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Sun444

University Of Alberta 2020 Pharmacy Applicants - Class Of 2024

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6 hours ago, Sun444 said:

Can students from previous years talk about experiential placements in the program. Specifically those placements that are outside the Edmonton region. How far out of the city are these placements and how do you handle transportation and housing in these areas. I have an almost full-time job that I have to keep to maintain my lavish lifestyle ;) and it will be hard for me to drop everything and move, should that be required. Again I am not sure how long these placements are either. Any and all insight on how students manage these practicums is appreciated.

I was wondering the same thing! Also, is housing necessary or would It be okay to drive out to the placement? I heard that placements really aren’t that far, about a 30-45 minute drive. 

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8 hours ago, Sun444 said:

Can students from previous years talk about experiential placements in the program. Specifically those placements that are outside the Edmonton region. How far out of the city are these placements and how do you handle transportation and housing in these areas. I have an almost full-time job that I have to keep to maintain my lavish lifestyle ;) and it will be hard for me to drop everything and move, should that be required. Again I am not sure how long these placements are either. Any and all insight on how students manage these practicums is appreciated.

First year placement is just one month long usually in May or June (this year it was May, June, July or August for us due to COVID). There's 2 type of sites to pick from, one is a city site: Edmonton or Calgary and the other is rural site: anywhere that is 50km away from Edmonton or Calgary. This means like lethbridge, Medicine hat are considered rural even though they're cities as well. If you don't want to move away from Edmonton you don't have to pick a rural site first year. But just know that you'll have to do at least one rural site in the 4 years you're in the program. Accommodation and transportation is something you have to take care of on your own. But I heard that sometimes preceptors do offer accommodations and that's soemthing you can ask about during the site selection process. Also, this year the 2022 class sent us a list of who went to which site on their first year rotation so you can always ask the class above you who went to the same site about their experience. Knowing our class rep, we'll probably make a similar list for you guys as well later on. 

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2 hours ago, ProspectPharmD said:

I was wondering the same thing! Also, is housing necessary or would It be okay to drive out to the placement? I heard that placements really aren’t that far, about a 30-45 minute drive. 

It really depends on which site you pick and match with in the end. There are some sites in like Fort Sask for example where you can just drive but some might be in say Banff or Jasper where you would have to live there for a month. If you don't wanna drive out you can always pick one in the city you live in. Edmonton has lots of sites to choose from. 

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Hey every1!

So this is going to seem a bit out of left field and I know we have plenty of time to think about it but I was just wondering what everyone was thinking in terms of living for Winter term 2021? I looked on Beartracks and it says MAIN as the location for all our winter term classes so I'm guessing we're going to be on campus. I've lived on residence for the past few years so I'm kindof over it but I also don't know if I want to furnish a place if I'm only going to be staying there for 4/5 months? I'm sure there will be a lot of this going around closer to Jan. but I put in a $500 deposit for residence to save my spot until Jan. and the deposit is only refundable until Sept. so I thought i'd just throw this out there.

I definitely don't mean to stress anyone out but I'd like to know what you all think! :-) Feel free to PM me! 

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12 hours ago, Sun444 said:

Can students from previous years talk about experiential placements in the program. Specifically those placements that are outside the Edmonton region. How far out of the city are these placements and how do you handle transportation and housing in these areas. I have an almost full-time job that I have to keep to maintain my lavish lifestyle ;) and it will be hard for me to drop everything and move, should that be required. Again I am not sure how long these placements are either. Any and all insight on how students manage these practicums is appreciated.

A placement can happen anywhere in Alberta and placements are full time (usually Monday to Friday 9-5 however it really depends on this site). You can request a specific placement site. I think you are able to rank your top 15 choices. There is no guarantee you will get your top choice or any of those choices. It’s really just luck of the draw. Over your 4 years you must complete 1 rural placement. A rural placement is defined as 50km outside of edmonton or calgary I believe. I did my rural placement this year and lived with family for the month. There are other options for housing too such as air bnbs, apartments and I think there is a special housing program for health science students. The faculty strongly discourages people from working during placement as they want you to treat your placement like your job. 
 

hope this helps! Fell free to ask any more questions if you have them!

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2 hours ago, pharmgirl99 said:

Hey every1!

So this is going to seem a bit out of left field and I know we have plenty of time to think about it but I was just wondering what everyone was thinking in terms of living for Winter term 2021? I looked on Beartracks and it says MAIN as the location for all our winter term classes so I'm guessing we're going to be on campus. I've lived on residence for the past few years so I'm kindof over it but I also don't know if I want to furnish a place if I'm only going to be staying there for 4/5 months? I'm sure there will be a lot of this going around closer to Jan. but I put in a $500 deposit for residence to save my spot until Jan. and the deposit is only refundable until Sept. so I thought i'd just throw this out there.

