The Doctorate of Science in Medicine and Pharmacy is an interdisciplinary dual-degree program combining both the academic and clinical training of the Master's Degree in Medicine degree, with the study of pharmacy-related topics. The Doctorate is the highest credential in the U.S. and provides students with a comprehensive curriculum of knowledge that spans the entire spectrum of pharmaceutical medicine. The PhD is the second highest credential and is awarded to those students who have completed their doctorate and have demonstrated the potential to be able to take up a post-graduate position in pharmaceutical medicine.
Students at the doctorate level will take up to ten years to complete. They will gain both a master's degree and a doctorate in pharmaceutical sciences and will also be awarded an associate's degree upon graduation. The doctorate student will then need to take additional graduate studies, which can be part-time or full-time. They will take courses that are relevant to their field of study, but they must be supervised by a professor during this time, as any changes to the program cannot be done without approval from the advisor.
Most people who choose to complete a PhD in pharmacy begin their academic career by obtaining a Master's Degree in Biology and Medicine. This helps them get a jump on their current job or move further up the ladder of success as they seek to climb higher in their career. A career as a pharmacist would require more specialized training and is usually only available to those individuals who already have a job in pharmaceutical medicine. To apply for this career, students need to show proof of a bachelor's degree, including biology and chemistry, and a background of experience that include research.
Students who wish to earn their doctorate in pharmacy often choose to go into an allied health care field, or to be an academician in nursing, or even into a more specialized area of medicine. There are so many different areas to choose from that there is bound to be a degree to fit the individual's interests. Those in academic medicine are able to become an academician in nursing, a clinical pharmacist, or even a pharmacy technician, and they might even be able to work for pharmaceutical companies such as Sanofi Pasteur or AstraZeneca.
Pharmaceutical companies will offer a range of programs to students who want to progress their career as a pharmacist and are interested in advancing their education and skills, or specialize in some aspect of pharmaceutical science. Many of these include an internship or apprenticeship, which can prove valuable for people who wish to specialize in a specific area of pharmaceutical science, such as cell biology.
The Ph.D. program for Pharmacy Administration focuses on courses in pharmaceutical administration, as well as pharmacogeny, pharmacodynamics, statistical analysis, economics and decision making in pharmaceuticals. The programs also provide students with a foundation in drug design and development, including the clinical pharmacology, and management aspects of pharmaceuticals. The clinical pharmacology course allows students to apply their theoretical knowledge in a clinical setting, and the coursework also gives the student the ability to develop practical skills such as a clinical pharmacologist and a pharmacist's skill in using pharmacological techniques. Those interested in clinical pharmacology will be trained on the physiology of drugs and the various phases of their effects.
Clinical pharmacology involves the study of pharmaceutical interactions between substances to diagnose and treat diseases, and the clinical management of patients with these diseases. Courses in clinical pharmacology focus on the methods used to administer medicines to patients, as well as to measure and analyze patient reactions to drugs. The coursework in this area requires the study of anatomy, physiology and pharmacology, which students will need to conduct research on patients and the human body.
The coursework involves learning about how to analyze drugs, how to use pharmacological techniques and how to administer medication to patients. For those who are particularly interested in pharmaceutical engineering and pharmaceutical sciences, the coursework also requires courses in biopharmaceutical design and manufacture, as well as research methodology and statistics.