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March 4, 1983

The Doctor of Pharmacy

Author Affiliations

From the School of Pharmacy, University of Southern California, Los Angeles.

JAMA. 1983;249(9):1157-1160. doi:10.1001/jama.1983.03330330035032

THE DOCTOR of pharmacy degree is the highest award given in recognition of academic preparation for pharmacy practice. A majority of schools or colleges of pharmacy offer a baccalaureate degree, and this program should, as a minimum standard, produce practitioners for the contemporary practice of pharmacy. In comparison with the baccalaureate program, standards for the doctor of pharmacy program clearly indicate a different level of expectation and professional competence.

A person who holds the doctor of pharmacy degree (PharmD) is educated and trained as a drug specialist. Physicians often identify the PharmD as a pharmacologist or an applied pharmacologist. He or she is called a "clinical pharmacist"—one who is skilled in the clinical requirements of pharmacy practice—and must pass a state board of pharmacy examination to be licensed to practice. A majority of the graduates practice in a hospital or community setting; some teach in schools of pharmacy and medicine,