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  1. For the PIC, if i remember correctly, you want to get the one that is the combined PIC + VSC. You don't want to do the option that is backcheck only because you'll end up paying twice since you'll still need a VSC for the faculty (ACP only requires a backcheck, but the faculty needs a VSC as well). Remember that both the ACP and the faculty need it, so I suggest giving it to the faculty first so they can photocopy it for their records and then give you the original back to give to ACP (not sure if they're going to have you guys send in everything online this year so just follow how they want you to do it this year I guess). As for first aid/CPR (again, if I remember correctly) either emergency or standard is fine. The one a lot of our class did last year is the standard first aid which includes AED and CPR level C. You can get this completed now if you want, but in the past years the class rep usually arranges for the class to get this done together some time during the year since you don't need it until your rotations start (its a fun bonding opportunity and group rates for a class end up being cheaper sometimes). Last year, we split our class into two groups and did the training over two weekends, but I'm not sure how it'll work for you guys this year with everything going on. I do suggest just waiting out on it until the faculty/your class rep has more information about it!
  2. Since others have already touched on how placements worked, I'll just throw in anything else I can answer plus I'll speak a little bit on my experience with rotations. For general questions: as others have said, "rural" refers to anything outside ~50km of Edmonton or Calgary. So if you desperately need to live in a city but do need or want to get your rural placement out of the way, you can try to put sites in and around smaller "rural" cities such as Red Deer or Medicine Hat so you have more options available to you in terms of food, entertainment, accomodations, etc. If you get a placement in Edmonton, you can get around by driving, public transit, or walking if it's close enough. For placements further away, having a car is much more helpful. Depending on the distance, it'll be up to you if you want to get an AirBnB or hotel for the month or drive every morning/evening. Up to you, I know people that chose either option for sites the same distance away from Edmonton. You do not get paid for placements, you have to pay the tuition fee and pay for any other fees that might arise such as rent for accomodations, food, gas, and so on. Placements in first year are 40 hours/week (usually 9-5, but your preceptor can ask you to come in for various shifts) for 4 weeks (160 hours total). If you already work in a pharmacy, or start working in one during your first year, most of your pharmacy managers will know when they hire students that they will have to leave for a month for placements. You will have to explain this to your non-pharmacy employers in advance though. For example, my placement was in Sylvan Lake. Everyone has their own reasons for choosing a specific site, I'll share some of the things I thought about when deciding and some people might find that helpful. One of my main reasons was just getting out of Edmonton (where I'm from) for the summer (this was before the virus ruined the summer :/ ). I wanted to "simulate" working a in a pharmacy for 40hrs/wk 9-5 while living alone just to see how I would do, and I thought this would be the perfect opportunity for that, as it's still a learning environment at the end of the day and that's how I used it. I would also have no distractions living in a new town, I could come home after work and work on careplans and submit them on time. Another reason I chose this site was that Red Deer was close by and I could always go there if I needed anything. I was originally also looking at accommodations in Red Deer, as they will be cheaper in a small city and it might be easy to live there and drive 20-30 mins to your placements. Personally I recommend just renting accommodations near your placement (you'll have plenty of time to look when the time comes) to save yourself the headache of driving back and forth every day. It does get exhausting. I'd speak more about rotations (placements are so fresh and recent in my mind rn) but I feel like I've already put up a decent sized wall of text so just lmk if you guys have other questions about rotations, I'd be happy to answer!
  3. lmfao I procrastinated and never got mine hopefully we get to use them this year but yeah, stethoscopes are a requirement for the first year skills lab, the faculty will let you know when to buy them and which models are the "best". They can get pricey but there are a lot of colours/variations you can choose when buying one; a lot of people in our class had fun "customizing" their stethoscopes : )
  4. As far as I know/remember from applications last year, the rejection letters just state that your application was not competitive. I don't think they specify why.
  5. Congrats to everyone that has been accepted so far! I look forward to (maybe!) seeing all of you guys this fall. As always, if you guys have any questions, don't hesitate to ask me or the other upper years in this thread! Can't wait to meet you all, I would've loved to see you all at orientation!
