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Pharmacy FAQ (last revised 2/11/07)

Discussion in 'Pharmacy' started by bananaface, 07.31.04.

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  1. bananaface

    bananaface Pharmacy Supernerd Staff Member Administrator SDN Senior Moderator Lifetime Donor

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    SDN Members don't see this ad. (About Ads)
    Pre-Pharmacy students may also be interested in visiting the Pre-Pharmacy FAQ and the PCAT FAQ.

    Getting ready to head to Pharmacy School
    Why do I need more immunizations before starting school?
    What immunizations do I need before starting school?
    How am I going to finance my Pharm.D.?

    PDAs
    What kind of PDA software might I find useful?

    Pharmacy Organizations (in progress)
    What professional pharmacy organizations might I participate in at my school?
    What fraternal pharmacy organizations might I participate in at my school?
    What other organizations might I need to be familiar with?

    Internships
    How can I get work experience in a pharmacy?
    What do internships usually pay?
    What is a Curriculum Vitae (CV) and why do I need one?

    Licensure
    What exams are required for licensure?
    Can I be licensed in more than one state?
    How does a foreign pharmacist apply for US licensure?

    NAPLEX
    When is the NAPLEX offered?
    What can I do to prepare for the NAPLEX?
    Is there a NAPLEX FAQ available from NABP?

    Board Certification Specialties
    What specialties require board certification and how do I pursue those specialties?

    Residencies and Fellowships
    What is a residency? And, how is it different than a fellowship?
    Why should I consider a residency?
    What types of residencies are available?
    How much do residencies typically pay?
    What do I need to know about asking for letters of reference?
    What advice do you have about my personal statement?
    Where can I find more information on residencies?

    Salary
    How much do pharmacists make?
    ********************************************

    Useful Pharmacy Links
    Blogs
    Drug and medical references
    Pharmacy magazines
    Pharmacy organizations

    SDN Pharmacy Classes - Add Yourself to the Roll Call
    Class of 2006/2007 (professional coursework began in 2003)
    Class of 2007/2008 (professional coursework began in 2004)
    Class of 2008/2009 (professional coursework to began in 2005)

    "Get to Know You" Threads
    Lets see who we're dealing with!
    Tell me about yourself....

    Other classics
    Laws of learning
    Post your pharmacy jokes!
    The Official "Blame it on Bananaface & FutureRxGal" thread
    (note: formerly known as The "Blame it on JDPharmd? and South 2006" thread)
    Things I Learn from My Patients.
    What is your favorite looking pill?

    *********************************************
    The purpose of this FAQ/Links sticky is to allow forum users to find answers to common questions without sorting through clutter. It is a work in progress and your input is greatly appreciated. If you are interested in contributing information to the FAQ, critiquing FAQ sections, or contributing on some other way, please PM me or post in the FAQ input thread.
  2. bananaface

    bananaface Pharmacy Supernerd Staff Member Administrator SDN Senior Moderator Lifetime Donor

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    You are most likely to find entry level work experience in a retail or hospital setting. In some states you may be able to find employment as a pharmacy technician without prior experience or schooling. In other areas, schooling or on the job experience may be required. In those areas you are most likely to begin as a cashier or pharmacy assistant. Matching up with an employer is often a matter of luck.

    When looking for a hospital pharmacy position you will often deal directly with a personnel department and all open positions will be made public. Calling the hospital personnel department or the pharmacy department secretary is often the best way to find out if a position is open or anticipated. Volunteering is in a hospital pharmacy sometimes a good way to move into paid position.

    To find out who is hiring for retail positions in your area you can call or drop by stores that you are interested in. Calling is often the most efficient way to sort through potential employment sites. Be sure to ask for the pharmacy manager, as they do the hiring and may be open to a new employee but not actively looking. To create a positive first impression, avoid calling during busy times such as just after opening or the midafternoon to early evening. If you drop by to pick up an application, be sure to dress as you would for a job interview and to be prepared with a resume. It is a good idea to go out in the late morning to early afternoon to increase the chances that you will meet the pharmacy manager and to avoid stressing the staff by coming during a busy time.

