Saturday, November 26th and then again in Regina on Sunday, November 27th.

The program information and the registration form are available here: Program and Registration

Please feel free to share this information with anyone who may be interested in attending this event.  We hope to see you there!

Shauna L. Gerwing, BSP, M.Ed.  

Experiential education program survey


We are looking for your feedback regarding the experiential education component of the PharmD program.  Please review the this letter with information regarding the experiential education program in the PharmD. 

We are currently conducting a survey to gather input and would appreciate your participation.  This survey is available for all pharmacists in Saskatchewan and preceptors in the current pharmacy BSP curriculum to complete.   The results from this survey will be used to inform programming development for the PharmD at the University of Saskatchewan.

If you have any questions about this survey please contact Shauna Gerwing at shauna.gerwing@usask.ca.

As always, we value your feedback.  Thank you for your time and participation.

Shauna Gerwing & Yvonne Shevchuk

U of S to introduce new pharmacy curriculum

The following information was issued today to media by Marketing and Communications at the University of Saskatchewan. Please share this information with relevant individuals. For more information, news is posted on the U of S news website at: http://words.usask.ca/news/category/media-releases/

The University of Saskatchewan will launch a Doctor of Pharmacy (PharmD) program in fall 2017 to replace the Bachelor of Science in Pharmacy as the first professional degree required to practice as a licensed pharmacist.

“Pharmacists’ roles are changing and we’re proactively adapting our curriculum for these new roles,” said Kishor Wasan, dean of the College of Pharmacy and Nutrition. “Our graduates will be competitive in the job market, and they’ll have the skills needed to provide the best possible care to their patients.”

The new program, Wasan said, is designed to provide the skills and knowledge necessary for pharmacists to practice as their roles in the healthcare system expand.

“As recent as 2015, pharmacists in Saskatchewan were granted new responsibilities, such as administering flu vaccines and prescribing medications for minor ailments, such as cold sores or seasonal allergies,” Wasan said.

“In the new curriculum, all four years of the program will be spent learning the science and skills of pharmacy, including a substantial experiential learning component,” said Wasan.

This is a significant change compared to the current pharmacy program in which students take classes in basic sciences, such as chemistry and pharmacology, during their first two years, while pharmacy classes are scheduled in the third and fourth years. Under the new curriculum, students will be required to complete at least two years of pre-requisite classes before applying to the pharmacy program.

The new curriculum will include 40 weeks of experiential learning, with 32 weeks of advanced practice in the fourth year. The first three years of the program include two four-week practice experiences, as well as smaller weekly opportunities.

Wasan said that out of 10 pharmacy schools in Canada, five have already introduced programs like this (known as entry-to-practice PharmD programs).

“The U of S is keeping pace with a changing industry that requires evolving education,” said Wasan, adding that two other Canadian pharmacy schools will also introduce a PharmD program in 2017.

In the Doctor of Pharmacy program, the tuition rate will be $17,000 per student per year, which is an increase over the current bachelor degree program.

Pharmacists who hold the existing Bachelor of Science in Pharmacy will continue to have their degrees recognized by the Saskatchewan College of Pharmacy Professionals, the regulatory body for pharmacists and pharmacy technicians in Saskatchewan. A bridging program for those pharmacists interested in upgrading to the Doctor of Pharmacy will be developed after the new program is implemented.

The new degree program has been passed by the Board of Governors, University Council and confirmed by University Senate. Regular updates on the Doctor of Pharmacy curriculum development process are available at:http://words.usask.ca/pharmd.


For admissions inquiries, contact:

Diane Favreau
Undergraduate Affairs
College of Pharmacy and Nutrition
University of Saskatchewan

For media inquiries, contact:

Kieran Kobitz
Communications Specialist
University of Saskatchewan

PharmD approved by University Council

Dear Colleagues,

It is with great pleasure to announce that our entry to practice PharmD Program has been formally approved by the University Council.

This is a major milestone for the College and I want to congratulate everyone for your time and efforts on making this happen. A special thank you to Linda Suveges, Yvonne Shevchuk and Shauna Gerwing for leading the process.

The proposal will now go to University Senate in April 2016 for final approval!

Happy Holidays Everyone!


PharmD proposal to be submitted to Academic Programs Committee

We are pleased to report that the Pharmacy and Nutrition Faculty Council approved the PharmD proposal for submission to the University! We will be forwarding the proposal and all the supporting documentation to the Academic Programs Committee of University Council in a few days. Hopefully, it will move through the various stages of the approval process by April 2016.  This will ensure that we can make the appropriate announcement about prerequisites (although the proposed prereqs are already on our website), and have the new program published in the 2017-18 University Calendar.

