PharmD program proposal nearly finalized

The Pharmacy Division is in the final stages of developing its proposal for the new PharmD program at the University of Saskatchewan.  At two recent faculty retreats, there was agreement on a draft curriculum structure which includes an expanded experiential education program.  Students will be able to interact with patients, preceptors, and other health professionals throughout the program with weekly experiential activities, two 4-week introductory rotations in the summers between year 1 and 2 and years 2 and 3.  Service learning, an important part of the current BSP program will continue through year one of the PharmD.  After a brief orientation, students in their final year will complete 32 weeks of advanced experiential education consisting of three eight week ‘core’ patient care rotations, and an  elective 8 week rotation.

Prior to submission to the University, the Pharmacy Division will review the full proposal on Oct 23, and the College’s Faculty Council will also meet to approve it on Oct 30.  Our target for submission to the Academic Programs Committee of University Council is November 1, 2015.  Once submitted, the full proposal will be considered by APC prior to their recommending it to University Council. The budget and tuition model will be reviewed by the Board of Governors (Dec 2015 and Mar 2016), and the revised admission requirements will be looked at by University Senate (April 2016).  If this timeline moves forward as planned, we expect full approval by April 30, 2016, for implementation in the fall of 2017.  In addition to extensive consultation within the University, we will also consult with government and the community regarding the proposal.

While the proposal is moving through the various consultative stages, the faculty will continue its work to flesh out the courses,  and teaching and assessment strategies so that a more detailed program document can be submitted to CCAPP for consideration for ‘provisional accreditation’ of the PharmD program, when the CCAPP accreditation team visits the College in the fall of 2016 to review the BSP program.

Further information about the program will be posted as it becomes available.  Watch this site for updates and opportunities to provide feedback!

Linda Suveges
Yvonne Shevchuk
Shauna Gerwing

Funding Boost for PharmD Curriculum Development

The University of Saskatchewan’s Curriculum Innovation Fund panel has approved an application for funding to support the PharmD Curriculum Development work. The approved allocation of $102,000 will cover the ASPA staff secondment backfill and the consultant fees outlined in the proposal made to the panel.

The Curriculum Innovation Fund is administered through the Gwenna Moss Centre for Teaching Effectiveness. As part of the PCIP-funded Curriculum Innovation Initiative, this fund is available for academic units to support curriculum innovation projects.

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


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.

Pharmacy Faculty PharmD Retreat Executive Summary

The Division of Pharmacy from the College of Pharmacy and Nutrition met on February 25, 2015 to discuss progress on development of the Pharm.D. program.  Dr. Linda Suveges facilitated the retreat.  Participants included members of the Division of Pharmacy faculty and academic staff.

Top Takeaways:

  • Admission requirements will include: 60 credit units of prerequisite coursework, the Test of Critical Skills, and a personal interview (using a video platform). The interview process will replace the current written personal profile.  These proposed admission requirements can be found here.
  • The curriculum structure proposed by the Curriculum Development Working group will be used by various content working groups to further develop the program.
  • We are on track to complete the work required to submit a proposal for the implementation of the Pharm.D. program to University Council and Senate in the fall of 2015.

Purpose of Retreat:

  • To review work completed since the retreat held on November 12-14, 2014
  • To make decisions with regard to admissions and the core curriculum
  • To establish next steps and review timeline of progress

Action Plans:

  • An Experiential Education Working Group will be established to develop a proposal for the experiential education component of the program. An invitation to participate in this process will be publicized via the College website.
  • Content working groups will be established and will include all faculty and academic staff. Groups will be tasked with ensuring that material will flow through all years in the curriculum in a cohesive manner.
  • Faculty development will continue as we keep working toward implementation.
  • Another retreat will be held in May/June to consider the work completed by the various working groups and to confirm the curriculum proposal.





Wanted: Volunteers for development of experiential education in the PharmD program


As you know, the College of Pharmacy and Nutrition is currently in the process of curriculum renewal and development, leading to the implementation of the Doctor of Pharmacy (PharmD) as the first professional degree in Pharmacy from the University of Saskatchewan.  As is the case with our BSP program, experiential education will be an important component of the PharmD program.

To make the transition to the PharmD and to develop the best structured practices experiences (SPE) program for it, we are seeking active input and participation from pharmacists across the province and throughout Canada.  As a practitioner, we would particularly value your input into the development of a revised SPE program.

There will be many opportunities for input over the next few years including: membership on experiential education working groups or focus groups, or as reviewers/participants in various projects and activities as we work toward and implement the PharmD program. The first step will be to form small committees (we call them working groups), one of which will begin work immediately to outline a plan for the overall SPE program.  We expect to use on-line technology to hold meetings, probably every 2-4 weeks.  Suitable times will be arranged to meet participants’ schedules. Some pre-meeting reading and preparation will be required.