    When you speak to a potential employer, mentioning that you are interested in eventually attending pharmacy school can give you an advantage over other candidates. Many employers are interested in developing positive relationships with potential pharmacy students, in the hopes that they will eventually become pharmacists with their company. Other times, employers may prefer someone who does not anticipate leaving for school. It is best to be up front about your ambitions, especially if you plan on asking your employer for a letter of reference during the application process.

    Thank you to FutureRXGal for critiquing this section.
  3. bananaface

    bananaface Pharmacy Supernerd Staff Member Administrator SDN Senior Moderator Lifetime Donor

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  4. bananaface

    bananaface Pharmacy Supernerd Staff Member Administrator SDN Senior Moderator Lifetime Donor

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    Selecting good references is a critical part of the application process. Generally, your references will be academic (professors) or professional (pharmacists). When your recommendation is considered by a school, more than the strength of the recommendation is considered.

    Your relationship to the recommender is key. An impersonal recommendation from a prestigious professor you had for a single course is not likely to go as far as a well thought out, sincere letter from a professor who worked with you closely for an entire year at a community college. Be sure to pick the people who you feel are most strongly connected to you.

    Even a well qualified candidate needs to take steps to ensure that his or her references have the material necessary to author strong a letter of recommendation. At the bare minimum, you should provide a resume/CV and a copy of a letter of intent or admissions essay to each reference. Ideally, you will sit down for ten to fifteen minutes and discuss your motivations, areas of interest, activities, achievements, personal values, and other qualifications. A letter from a well informed reference will strengthen your application by supporting the assertations in your personal statement.

    It is best to choose references and request letters early in the application process. Etiquette dictates that you give each reference at least one month to write your letter. You should provide the recommender with a stamped pre-addressed envelope in which to mail your recommendation. You can also provide each reference with a stamped post card addressed to yourself to be mailed with the recommendation. Asking for the letter to be completed by a specific date earlier than the due date is also advisable.
  5. bananaface

    bananaface Pharmacy Supernerd Staff Member Administrator SDN Senior Moderator Lifetime Donor

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    Potential components:
    *Attributes that will help you succeed in pharmacy
    *Areas of interest within the profession
    *Discussion of prior extenuating circumstances (this can be deferred to the interview)
    *Unique or special attributes that make you an asset to the field
    *What motivates you to pursue pharmacy

    Things to do:
    *Answer the prompt completely
    *Be enthusiastic
    *Be memorable
    *Be positive
    *Exercise good communication skills
    *Explain why you are an excellent candidate
    *Have at least two people read your essay and give you feedback
    *Make a formal statement of your goal to pursue pharmacy as a career
    *Show your personality
    *Write formally

    Things to avoid:
    *Assuming that the reader is familiar with the rest of your application
    *Beginning multiple sentences with "I"
    *Clich?s
    *Content out of the scope of the prompt
    *Contractions
    *Fractions
    *Grammatical errors
    *Modesty
    *More than one topic per paragraph
    *Negativity of any sort
    *Obvious exaggeration
    *Parentheses, except when defining an acronym that will be commonly used
    *Repeating the same phrase
    *Slang
    *Spelling errors
    *Unconventional punctuation
    *Undefined acronyms
    *Wishy-washiness (i.e.: saying "I believe/think/feel that I am an excellent candidate because... " when you should say " I am an excellent candidate because...")

    Your personal statement should be proofread and critiqued before submission. You should check and correct the spelling and grammar in your statement before asking others to read it. Aside from being courteous, this preparation allows those critiquing your essay to focus on content and style rather than basic writing skills.

