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University Of Alberta 2020 Pharmacy Applicants - Class Of 2024


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6 minutes ago, KR99 said:

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 the 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!! 

I also love this and totally agree!! On the competitive side.. lol I'm STILL trying to figure out how to re-condition myself to not try so hard to get good grades. Most of the people I talk to went from being like "omg I NEED and A" to "60? Yay I passed!" I'm lucky enough to be in this faculty who supports me and tries their hardest to keep us engaged, learning, and doing our best. And we all help each other try to feel our best on our bad days. 

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This is the shit that irritates me the most, i keep hearing everyone say how great the program is and how great we all are and how were a big family but i don't SEE IT IN ACTION. "just participate in events and stuff and youll meet cool people" LOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOL I have and shocker its the same as the main class. Ive tried talking to people only to have them give me the stink eye and walk away without saying a word. ALRIGHT THEN.

I dont feel like were getting a good education. Ive asked profs questions and their response is "if you think the lectures werent enough then you need to do some background work" which equates to wikipedia/textbook to teach myself complex shit. I get that i need to be an independent learner but WHY ARE YOU A TEACHER THEN? Not talking about pharmtherapy either! i do think the profs are nice, it just doesnt feel like they are out to help us. They say "use your professional judgement", what professional judgement I havent worked in a pharmacy yet and youre supposed to be helping me develop it, not telling me to exercise a skill i dont have.

LOL @ "I am excited to see the changes they make for future classes so they can succeed even more" when they havent even figured out how to start succeeding yet. the program could be miles better and like i said, my undergrad classes were better organized. idgaf about grades i just want to pass PEBC and OSCE and i dont think they are setting us up for success with the way it is currently going. Maybe the first years 5 years from now will finally get it!

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35 minutes ago, juioad said:

This is the shit that irritates me the most, i keep hearing everyone say how great the program is and how great we all are and how were a big family but i don't SEE IT IN ACTION. "just participate in events and stuff and youll meet cool people" LOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOL I have and shocker its the same as the main class. Ive tried talking to people only to have them give me the stink eye and walk away without saying a word. ALRIGHT THEN.

I dont feel like were getting a good education. Ive asked profs questions and their response is "if you think the lectures werent enough then you need to do some background work" which equates to wikipedia/textbook to teach myself complex shit. I get that i need to be an independent learner but WHY ARE YOU A TEACHER THEN? Not talking about pharmtherapy either! i do think the profs are nice, it just doesnt feel like they are out to help us. They say "use your professional judgement", what professional judgement I havent worked in a pharmacy yet and youre supposed to be helping me develop it, not telling me to exercise a skill i dont have.

LOL @ "I am excited to see the changes they make for future classes so they can succeed even more" when they havent even figured out how to start succeeding yet. the program could be miles better and like i said, my undergrad classes were better organized. idgaf about grades i just want to pass PEBC and OSCE and i dont think they are setting us up for success with the way it is currently going. Maybe the first years 5 years from now will finally get it!

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!

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22 minutes ago, juioad said:

This is the shit that irritates me the most, i keep hearing everyone say how great the program is and how great we all are and how were a big family but i don't SEE IT IN ACTION. "just participate in events and stuff and youll meet cool people" LOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOL I have and shocker its the same as the main class. Ive tried talking to people only to have them give me the stink eye and walk away without saying a word. ALRIGHT THEN.

I dont feel like were getting a good education. Ive asked profs questions and their response is "if you think the lectures werent enough then you need to do some background work" which equates to wikipedia/textbook to teach myself complex shit. I get that i need to be an independent learner but WHY ARE YOU A TEACHER THEN? Not talking about pharmtherapy either! i do think the profs are nice, it just doesnt feel like they are out to help us. They say "use your professional judgement", what professional judgement I havent worked in a pharmacy yet and youre supposed to be helping me develop it, not telling me to exercise a skill i dont have.

LOL @ "I am excited to see the changes they make for future classes so they can succeed even more" when they havent even figured out how to start succeeding yet. the program could be miles better and like i said, my undergrad classes were better organized. idgaf about grades i just want to pass PEBC and OSCE and i dont think they are setting us up for success with the way it is currently going. Maybe the first years 5 years from now will finally get it!

Well a lot of us have had a very positive experience. I guarantee that if you voiced your opinions to faculty, they would hear you out. To use therapy as an example, it was within days that we had addressed problems to faculty and started to notice a change of attitude and clarifications on what we should and shouldn't focus on. I do agree that sometimes it sucks to get the "use your judgement" but I haven't noticed that at all since last semester, and honestly it truly is just a part of life, and a part of this career. Not everything will be a yes or no situation and I see most of the profs really emphasizing what we should and shouldn't focus on. It really sounds like you have a negative attitude and maybe you just haven't experienced the positives that the rest of us have. In terms of the OSCE, skills lab is the greatest way to prepare and I get fantastic feedback from all facilitators and I think that will be the most useful tool in the future, along with placement. You haven't taken those exams yet so how could you possibly know if we are being prepared for it or not? We still have another 3 years to learn, so yeah, you aren't prepared for it now. I'm genuinely sorry you feel this way. A lot of us don't feel this way and I don't think its fair for prospective students to come here and be led to believe its as horrible as you make it out to be. It's not. A "stink eye" could mean a thousand things and a person could probably do it to you without meaning to. A lot of the people in our class and program are very kind, and a lot of them are going through personal things too. A bad experience with 1 or 2 people for whatever reason does not mean the rest of us are the same. I know everyone has their groups but its just natural to find people you're comfortable with and stick with them. Making friends is incredibly hard, and if you find it difficult its probably difficult for someone else too. I hope eventually we can change your mind about this, and please don't let a few bad experiences with people shape your opinions on everyone else. Humans have always been and will always continue to be imperfect.

