The Pharm.D. curriculum at Ferris State University is designed to prepare successful graduates with the skills necessary to work with the latest breakthroughs in drug treatment and practice in a diverse number of health care settings. The Doctor of Pharmacy coursework builds first on the foundations of:
- Biochemistry/Biotechnology: How complex biochemical systems of the human body operate and how medications and their chemical properties can be used to modify these processes.
- Medicinal Chemistry (Drug Action): The identification of how the structure of organic molecules affect how they will act on the human body; as well as the design and synthesis of unique new molecules to treat specific human diseases. In other words, how drug products are "put together" at the molecular level.
- Pharmacology (Drug Action): The study of how molecular compounds interact with human physiologic processes. Every drug we take affects most, if not all human organ systems. In pharmacology, we study this interaction.
- Pharmaceutics (Drug Delivery): How drug products and drug delivery systems are built. This discipline deals with the process of how a new drug molecule is incorporated into a dosage form (e.g. tablet, capsule, transdermal patch, inhalation, injectables) to deliver it safely and effectively to the human body.
- Pharmacokinetics: How the human body absorbs, distributes, metabolizes and eliminates medications.
Upon completions of the foundational sciences of pharmacy, the student is then transitioned to the clinical science of pharmacotherapeutics. Pharmacotherapeutics deals with how we clinically apply drug therapy to a given disease state in the context of the patient. Each patient possesses a unique set of characteristics (age, gender, genetics, additional disease states, organ function, etc.), which must be considered when selecting drug therapy. The pharmacy student learns to make drug therapy recommendations with consideration of these characteristics. In addition to the clinical sciences, students learn valuable communication, drug literature evaluation, pharmacy management, pharmacy law and practice skills.
The classroom and laboratory education and training is augmented with over 1,700 hours of field experience for each student in an array of pharmacy practice settings including a rich balance between community-based and institutional (e.g. hospital) sites. Elective experiences also exist in a diversity of pharmacy settings including: