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Upon completion of the chapter and exercises, the student pharmacist will be able to

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  1. Define profession and professional.

  2. Explain and portray a professional appearance and attitude.

  3. Describe the ideal first day of practice experience and the responsibility of the student to make that happen.

  4. Compose an appropriate cover letter to a preceptor.

  5. Develop student curriculum vitae (CV).

  6. Explain the expectations of introductory pharmacy practice experiences at your institution.

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A group of learned individuals who agree to practice by a defined set of rules of conduct is loosely defined as a profession. The profession has an oversight board and the individuals are given autonomy to practice. A professional has the right academic qualifications, expert and specialized knowledge, and a standard of ethics. A profession has the power to exclude and control admission to the profession. Congratulations on your decision to become part of the profession of pharmacy.

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The specialized academic qualifications to become a pharmacist require both classroom and experiential education practice courses to complete the requirements for graduation. Experiential education courses range from 30% of the curricula in some schools to close 50% for others. While college curricula vary in length, in the United States they must all meet a certain set of defined standards for education of professionals. The Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education (ACPE) provides the oversight and set guidelines for colleges to follow. In Canada, it is the Canadian Council for Accreditation of Pharmacy programs that provide oversight and guidelines for the education of professional students.

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This textbook is meant to support you through the development of the knowledge, skills, attitudes, and beliefs needed to practice pharmacy now and into the future. When you leave college, you will not stop learning; you will have the drive and desire to add continually to your body of knowledge. However, before you can get there, you have to start at the very beginning.

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This book is a guide to help you integrate knowledge from the classroom, and practical examples, into your practice expertise. This first chapter introduces you to a broad set of goals and expectations for experiential courses in the first years of your pharmacy education that are required by ACPE. Schools not accredited by ACPE do not have these same requirements. Becoming a professional should be one of your principal goals at this stage. Dress and attitude are primary objectives for developing professionalism. Dress and attitude are discussed in this first chapter as they are an important foundation for your success in pharmacy school classrooms and, at practice sites. In this chapter, achievable goals are restricted to actions in and out of the classroom and the basics of what you should expect to achieve on your introductory pharmacy practice experiences. The goals listed in this chapter ought to support those specific objectives required by the institution you attend. If you are an advanced student, then later chapters of this ...

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