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October 21, 1983

Doctor of Pharmacy

Author Affiliations

Traverse City Osteopathic Hospital Traverse City, Mich

JAMA. 1983;250(15):1976. doi:10.1001/jama.1983.03340150019012

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To the Editor.—  Dr John Biles' COMMENTARY makes several points that require further elaboration to define more accurately the doctor of pharmacy degree and refute the aura of elitism that was created by him around this degree.First of all, the first five years of study in both the baccalaureate and PharmD curricula are almost identical, with the student's choice in elective classes accounting for the only differences. The sixth year of study in the PharmD program offers the student a chance to pursue subjects of particular clinical interest.Second, the implication was made that only PharmD students are required to pass state board examinations to gain licensure to practice. All pharmacy students, irrespective of degree, must successfully complete identical state board examinations after completing the required course work and internship period before licensure is granted.Third, Dr Biles lists 12 supportive services to physicians, nurses, dentists, and patients that