Jan 8th 2015

Introduction to Pharmacy (Coursera)

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This course is a survey of the profession of pharmacy including its history, evolving scope of practice, ethical foundations, regulation, educational and career opportunities, and more. We will also explore topics relating to medication use and drug development.

Man has always used external materials to help prevent, cure, or alleviate the symptoms of disease. In fact, Gregory Higby of the American Institute of the History of Pharmacy has written that, “...the very concept of influencing bodily functions via an outside force must be considered one of humanity’s greatest advances.” Since its independent origins in ancient Arabic civilizations, pharmacy has evolved from a craft dedicated to the compounding of drugs to a profession focusing on helping patients get the best outcomes from medication therapies.

So what is pharmacy? How has it changed and where is it headed?

This course will answer these questions and provide a comprehensive introduction to this profession. We will explore the history of pharmacy and its evolving scope of practice; examine educational and career pathways; tackle issues relating to medication safety and adverse drug events; gain insight into the regulatory and ethical considerations in pharmacy practice; and more.

As we explore these topics together, we will hear from practicing pharmacists throughout the course and ultimately gain a better understanding of what they do and how they help us get the best results from our medications. Maybe you will decide that the dynamic profession of pharmacy is a career path that you want to pursue! Whether student or healthcare consumer, you’re sure to find the material we cover in this course to be invaluable.