Monash University pharmacy students celebrate study milestone

The first ever cohort of pharmacy students to join Monash University’s innovative five year ‘Vertical Integrated Masters’ (VIM) are set to celebrate the completion of the BPharm(Hons) component to the course in style this Friday 13 November.

Four years ago, the Faculty of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences (FPPS) launched Australia’s first Bachelor of Pharmacy (Honours) / Master of Pharmacy course, which offers a rare pathway enabling students to graduate with a master as well as a bachelor (with honours). The integrated course architecture means Monash pharmacy students spend more time practicing in health care settings and engaging in quality improvement activities.

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The students, who next year will complete the masters component of the course by embarking on additional studies during their paid internships, are celebrating the end of this study milestone via a virtual event featuring keynote speaker, Dr Catherine Duggan, the CEO of the International Pharmaceutical Federation (FIP).

Dr Duggan, a widely respected leader within the international pharmacy community, will join the students to welcome them to the profession. Also taking to the (virtual) celebration stage will be Dean of the FPPS, Professor Arthur Christopoulos.

The FPPS Professor of Pharmacy Education and Practice, Tina Brock, says: “We are so proud of this incredible cohort of students who collaborated with our fantastic staff to innovate over these last four years. Our goal was for them to graduate with the skills needed to be practice-ready, so having Dr Duggan to welcome them to a global profession that is primed for that is incredibly exciting for all of us.”

In addition to the congratulatory speeches, the students will be joining the international tradition of taking the Oath of a Pharmacist.

“Taking the Oath when you finish a pharmacy course is a way of promising publicly that you will serve humanity in a very special way. Typically, students would recite this together with their pharmacist teachers, however in true 2020 style, we’ve stitched our individual promises together into a virtual choir,” says Professor Brock.

Students will also be treated to a slideshow of memories and will be gifted pens with purple ink, which is the traditional colour of the ink used by pharmacists in Australian hospitals. The ceremony will be recorded and shared with the wider Monash and professional communities.