    Here is a link to a thread in which you can find readers for your personal statement.
    http://forums.studentdoctor.net/showthread.php?t=206001
  6. bananaface

    bananaface Pharmacy Supernerd Staff Member Administrator SDN Senior Moderator Lifetime Donor

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    Your pharmacy school will require you to provide documentation showing that you are adequately immunized and to complete any missing vaccinations as a condition of entry to your professional program. As a healthcare professional, you will be exposed to individuals suffering from infectious diseases. It is important that you be adequately immunized, not only for your own safety, but to preserve the health of your patients and co-workers. Because immunization requirements have changed over the years, and because immunity can wane, the childhood vaccinations which you received may not be adequate.
  7. bananaface

    bananaface Pharmacy Supernerd Staff Member Administrator SDN Senior Moderator Lifetime Donor

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    Intern pay rates vary widely by region. Typical beginning wages are between $13 and $15 per hour. In some areas wages can start as low as $9 per hour for a first year intern. In others they have been reported as high as $23 to $27 per hour for graduate level interns. To find out what is typical for your area, talk to other students from your school.

    A relevant thread:
    http://forums.studentdoctor.net/showthread.php?t=201773
  8. bananaface

    bananaface Pharmacy Supernerd Staff Member Administrator SDN Senior Moderator Lifetime Donor

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    A Curriculum Vitae (CV) is similar to a resume, but more comprehensive. A CV essentially catalogs every aspect of your entire professional experience, with no time constraints. You will most likely be expected to provide a CV when applying for a position as a pharmacist. Although many pharmacy internships may not require a CV, submitting one may enhance your chances of being selected for the position.

    Because a CV is such a comprehensive document, it is important to establish a CV now and add your experiences as they occur. Keep your CV current by updating it every few months. After a 25 year career, it is not uncommon for the document to span many pages. Your lifetime professional experience is not abridged in a CV.

    Basic sections include:
    *Name and contact information
    *Goals statement/Career objectives
    *Education
    *Professional certifications and licensure
    *Professional work history
    *Professional organization membership
    *References (optional)

    Sections to be included if applicable include:
    *Leadership roles
    *Committee membership
    *Publications authored or edited
    *Presentations given at professional meetings or other gatherings
    *University affiliation (ie: adjunct faculty status)

    Sections specific to current pharmacy students include:
    *Conference attendance
    *Extracurricular activities not covered above

    Recent experiences should generally be catalogued in a linear fashion with the most recent experience at the top of the document. Work history can alternatively be sorted by skill type. However, unless your employment history has large gaps, this approach is not recommended.

    Important information should be located earliest in the document. Basic sections, with the exception of references, are generally included before the work history, while other sections typically follow the work history. References are always the final portion of the document. While you may choose to include full contact information for your references, it may be adviseable to simply note that "references are available upon request". This strategy allows you to know who will be contacting your references, so that you can advise them ahead of time. Some prefer not to include references on their CV.

    Care should be taken to make your CV clear and concise. Formatting should be performed in a manner so that section headers can be located easily and pertinent information can be read with minimal effort. Short sentences, indentation, and bulleted items can increase reading ease. Use of bullets should be sparse.

    Typeface differences, case, and text layout are used to distinguish sections. Underlining section headers is not necessary. Sans-serif fonts (non-footed) such as Arial, Helvetica, or Verdana are ideal for section headers. Bold font can be used in headers, if desired. Serif fonts (footed) font such as Times New Roman or Garamond are ideal for section content. It is best to avoid monospace, script, or decorative fonts, as they distract from the content of your CV.

    The document should be printed in black and white on a quality grade of plain white or off-white paper. To remove the underline and color from a web address, place the cursor after the last character of the address and hit the backspace key one time to deactivate the hyperlink. Only if you are submitting an electronic CV should you leave the hyperlinks active.

    Be sure to check for spelling errors both electronically and manually.

    A cover letter should nearly always be submitted along with your CV. The exception would be when you distribute your CV to many different potential employers at a job fair and have no opportunity to prepare a cover letter. If you are invited for an interview after a job fair, bring another copy of your CV to the interview, along with a position specific cover letter.