Other opportunities (e.g., responding to ideas via focus groups) will occur over the next few months and we will send out additional calls for volunteers as needed.

If you are interested in helping with this process immediately, please contact Shauna Gerwing at: or Linda Suveges at: by March 10th, 2015.

Thank you for your commitment to this important process.  We look forward to working with you.


Shauna Gerwing & Linda Suveges

PharmD Retreat Agenda

On Wednesday, February 25, the faculty will hold their next retreat to continue developing the new PharmD program. Curious what’s on the agenda? Click below to find out which items the faculty will be discussing at the retreat.

Faculty Retreat Agenda Feb 25 2015 (Final)

Remember, you can send us your comments or questions by using the box below, commenting on Facebook or Twitter, or emailing our communications specialist at We’ll respond as soon as we can, and make sure your feedback is taken into account while developing the new PharmD program.

Question on a bridging program

Over the holidays in December, we received the following question via email:

Will a distance component for BSP grads to “train up” to a PharmD be in the works? The U of A is developing such a plan and I would like to see the U of S support past grads in obtaining a PharmD part time with some off campus and on campus work.

Who better to answer the question than Linda Suveges? She’s been instrumental in developing the PharmD program.

Happy New Year!

We have had numerous questions from students and practitioners regarding the availability of a program for BSP graduates who wish to achieve the PharmD degree.  And YES, faculty are committed to offering such a ‘bridging’ program for practising pharmacists.

This type of program is often called a ‘‘nontraditional’ PharmD, or a ‘flexible’ PharmD, but we have been referring to it as a ‘bridging’ program thus far, so that is the terminology I will continue to use here.  Basically it will be a program which includes some coursework and advanced practical training opportunities.  We anticipate that it could be completed in 12-18 months, but requirements will be flexible to allow pharmacists to continue to work while completing the program.  Most coursework will be offered via distance education.  Other elements might include assessment of prior learning or the ability to ‘test out’ of certain components.

As noted previously, we are currently at the stage of developing the undergraduate curriculum, which will also inform what will be incorporated into a bridging program. It is expected that the bridging program will start soon after the undergraduate program.

Linda Suveges

Remember, you can send us your comments or questions by using the box below, commenting on Facebook or Twitter, or emailing our communications specialist at We’ll respond as soon as we can, and make sure your feedback is taken into account while developing the new PharmD program.

Joint Statement from CoPN and SCP on the Entry Level PharmD


Today, the College of Pharmacy and Nutrition, and the Saskatchewan College of Pharmacists issued the following joint statement about the upcoming PharmD program and the current baccalaureate degree in pharmacy.


Message from the Dean:

Dear Esteemed Pharmacy Colleagues,

First and foremost thank you for welcoming me to this amazing province. In my short time as Dean of the College of Pharmacy and Nutrition I have met many of you and have taken stock of our curriculum and progress on the development of our Pharm D program. Based on our recent College Pharm D retreat and discussions with the external community it is apparent more work and consultation is required before we can formalize and implement a new program.

Thus, we want to welcome you to Doctor of Pharmacy (PharmD) Update! This is the College of Pharmacy and Nutrition’s blog to keep you informed as the new PharmD curriculum is developed. We’ve heard many questions from both students and alumni who are curious about what the new PharmD credential means for them, so we’ve started this blog to provide the necessary answers. We’ll take you through the entire PharmD development process, and this format gives you the opportunity to submit your questions and comments. The first posting from Professor Emeritus Linda Suveges was recently circulated to the faculty and staff, and it outlines the next steps over the coming months. You can access the blog by clicking on the PharmD Update button on the college’s website, or you can directly link to the blog with this address:


Kishor M. Wasan
Professor and Dean
College of Pharmacy and Nutrition
University of Saskatchewan



Message from the Registrar:

Dear Member:

In addition, the SCP Council supports recently announced amendments to the Pharmacy Act giving SCP the authority to recognize credentials for entry to practice, including the proposed PharmD. Both the College and SCP are aware of member concerns on how this new credential will affect you. We will adapt to this new credential like we have done with other changes like this in the past, and also similar to what has occurred in other jurisdictions. What this means is that we plan to continue to recognize your baccalaureate degree to practice as a pharmacist. We will be in a better position to respond in greater detail on other concerns as the College of Pharmacy and Nutrition moves through the curriculum development process, and we will keep you informed as new information becomes available.


R. J. (Ray) Joubert
Registrar, Saskatchewan College of Pharmacists


As always, you’re welcome to submit your comments or questions through the blog, or email them to our communications specialist at