I definitely don't mean to stress anyone out but I'd like to know what you all think! :-) Feel free to PM me! 

I wouldn’t hold my breath about classes being in person in the winter. Sadly I think the most probable scenario is that they will also be online. The students union has said that classes will most likely be online and they would be shocked if they were online. As well, APSA (Alberta pharmacy students association) has been instructed to hold all of our events when we normally would using an online format. There were talks about moving events to winter so they could be in person but we were told that probably won’t happen.  This really sucks as I’m looking forward to meeting all of you in person!

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42 minutes ago, RoosterG said:

A placement can happen anywhere in Alberta and placements are full time (usually Monday to Friday 9-5 however it really depends on this site). You can request a specific placement site. I think you are able to rank your top 15 choices. There is no guarantee you will get your top choice or any of those choices. It’s really just luck of the draw. Over your 4 years you must complete 1 rural placement. A rural placement is defined as 50km outside of edmonton or calgary I believe. I did my rural placement this year and lived with family for the month. There are other options for housing too such as air bnbs, apartments and I think there is a special housing program for health science students. The faculty strongly discourages people from working during placement as they want you to treat your placement like your job. 
 

hope this helps! Fell free to ask any more questions if you have them!

Do you think it’s possible to drive to placements daily rather than finding housing? Ideally, I’ll be looking at placements closest to where I live so that I don’t have to look into housing because moving isn’t really an option. I guess the better question would be; are there placements that aren’t very far (1 hour driving max) in rural areas or is it a given that you’ll  have to move to complete these placements sometime? 
 

Thanks in advance :) 

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40 minutes ago, RoosterG said:

I wouldn’t hold my breath about classes being in person in the winter. Sadly I think the most probable scenario is that they will also be online. The students union has said that classes will most likely be online and they would be shocked if they were online. As well, APSA (Alberta pharmacy students association) has been instructed to hold all of our events when we normally would using an online format. There were talks about moving events to winter so they could be in person but we were told that probably won’t happen.  This really sucks as I’m looking forward to meeting all of you in person!

wow rly? thats crazy :o I thought that if it said MAIN on beartracks they would have decided that it’s going to be on campus. kindof annoying since they can make a decision as late as Nov. which gives us like one month to find a place to live lol. im sure everyone is tired of these “winter term online or in person???” posts but ur response gave me some new info so thank u!!

 

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3 hours ago, ProspectPharmD said:

Do you think it’s possible to drive to placements daily rather than finding housing? Ideally, I’ll be looking at placements closest to where I live so that I don’t have to look into housing because moving isn’t really an option. I guess the better question would be; are there placements that aren’t very far (1 hour driving max) in rural areas or is it a given that you’ll  have to move to complete these placements sometime? 
 

Thanks in advance :) 

There are placements all over the province so it really depends where you live. I know people that drove 45 mins every day to their placement. Rural is classified as 50km away from Edmonton or calgary according to google maps. 50 km might be doable drive every morning but it really would depend on what sites are available as there’s a pretty decent chance you won’t get your first choice 

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19 hours ago, Sun444 said:

Can students from previous years talk about experiential placements in the program. Specifically those placements that are outside the Edmonton region. How far out of the city are these placements and how do you handle transportation and housing in these areas. I have an almost full-time job that I have to keep to maintain my lavish lifestyle ;) and it will be hard for me to drop everything and move, should that be required. Again I am not sure how long these placements are either. Any and all insight on how students manage these practicums is appreciated.

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! 

 

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14 hours ago, ProspectPharmD said:

I was wondering the same thing! Also, is housing necessary or would It be okay to drive out to the placement? I heard that placements really aren’t that far, about a 30-45 minute drive. 

Some of the rural locations include areas such as Camrose where some people had considered making the hour drive out and back every day because it was more cost effective than renting a place.

As others have mentioned though, it’s based on a lottery system where you aren’t necessarily guaranteed to get your top pick. In fact, some people don’t even get their top 15 pick in certain circumstances.

With all that being said, areas such as Stony Plain, St.Albert, Ft. Saskatchewan and Sherwood Park do not count towards a rural placement.

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5 hours ago, Choi.Chung said:

Some of the rural locations include areas such as Camrose where some people had considered making the hour drive out and back every day because it was more cost effective than renting a place.

As others have mentioned though, it’s based on a lottery system where you aren’t necessarily guaranteed to get your top pick. In fact, some people don’t even get their top 15 pick in certain circumstances.

With all that being said, areas such as Stony Plain, St.Albert, Ft. Saskatchewan and Sherwood Park do not count towards a rural placement.