    Current pharmacy student CV example (scroll down; requires Adobe Reader)
    Recent pharmacy school graduate CV example


    Thank you to GravyRPH for critiquing this section
  9. bananaface

    bananaface Pharmacy Supernerd Staff Member Administrator SDN Senior Moderator Lifetime Donor

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    Students generally finance their Pharm.D. through federal and private loans. Scholarships can be earned, but are very competitive.

    Unconditional grants are generally not available. However, some employers will pay a portion of a student's tuition while they remain working for the company. Others may offer tuition help in exchange for a promise to remain with the employer for a specified amount of time after graduation.

    You can discuss this topic with other students in the Financial Aid forum.
  10. bananaface

    bananaface Pharmacy Supernerd Staff Member Administrator SDN Senior Moderator Lifetime Donor

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  11. bananaface

    bananaface Pharmacy Supernerd Staff Member Administrator SDN Senior Moderator Lifetime Donor

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  12. bananaface

    bananaface Pharmacy Supernerd Staff Member Administrator SDN Senior Moderator Lifetime Donor

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  13. bananaface

    bananaface Pharmacy Supernerd Staff Member Administrator SDN Senior Moderator Lifetime Donor

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    RainDrop's Blog
    The real life experiences of a retail pharmacist.

    Pharmacy Diary

    Thank you to LVPharm, Modnar, and RainDrop for contributing these links
  14. bananaface

    bananaface Pharmacy Supernerd Staff Member Administrator SDN Senior Moderator Lifetime Donor

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  15. bananaface

    bananaface Pharmacy Supernerd Staff Member Administrator SDN Senior Moderator Lifetime Donor

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    Immunizations required for healthcare professionals generally* include:

    Diphtheria
    Requirement:
    a) a single dose within the past 10 years if childhood series of 3 shots is complete or b) a series of three shots if the childhood series is not complete - the second dose is to be given at least 4 weeks after the first and the third dose is to be given at least 6 months after the second dose
    Disease information
    Tetanus and Diphtheria vaccine information sheet (toxoid)
    Diphtheria entry from the Pink Book

    Hepatitis A
    Requirement:
    a) two doses separated by at least six months for the standard Hepatitis A vaccine or b) three doses with the second dose given 1 month after the first dose and the third dose given five months after the second dose when the Hepatitis A/Hepatitis B combination vaccine is used.
    Disease information
    Hepatitis A vaccine information sheet (inactivated)
    Hepatitis A entry from the Pink Book

    Hepatitis B
    Requirement:
    three doses according to the following schedule: the second dose is to be given at least four weeks after the first dose and the third dose is to be given at least 8 weeks after the second dose and at least 16 weeks after the first dose when the standard vaccine is used or b) three doses with the second dose given 1 month after the first dose and the third dose given five months after the second dose when the Hepatitis A/Hepatitis B combination vaccine is used.
    Disease information
    Hepatitis B vaccine information sheet (recombinant)
    Hepatitis B entry from the Pink Book

    Influenza Virus
    Requirement:
    a single dose within the past year
    Disease information
    Live intranasal influenza vaccine information sheet - most effective
    Inactivated influenza information sheet
    Influenza virus entry from the Pink Book

    Measles (Ruebeola)
    Requirement:
    a) two doses of measles, mumps, and rubella vaccine given at least four weeks apart for those born in 1957 or later or 2) birth prior to 1957 leads to an assumption of immunity - no vaccination is required (If you have not had Measles, recieving immunization is still adviseable.)
    Disease information
    Measles, Mumps, and Rubella vaccine information sheet (live, attenuated)
    Measles entry from the Pink Book

    Meningococcal Disease (Meiningitis)
    Requirement:
    a single dose
    Meningococcal Disease information
    Meningococcal vaccine information sheet (inactivated)
    Meningococcal Disease entry from the Pink Book

