What are the areas of work for a pharmacist? What are the areas outside the pharmaceutical pharmacy in particular?

A pharmacist can work in hospital pharmacies, medicine industry, cosmetic industry, pharmacy warehouses, universities as an academic pharmacist, R&D centres, public institutions including Turkish Medicines and Medical Devices Agency (TİTCK) and Social Security Institution (SSI), analysis laboratories, drug and poison centres, and hospitals at clinical pharmacy and phytopharmacy areas as a specialist pharmacist other than independent pharmacies.

What are the guidelines introduced by the amended Pharmacy Law? What are the criteria for opening a pharmacy?

Pursuant to amendment made to Law on Pharmacists and Pharmacies in 2014, the requirement is that there must be one pharmacy per minimum 3500 persons based on the population within the province borders. This requirement does not mean that pharmacists are not allowed to be a independent pharmacist. There are yet no pharmacies over the specified numbers in many cities and districts, therefore the quota for opening a pharmacy is not full yet. In this case, opening a pharmacy in such cities and districts is not legally prevented. In addition, you may take over an existing pharmacy or work as a pharmacist assistant. After opening a pharmacy in any district, you may change the location of your pharmacy regardless of quota limitations within the borders of same district.

What does a Pharmacy Assistant do?

The applicable regulation defines the pharmacy assistant as follows:

“A pharmacy assistant is defined as a pharmacist who gains right to study at faculty of pharmacy in 2013 and thereafter and who works at independent pharmacies or hospital pharmacies together with qualified person (pharmacist) according to service contract for minimum one year in order to open a independent pharmacy or work as a qualified person in independent pharmacies after being graduated.”

Pursuant to this regulation, you are required to work in a “pharmacy assistant” position in a pharmacy for one year after being graduated. Then, you will be allowed to open a pharmacy. The pharmacists who wish to work in other areas of pharmacy are not required to work as a pharmacy assistant.

Furthermore, any independent pharmacy with annual turnover being over a certain amount is required to employ a pharmacy assistant. Optionally, pharmacies that do not fall within this condition may also employ a pharmacy assistant.

Is majoring mandatory in pharmacy?

Examination for Specialty in Pharmacy (EUS) is performed within the Centre for Evaluation, Selection and Placement (ÖSYM) since 2017. EUS covers the course contents received during the undergraduate education for pharmacy. The candidates who pass this exam will do majoring in the area of Clinical Pharmacy or Phytopharmacy. Those who complete this education successfully are allowed to work in hospitals as a Specialist Pharmacist.

What is the specialty in clinical pharmacy? Basically, what does a clinical pharmacist do? What are the fields of work for clinical pharmacists?

The Clinical Pharmacy is a patient-oriented expertise in pharmacy. A Clinical Pharmacist works with physicians and educates patients on the correct use of drugs, dose adjustment, side effects of a drug, etc. They also serve as a drug adviser. In this context, they have a wide field of work in any hospitals together with doctors of medicine. In addition, they have the chance to maintain their academic career at Faculty of Pharmacy of universities.

What is a phytopharmacy specialty? Basically, what does a phytopharmacy specialist do? What are the fields of work for a phytopharmacy specialist?

A phytopharmacy specialist arranges the herbal drug therapy in an optimal manner for the patient, protects patient’s health and controls the quality, effectiveness and safety of herbal products used for the therapy. A phytopharmacy specialist has a wide field of work in hospitals together with doctors of medicine. In addition, a phytopharmacy specialist may work in many different fields of work such as Traditional and Complementary Medicine Centres, medicine industry and Faculty of Pharmacy of universities.

To which areas of drug and cosmetic industry are the pharmacists assigned?

The pharmacists actively work for different units of drug and cosmetic industry such as Research & Development (R&D), manufacturing, quality control, validation, licensing, pharmacovigilance and selling-marketing.

What is the importance of speaking a foreign language in pharmacy? What is the course language of Faculty of Pharmacy of Lokman Hekim University? What is the weight of foreign language classes in the faculty curriculum?