Thanks for sharing! Would you happen to know other areas that may be close by that would count as rural? You mentioned Camrose, which is one I was hoping would be one. Does anyone know if there are placements offered in Calmar? 
 

Out of curiosity, Can we recommend places to do placements or do you have a set list? What I mean is, if I know a pharmacy that’s willing to let me do my placement that wasn’t on the list, can we fill out a form or something to get the place approved or are we limited to the placements set by UofA? 

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19 minutes ago, ProspectPharmD said:

Thanks for sharing! Would you happen to know other areas that may be close by that would count as rural? You mentioned Camrose, which is one I was hoping would be one. Does anyone know if there are placements offered in Calmar? 
 

Out of curiosity, Can we recommend places to do placements or do you have a set list? What I mean is, if I know a pharmacy that’s willing to let me do my placement that wasn’t on the list, can we fill out a form or something to get the place approved or are we limited to the placements set by UofA? 

I believe the list looks different every year as it depends on what pharmacies are willing to take students. Also, pharmacies can apply to be a placement site. However, there is no guarantee that you can get that site. As well, you are not permitted to Go to a pharmacy where you are related or are friends with the pharmacist. So really you are limited to the options U of A gives you. 

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18 minutes ago, RoosterG said:

I believe the list looks different every year as it depends on what pharmacies are willing to take students. Also, pharmacies can apply to be a placement site. However, there is no guarantee that you can get that site. As well, you are not permitted to Go to a pharmacy where you are related or are friends with the pharmacist. So really you are limited to the options U of A gives you. 

Alright, that makes sense! Thanks for clarifying :) 

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2 minutes ago, Pharmphriend said:

Hey guys!

Did you have to wait a bit from when they accepted your tuition deposit in launchpad to when you could change your program in bear tracks?

Thanks in advance! 

Yeah it takes a couple days to update on beartracks!

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Perfect! Thanks everyone for all the info on experiential placements! Lots to think about. I guess what I am understanding so far is that I should maybe set aside money when we're not doing practicums so that way I have something saved up for when I inevitably do have to do these rural placements. Doesn't hurt to be prepared!

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On 7/28/2020 at 9:36 AM, ProspectPharmD said:

Thanks for sharing! Would you happen to know other areas that may be close by that would count as rural? You mentioned Camrose, which is one I was hoping would be one. Does anyone know if there are placements offered in Calmar? 
 

Out of curiosity, Can we recommend places to do placements or do you have a set list? What I mean is, if I know a pharmacy that’s willing to let me do my placement that wasn’t on the list, can we fill out a form or something to get the place approved or are we limited to the placements set by UofA? 

The list changes from year to year. Preceptors (i.e. pharmacists that are willing to take on students) can sign up to the Faculty to express their interest to take on a student for their practice site. 
 

In terms of your question as to whether you can enroll into a site of your choice if you can find a preceptor that will take you on: I can’t comment if this will be the case by the time you are doing your practicum, but this year, because many hospitals had to cancel their plans to take on a student last minute in light of COVID, the Faculty could not relocate students quick enough given the short time frame to work with. In this circumstance, the Faculty had allowed students the option to find their own placement sites. I know this because I work very closely with the Faculty and had accepted several of these students into my pharmacy.

Hope this helps!

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21 hours ago, Sun444 said:

Perfect! Thanks everyone for all the info on experiential placements! Lots to think about. I guess what I am understanding so far is that I should maybe set aside money when we're not doing practicums so that way I have something saved up for when I inevitably do have to do these rural placements. Doesn't hurt to be prepared!

This would be a great idea. I will mention though one of my students had informed me that the Faculty was willing to cover the cost of his accommodation when he had originally signed up for a placement in Red Deer.

 

The placement ended up being cancelled, in light of what I mentioned in my last post (COVID), but I thought this was extremely unique as this had never been the case when I was in school just a few years ago.

 

Nonetheless, as accommodation is a large part of your living expense when living in a rural area, every bit counts!

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hey everyone! 

this might be a dumb question but I'm trying to fill out the postal code on the mailing address form that was sent out in the welcome letter today. however, every time I type my postal code in its saying "must be a number". Anyone having the same issue or know what to do? 

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Just now, pharmsquad said:

hey everyone! 

this might be a dumb question but I'm trying to fill out the postal code on the mailing address form that was sent out in the welcome letter today. however, every time I type my postal code in its saying "must be a number". Anyone having the same issue or know what to do? 

Ok great coz I had the same issue. I emailed them about it today but it was later in the afternoon so hopefully we’ll get a reply tomorrow.

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3 minutes ago, Sun444 said:

Ok great coz I had the same issue. I emailed them about it today but it was later in the afternoon so hopefully we’ll get a reply tomorrow.

I'm glad you emailed! please let us know what reply you get back, thanks in advance!!

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