    Mumps
    Requirement:
    a) two doses of measles, mumps, and rubella vaccine given at least four weeks apart for those born in 1957 or later or 2) birth prior to 1957 leads to an assumption of immunity - no vaccination is required (If you have not had Mumps, recieving immunization is still adviseable.)
    Disease information
    Measles, Mumps, and Rubella vaccine information sheet (live, attenuated)
    Measles entry from the Pink Book

    Rubella (German Measles)
    Requirement:
    a) two doses of measles, mumps, and rubella vaccine given at least four weeks apart for those born in 1957 or later or 2) birth prior to 1957 leads to an assumption of immunity - no vaccination is required (If you have not had Rubella, recieving immunization is still adviseable.)
    Disease information
    Measles, Mumps, and Rubella vaccine information sheet (live, attenuated)
    Rubella entry from the Pink Book

    Tetanus (Lockjaw)
    Requirement:
    a) a single dose within the past 10 years if childhood series of 3 shots is complete or b) a series of three shots if the childhood series is not complete - the second dose is to be given at least 4 weeks after the first and the third dose is to be given at least 6 months after the second dose
    Disease information
    Tetanus and Diphtheria vaccine information sheet (toxoid)
    Tetanus entry from the Pink Book

    Varicella (Chicken Pox)
    Requirement:
    a) two doses given at least four weeks apart or b) previous infection as documented with a titer (oral history of Varicella is acceptable at some institutions)
    Disease information
    Varicella vaccine information sheet (live, attenuated)
    Varicella entry from the Pink Book

    Tuberculosis Purified Protein Derivative (PPD) skin test
    Although no immunization is not administered for tuberculosis, skin testing is performed during the Pharm.D. entry immunizations. The PPD consists of an injection of non-infectious tuberculosis antigen injected just under the skin of the forearm. The test is read strictly 48-72 hours after administration. If an elevation of 10mm or greater develops at the test site, the test result is positive and the individual has been exposed to tuberculosis. Students who grew up outside of the United States may have received a childhood immunization to polio, such as the BPG, which leads to a positive skin test.
    Tuberculosis elimination information

    A general note:
    If you have received an immunization but cannot document it, you may be required to have a blood test for antibodies performed. This test is called a titer. Some institutions will accept a titer in place of vaccination history, while others will not.

    *Please check with your school for any variations in requirements

    Thank you to dgroulx for critiquing this section
  16. ultracet

    ultracet 1K Member

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    HanDBase: Make up your own databases or download the ones on the website. I have things such as Medical Spanish and a Herbal Database
    http://www.ddhsoftware.com/

    GlobalRpH.com: Has for purchase programs that aid in calculating doses
    http://globalrph.com

    Epocrates: Has a free drug formulary and reference program and also more complete programs for purchase.
    http://epocrates.com

    Lexi-Comp: Has multiple databases (very similar to the book versions). Also has a calculator now too. This is the only one I really know the price of and it's expensive.
    http://www.lexi-comp.com

    Clinical Pharmacology: If your school of pharmacy/ work has access to Clinical Pharmacology you can download their database for free. I'm unsure about the status without access to the internet.

    Micromedex: If your school or workplace has a subscription to Micromedex online you can now download it onto your PDA.

    Sanford Guide: The resource for antibiotic use. Now can be purchased for PDA.
    http://www.sanfordguide.com/

    Medical Letter: The Medical Letter is a review of studies and gives recommendations based on them. Can now be purchased for PDA.
    http://medicalletter.com/


    Most treatment guidelines can also be downloaded onto a PDA. They typically require Adobe Acrobat for PDA however that is free and so are the guidelines.
    Check the individual sites for these guidelines.
  17. bananaface

    bananaface Pharmacy Supernerd Staff Member Administrator SDN Senior Moderator Lifetime Donor

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    National Pharmacy Organizations