  6. We had our last final today; I should be checking this forum more frequently now that I have more free time and you guys are getting closer to the interview stage! Don't hesitate to ask more questions if you have them, all of us are here to help! You guys will do great, good luck
  7. Yeah, we have 6 credits of P/A this year and 4 credits of pharmacology, but I think for next year its switching to 6 credits of pharmacology and 4 credits for P/A. So you guys will probably have pharmacology the whole year 3x a week, and P/A the whole year 2x a week is what I'm guessing.
  8. @juioad answered this pretty well! Most of the classes put a clinical spin on everything and try to relate it to practice. The later years is when you actually tie all the base info you learn right now in first year and make it highly relevant to practice. But to share another experience I had: Currently we have a class called pharmacotherapy where we learn the more "OTC therapy to common ailments" side of things. Some of the information I've learned in this class, regarding things like acne medication and information about various eye drops, I was actually able to apply and help patients at the pharmacy I work at. We haven't gotten that far into the term yet but they do also teach you things that you will be constantly asked about on your first year rotations too, like asthma/COPD! I don't have any specific suggestions, but I'm sure you're fine! In my opinion they just want to get to know you more and your specific extracurriculars don't matter AS much. I think that if you feel like these EC's were important/valuable enough to participate in the first place, they should be great for the application. Just make sure to talk about them and your experiences! It's other humans reading your letter of intent and it's like a conversation - they want to get to know you! I'd say hobbies/activities like that are fine. For example, if you talk about an instrument you like to learn on your own time, I would say that would be a great thing to talk about if you don't have other team-oriented hobbies to talk about. Either is fine, and I think I talked about both things I did alone and with others when I applied. Again, they just want to get to know you a little bit better. Hope that helped, I'm happy to answer/add/clarify more!
  9. Hey! So I don't remember my GPA exactly right now but it was around a 3.7 - 3.8 (my cGPA and pGPA were slightly different). GPA is important, but remember it isn't the only factor! Even if you have something lower you can show the faculty you stand out in other ways through your letter and interview I was an in-province applicant with 2 years at UofA. I had a few different volunteering experiences that I had throughout my first two years of university (I'd say 2-3 "major" things). As for employment, I had no pharmacy experience or background; I only had normal retail job experience. Hope that helps!
  10. I'm not going to try and change your mind, and it's not the right time/place for that as we're here to try and help the next batch of first years with their questions. I'm just giving my opinion on things as well. But if you want to go for a coffee or beer or something sometime, reach on out and I'd be down to hear more about your experience Best of luck to everyone applying this year, reach out if you need to!
  11. I'm kind of surprised you feel this way, although I know a couple students in the class might feel the same way as you do. In my experience so far, I disagree that the "pharmily" isn't real. The first day of orientation was an absolute blast and I made a ton of new friends and that really solidified the meaning of "pharmily" for me. I like to think that I'm friends with almost everyone in the class (there are a few people I still haven't properly met yet) and a lot of that is due to me personally putting myself out there. In my experience, making friends is easier in a program like this where you are always with the same classmates in almost all of your classes, as opposed to your previous years in undergrad where you have different people in different classes that you see every other day. Everyone in the class is generally super helpful and supportive and uploads notes/summary sheets/other helpful info for the class, whether its directly to our class Facebook page or to the Google Drive folder. I have personally used some of these notes and files and can't thank my classmates enough. This includes the upper years, who have always been kind and supportive to me and uploaded some of their notes for our class to use. They let us know of their experiences and pass their knowledge about the faculty, program, and of pharmacy in general down to us. I hope our class will do the same for the next batch of pharmacists-to-be and I will definitely be contributing. That really ties the whole "pharmily" thing together for me. All years of students, not just your own class, coming together and helping each other out. There are tons of fun events that are hosted constantly, and they range from just fun casual hang outs to trivia-nights to big events like RxFactor and so much more. In my experience, there ARE sort of "groups"/"cliques" (if you can even call them that) of friends that sit together/are