As with almost any industry, sector, business branch and working position, speaking a foreign language has become a very important criterion and a required condition also in pharmacy.

As the study period is 5 years for the Faculty of Pharmacy and the fact that education in mother tongue is more effective and more efficient in the healthcare area, the course language of Faculty of Pharmacy of Lokman Hekim University is chosen as Turkish. There is no preparatory class, but our students are provided with the chance to graduate with knowledge of English gramma at Level B1 by means of intense English course program included in faculty curriculum. The faculty curriculum also includes “Professional English” classes in 4 terms in addition to general English courses contained in the faculty curriculum.

Are pharmacists allowed to work at drug research and development (R&D) laboratories? Are there any such laboratories in Turkey?

There are R&D laboratories involved in drug research in many cities, including Ankara, in Turkey. The graduates of Faculty of Pharmacy will have the knowledge and skills sufficient to work at such R&D laboratories.

What are the internship opportunities at Faculty of Pharmacy of Lokman Hekim University?

The faculty curriculum contains a mandatory internship period, which is 140 working days in total. It is an advantage that Lokman Hekim University is located in Ankara, a capital of health as well, therefore it provides students with internship opportunity at University Hospital operating under Lokman Hekim University as well as at other institutions affiliated with Lokman Hekim University and through support of external stakeholders received in an effective manner.

The internships contained in our curriculum fall in three categories: internship at independent pharmacies, internship at hospital pharmacies, and industrial internship at relevant units of drug and cosmetic industry and R&D laboratories. So, our students will have the chance to acquire knowledge and gain experience in different application fields of profession of pharmacy.

What are the advantages of being a Foundation Faculty of Pharmacy located in Ankara?

Lokman Hekim University’s Faculty of Pharmacy is the first and only Faculty of Pharmacy that was established within a foundation university located in Ankara. As our Faculty is located in Ankara, which is considered as the capital of health as well, it has advantages for establishing quick and effective communication with academic members and research groups in rooted Faculties of Pharmacy as well as with different public agencies, institutions and professional bodies dealing with health and pharmacy.

Does Lokman Hekim University’s Faculty of Pharmacy have sufficient academic staff?

The academic staff of Lokman Hekim University’s Faculty of Pharmacy consists of experienced academic members in pharmacy and relevant fields. Our Faculty also incorporates academic members that are assigned to boards of ECZAKDER (Association for Evaluation and Accreditation of Pharmacy Education Programs) and authorized to solve problems of pharmacy and carry the Faculty of Pharmacy further. In addition, our Faculty includes academic members who had been the dean of rooted state universities for a long time and who had a position in Management staff of Faculties of Pharmacy. Our Faculty also has a powerful staff of Guest Academic Members that actually work for the different areas of pharmacy such as the professional bodies, drug industry, and pharmaceutical pharmacy.

So, our current academic staff is an experienced staff that has knowledge on the pharmacy education in our country and across the world in any aspect, that cares for the concept of quality assurance in education, and that has made extensive effort to improve the quality of education for long years. This academic staff effectively transfers its knowledge to education and students of Faculty of Pharmacy of Lokman Hekim University.

Does Lokman Hekim University’s Faculty of Pharmacy have a sufficient laboratory infrastructure?

The university’s current campus contains proper laboratory infrastructures with physical and technologic equipment for performance of each applied course included in the curriculum of Faculty of Pharmacy. In addition, it is planned to increase and improve the current laboratory infrastructure capacity at the end of process for transition to campus life that is intended to be completed soon.

Is it possible to work in research projects when we are students at Lokman Hekim University?

Lokman Hekim University’s Faculty of Pharmacy basically adopts a student-oriented education model. Therefore, the concept of “student assistant” is a highly considered and prioritized matter to help our students to be graduated from the Faculty to acquire the culture and habit of scientific research when they are only a student. In this context, our students are allowed to participate into scientific research projects that are being or will be carried out by the academic members of Faculty of Pharmacy.

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