    The American Pharmacists Association (APhA)
    American Society of Consultant Pharmacists (ASCP)
    American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP)
    National Community Pharmacist's Association (NCPA)
    Academy of Managed Care Pharmacy (AMCP)
    Student National Pharmaceutical Association (SNPhA)
    International Pharmacy Organizations

    Christian Pharmacists Fellowship International (CPF)
    IPSF
  18. bananaface

    bananaface Pharmacy Supernerd Staff Member Administrator SDN Senior Moderator Lifetime Donor

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  19. bananaface

    bananaface Pharmacy Supernerd Staff Member Administrator SDN Senior Moderator Lifetime Donor

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  20. bananaface

    bananaface Pharmacy Supernerd Staff Member Administrator SDN Senior Moderator Lifetime Donor

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    http://www.accp.com/resandfel/?page=definition

  21. bananaface

    bananaface Pharmacy Supernerd Staff Member Administrator SDN Senior Moderator Lifetime Donor

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    Professional Pharmacy Fraternities

    Alpha Zeta Omega Pharmaceutical Fraternity (AZO)
    Kappa Psi Pharmaceutical Fraternity (KY)
    Kappa Epsilon Professional Pharmacy Fraternity (KE)
    Lambda Kappa Sigma International Professional Pharmacy Fraternity (LKS)

    Phi Delta Chi Professional Pharmacy Fraternity (PDC)

    Honorary Pharmacy Fraternities

    Phi Lambda Sigma Pharmacy Leadership Society (PLS)

    The Rho Chi Society

    Thank you to those who have submitted contributions and made suggestions regarding this section.
  22. bananaface

    bananaface Pharmacy Supernerd Staff Member Administrator SDN Senior Moderator Lifetime Donor

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  23. bananaface

    bananaface Pharmacy Supernerd Staff Member Administrator SDN Senior Moderator Lifetime Donor

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  24. bananaface

    bananaface Pharmacy Supernerd Staff Member Administrator SDN Senior Moderator Lifetime Donor

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  25. bananaface

    bananaface Pharmacy Supernerd Staff Member Administrator SDN Senior Moderator Lifetime Donor

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  26. bananaface

    bananaface Pharmacy Supernerd Staff Member Administrator SDN Senior Moderator Lifetime Donor

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  27. bananaface

    bananaface Pharmacy Supernerd Staff Member Administrator SDN Senior Moderator Lifetime Donor

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  28. bananaface

    bananaface Pharmacy Supernerd Staff Member Administrator SDN Senior Moderator Lifetime Donor

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    Typically, new graduates from US schools will sit for the North American Pharmacist Licensire Examination (NAPLEX) and the Multistate Jurisprudence Exam (MJPE). California has its own required law exam, instead of the MJPE. A few states also require "wet boards" in which a graduate must demonstrate competency in compounding practices.

    Information on the NAPLEX and MJPE can be found here:
    http://www.nabp.net/competency/naplex.asp

    Some states permit you to register for the NAPLEX/MJPE directly through the National association of Boards of Pharmacy (NABP), while others require you to coordinate through your school. Please see this page for registration details: http://www.nabp.net/competency/8473914400naplexr.asp
  29. bananaface

    bananaface Pharmacy Supernerd Staff Member Administrator SDN Senior Moderator Lifetime Donor

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  30. bananaface

    bananaface Pharmacy Supernerd Staff Member Administrator SDN Senior Moderator Lifetime Donor

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    You will need to contact the state board of pharmacy in the state you wish to be licensed in for state specific requirements. Contact information is available at http://www.nabp.net/ by clicking the "Who are We" and then "Boards of Pharmacy".

    The Foreign Pharmacy Graduate Equivalency Examination (FPGEE) is often a required examination. http://www.nabp.net/faq/faqfpgee.asp
  31. bananaface

    bananaface Pharmacy Supernerd Staff Member Administrator SDN Senior Moderator Lifetime Donor

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    Thank you to genesis09 for suggestion this be added to the FAQ.
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