closer together than the rest of the class, but this is NATURAL and due to similar interests or just some nice bonding that happened at the start of the program. Despite this, everyone I've talked to is super welcoming and open and it's really not a big deal at all. In my experience, I can go sit/with and talk with anyone in class and it would be welcomed and encouraged. It really depends on how you put yourself out there. I don't want to speak on the strong personalities/esteem part as I feel like that's to be expected and based on personal opinions of people. (I feel like our class is also less out-going than any of the upper years and that's probably a combination of just how we are and the fact that its our first year still. It has only been a semester and a half. I do try to go to a lot of events and usually see the same people there with not as much variation as I'd expect or like to see. I'm sure that will change with time though, as more and more people become closer friends and build stronger relationships with each other. Different types of events that more people enjoy would also be amazing in bringing people out, if for example some people don't like going out to a bar/club for an event.) About the super competitive nature of the class: I don't believe this is the case at all. I mean, everyone HAD to be competitive in some aspect of academics to get in to the program. That's to be expected (we are on a forum called premed101....). But since the start of the year I've seen this behaviour almost disappear in people. You aren't competing against anyone anymore to get INTO a program. You're IN. If anything, I've seen people not to care about marks as much anymore. In my opinion, marks aren't as important anymore, so long as you can LEARN from the mistakes you made and actually improve and learn all the information you have to know. This knowledge isn't just stuff you need to know to pass a midterm in some random science class anymore - its all relevant to the patients and the healthcare you will be providing in the future. The knowledge is more important than the marks and more and more people in the class are realizing it (and you can see it in some of the upper years). It's a hard trait to get rid of since you all had to work so hard and compete to get here but I DO see it decreasing over time with or class. I think the "what did you get" is very situational and that just depends on what kind of relationship you have built with the person asking. In my experience, I don't realllyyy see any one-upping anymore but yeah, I'll agree, there is some there. Sure, the class and the faculty has had its share of problems but like you said, it is a newer program and it takes time to figure everything out. The class of 2022 (ie. the first year of the PharmD program) complained/voiced their concerns about the program in their first year, and the faculty listened and improved some of those problems for us. We are doing the same with our feedback to the faculty, and hopefully it will have a positive impact for the next year's first years. None of these changes can take place instantly, but I do agree that it is a valid concern. It wasn't exactly a surprise that the program was new though and I personally don't see the point of complaining about that anymore. Fixing the disorganization of some minor aspects of the program will improve our quality of life and make things easier for us, yes, but we are still getting the education we signed up for with this new program. This was a long ramble and there's probably stuff I talked to much about or some stuff I didn't mention at all, but this is just a little bit about our class/first year in general. Everything I said is more or less my opinion but I do know that a lot of first years share the same sentiments as me. If any of the applicants have any questions for me, or any other first/upper years, let me know and I can definitely try to get a comprehensive and accurate answer for you all. And as for anyone currently in first year reading this - hey, you can probably figure out who I am from my username? Message me on Facebook or something if you want to talk Sorry for any typos we have a midterm coming up and I'm super tired (from the Banff/Canmore trip we just came back from over reading week - another example of fun events that the students in the faculty put together and had an awesome time with!) How your experience is in this program will largely depend on your attitude and how you put yourself out there!!
  12. Hey guys! Also in the class of 2023. Decided to start checking on here as it was helpful for me last year and applicants might have questions that I can answer. Feel free to ask anything I'll try to answer the best as I can!
  13. I got my offer on a Wednesday and had to pay the deposit and sign a form (I may be forgetting some stuff) by the following Friday, and I think most people had a similar time frame to accept. Just a little over a week. Hope that helps!
  14. Anyways I got my acceptance letter on June 26! Congrats to everyone else that got in so far, if you haven't yet, be hopeful as there are still a couple rounds left I think. See ya guys at orientation and in September!
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