Newly launched pharmacy program sets students up for success on licensure exams

Pharmacy licensure exam prep

Nearly 130 doctor of pharmacy (PharmD) graduates from the Thomas J. Long School of Pharmacy are taking part in a newly launched program at University of the Pacific designed to provide intense preparation for state and national licensure examinations.

“We tailored this program to enable our students to be incredibly successful on their examinations,” said Clinical Professor Sian Carr-Lopez. “We wanted to make sure that every minute of the training reflects the kinds of things they’ll need to know for their exams.”

Pacific is providing the comprehensive three-week program, including on-campus housing, at no cost. It was created to combat a statewide decline in passage rates on the California licensure exam in recent years. Graduates must pass both the state and national exam to practice as pharmacists in California.

Recent PharmD graduate Carissa Leung ’23 said it was a “no-brainer” returning to campus for the program.

“It’s incredibly helpful being in an environment with other students going through the same thing you are,” she said.

The Rx4Success program is the first of its kind in California. Dozens of alumni and pharmacists throughout California were selected to serve as guest speakers.

“Our speakers are content experts. They are practicing five days a week in the clinic or in the hospital, and many have advanced training, so they complement the education students received from Pacific,” said Professor Rajul Patel, who is helping put the program together. “We have given each speaker guidance to ensure that there is breadth, but also appropriate depth, of topics.”

Over three weeks, graduates will receive nearly 90 hours of programming.

“It’s been a great experience,” said PharmD graduate Sean McNary ’23. “All the lecturers have been knowledgeable, providing good clinical pearls and examples from their clinical practice to illustrate and bring to life this great review.”

The new program complements other resources available. In their third year, all students take “Rx Prep” to begin preparing early for licensure exams. The state exam is offered numerous times throughout the year with the majority of Pacific students planning to take it in June and July.

The Thomas J. Long School of Pharmacy has been a long-time leader in pharmacy education. The school was established in 1955, becoming only the third pharmacy school in California at the time.