But this does not mean the work is done! We will now move into the ‘course development  phase’. Faculty will be planning course details, developing integrated professional skills activities and determining teaching and assessment strategies. We’ll also be working with preceptors to develop the experiential education program more fully. Watch this site for more information on how you can participate!

Thank you for your continued interest in our PharmD program.

Linda Suveges

Executive Summary – PharmD Retreat June 2015

Dr. Linda Suveges has provided the following executive summary for the most recent PharmD retreat. As always, if you have any questions, comments, or feedback, you’re welcome to comment below, on our social media channels, or email our communications specialist at kieran.kobitz@usask.ca.


Division of Pharmacy faculty and academic staff came together for a PhamD retreat on June 24 and 25th , 2015 at Wanuskewin, in Saskatoon.   The retreat was facilitated by Dr. Linda Suveges.

Top Takeaways:

  • Learning outcomes will be further developed to include the condition elements (e.g., case-based examination) and the expected standard (level) of achievement for each course and year.
  • Faculty adopted two taxonomies (methods of categorization) for further curriculum development: Bloom’s taxonomy will be utilized for development of knowledge-based competencies and the SOLO taxonomy (Biggs) will be adopted for development of global assessment and skills-based competencies.
  • Learning outcomes will be linked to AFPC educational outcomes and cross referenced to NAPRA competencies to enter practice.
  • Faculty recognized that, although graduates will meet the AFPC outcomes and NAPRA competencies, they may still require specific employment-related training and experience after graduation.
  • Faculty also confirmed the use of the ‘simple patient – simple problem, simple patient – complex problem, complex patient – simple problem, complex patient – complex patient’ strategy to develop cases and course examples.
  • A common method of patient assessment will be adopted.
  • Throughout the program, emphasis will be on the development of professional skills (e.g., taking a medication history) which the student/graduate can then use to provide a service (e.g., medication reconciliation).
  • The delivery of key material will be coordinated across courses, rather than being integrated within one big course (e.g., dosage forms such as inhalers will be taught in a pharmaceutical sciences course during the same term as the drug therapy of asthma).
  • Bridging of current BSP students into the PharmD will not be offered ; rather, graduates will be offered the opportunity to enroll in a post-baccalaureate PharmD program, once the undergraduate PharmD is up and running.


  • To review work completed by content stream working groups and the Curriculum Development Working Group since February 2015
  • To discuss the proposed curriculum and the learning outcomes generated by content stream working groups
  • To determine any omissions or changes required in the proposed curriculum structure
  • To confirm that the proposed curriculum structure is cohesive and coordinated through all years
  • To establish next steps and review timeline of progress

Action Plans:

  • Learning outcomes generated by content working groups will be finalized and standardized across the streams into a cohesive document, using Bloom’s and the SOLO taxonomy.
  • Learning outcomes will be linked (mapped) to the AFPC educational outcomes and the NAPRA competencies to enter practice.
  • Gaps in the curriculum draft which were identified will be forwarded to the appropriate content stream working group for consideration.
  • The Experiential Education Working Group will develop a proposal for the experiential education component of the program, based on the learning outcomes and curriculum draft.
  • A glossary of common terms used in the program will be created and agreed upon by faculty.
  • Ideas for ‘electives’ will be further developed and forwarded to the Curriculum Development Working Group.
  • Dates for submission of various components of the program proposal will be confirmed and the timeline for completion will be established and communicated to faculty.
  • As the curriculum continues to be developed, the dean and faculty will work on a short descriptive message about the program which can be used in discussions with interested stakeholders.
  • A retreat will be held on Tuesday, September 1st , 2015 to review progress.

In closing, we wish to thank all faculty for their hard work enthusiastic commitment to the development of the Pharm.D. program over the past four months.  Special thanks to Shauna Gerwing and Susan Bens for their major contributions in moving the project forward.

Linda Suveges

Brief Progress Report

Progress is underway with our PharmD curriculum.  The faculty and academic staff at the College have formed four content stream working groups.  These streams consist of:

  • Sociobehavioral & Administrative Sciences,
  • Pharmaceutical Sciences,
  • Pharmacotherapeutics, and
  • Pharmacy Practice Skills including: Patient Care and Communications & Evidence Based Medicine.

We are forging ahead with our work within these streams and are planning to come together for our next faculty retreat scheduled for late June.

To date, the Experiential Education Working Group has formed and has held its first meeting. At this time the College wishes to extend thanks to the preceptors across the province and country that have volunteered to help with this project. While it is important to note that not everyone can be actively involved in participation on the Experiential Education working group, we do plan to draw upon your knowledge and expertise for future projects that will stem from this working group.

We wish to thank everyone for their continued involvement and interest in our program development.