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11 hours ago, Sun444 said:

Guys, technical question...I was looking at the launchpad and how the place where you are to put in work and volunteer experience only has a spot for one of each. Do you just submit this first ones and then it will let you do more after or what?

After entering the first one, it will ask if you want to add another entry. You can submit up to 3 for each. Hope this helps! :)

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6 hours ago, lolpharm said:

Hey! If you don't mind me asking, what were your stats when you got accepted? Also, what did you have for your volunteer and employment history?

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!

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On 2/23/2020 at 4:10 PM, KR99 said:

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!

Hey thanks for all your input! For the physiology/anatomy class do you basically relearn everything you were taught in PHYSL 210/212/214 or is it new info? I was also wondering how clinically applicable the classes you have in first year are? 

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On 2/23/2020 at 7:13 PM, weluvpharmacy said:

Well a lot of us have had a very positive experience. etcetc....

What i take out of this is because youve had a good time that means my feelings are invalid.

 

6 hours ago, PharmD20 said:

Hey thanks for all your input! For the physiology/anatomy class do you basically relearn everything you were taught in PHYSL 210/212/214 or is it new info? I was also wondering how clinically applicable the classes you have in first year are? 

Physiology has some overlap, but there is a fair amount of new content. You wont necessarily be able to coast off 210etc. imo the classes are mostly all highly clinically applicable. I would say that physiology and pharmacology arent because they are a bit more sciencey, but the topics covered in those classes will be more clinically focused in later years. For example, we covered osteoporosis and bone drugs today, but i cant see us going into a pharmacy and doing anything with just the knowledge weve learned today other than recognize drug names, mechanisms, and indication.

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On 2/24/2020 at 9:32 PM, KR99 said:

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!

Do you have any suggestions on extracurriculars? I have my extra curriculars written but don’t feel confident in them.
Was also wondering if you’d say hobbies and activities that aren’t necessarily team/community-based were acceptable! 

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On 2/25/2020 at 9:38 AM, PharmD20 said:

Hey thanks for all your input! For the physiology/anatomy class do you basically relearn everything you were taught in PHYSL 210/212/214 or is it new info? I was also wondering how clinically applicable the classes you have in first year are? 

@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!

9 hours ago, PotentialPharmer said:

Do you have any suggestions on extracurriculars? I have my extra curriculars written but don’t feel confident in them.
Was also wondering if you’d say hobbies and activities that aren’t necessarily team/community-based were acceptable! 

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!

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On 2/25/2020 at 9:38 AM, PharmD20 said:

Hey thanks for all your input! For the physiology/anatomy class do you basically relearn everything you were taught in PHYSL 210/212/214 or is it new info? I was also wondering how clinically applicable the classes you have in first year are? 

Hey so we can’t really speak to what your anatomy class will be like because our class did not have a&p as a pre requisite. Because of this we had to take 2 full anatomy classes in first year. However I believe you guys are now going to take a 1 semester more condensed anatomy class. So I don’t think our classes will be very similar in that sense

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13 minutes ago, Garrett said:

Hey so we can’t really speak to what your anatomy class will be like because our class did not have a&p as a pre requisite. Because of this we had to take 2 full anatomy classes in first year. However I believe you guys are now going to take a 1 semester more condensed anatomy class. So I don’t think our classes will be very similar in that sense

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.

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On 2/23/2020 at 6:25 PM, juioad said:

This is the shit that irritates me the most, i keep hearing everyone say how great the program is and how great we all are and how were a big family but i don't SEE IT IN ACTION. "just participate in events and stuff and youll meet cool people" LOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOL

dude is everyone in your class as dumb and whiny as you are? think you'd be better writing this in your diary than on a premed forum LOLOLOL

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For stats Im probably like a 3.6 GPA for the last two years but my pre-reqs alone are somewhat lower, I'd say 3.4. I'm mostly above an A- average though I did get a C in organic chem. I don't have much for volunteer experience, like one thing I volunteered for last year, and I've never worked in a pharmacy before. My extracurriculars are mostly sports. I've heard of people with no volunteer experience or health-care related experience still get in because they had competitive grades and more is weighted on the LOI and the interview.. so don't stress too much about volunteer or work experience.

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58 minutes ago, pokemaster said:

I might just be stupid, but is there no submit button or anything? I have everything uploaded but there is no way to submit the application. Am I crazy?

I think the application has already been submitted when you applied initially. Launchpad is just a portal you get access to after your application where you upload documents that are required and check the status of whether it is received or not. That is my understanding...

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Hey everyone, first year student here. 

Just wanted to help you guys stress a little less, I know waiting on applications can be a pain.  

Its definitely worth practicing for the online interview. There'll be a web-program tool that will give you sample questions for you to mess around with and get used to talking to a webcamera. 

Admissions come out in cycles, so when admission letters start coming out, don't worry too much because more will come out all the way into August. I didn't have the best grades and was admitted July 16th.

Anyway good luck everyone! The program has really been pretty fun so far so you have a lot to look forward to.

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