The Faculty of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences (FPPS) of the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) has held its 2nd White Coat Ceremony on the theme: “Impact of the PharmD Pharmacist on Pharmaceutical Care” for over 200 Doctor of Pharmacy students. Professor Mrs. Frances Owusu-Daaku, immediate past Head of the Department of Pharmacy Practice , administered the pledge and faculty, key preceptors, pharmacy alumni and parent- pharmacists helped robed the students in their white coats.
In her welcome address, Professor Mrs. Rita Akosua Dickson, Dean of Faculty of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, stated that the Ceremony is symbolic as it signifies a transition from the study of preclinical knowledge to the acquisition of clinical knowledge. According to the Dean, it also transitions the pharmacy student from a simple scholar to a pharmacy apprentice within the confines of the Pharmacy profession.
The event also marked the rite of passage into the last 2 years of the Doctor of Pharmacy students’ training, referred to as the Clinical years, after an initial 4 years of rigorous academic and professional drills Professor Mrs. Dickson hoped that the students would exhibit the highest principles of moral, ethical and unique responsibilities entrusted to them in their training.
She also used the occasion to challenge the students to become the best group of healthcare professionals that Ghana has ever produced. In his keynote address, Mr. Benjamin Kwame Botwe, President of the Pharmaceutical Society of Ghana (PSGH), said the future of pharmacy looks bright with the current trends in pharmacy education by KNUST.
He noted that pharmacy leaders globally, especially in the United States and the United Kingdom, have reviewed their code of ethics and this has led to a paradigm shift in the profession: that is, from product –centered to patient-centered practice.
Mr. Botwe noted that pharmacy education has progressed consistently from the apprenticeship model to a scientifically rigorous pharmacy programme which incorporates increasing years of study and the impetus of a strong foundation in the fundamentals of pharmacy to a more patient-focused curriculum.
The PSGH President, charged the students to help make exploits in drug discovery and research and to come out with new candidate molecules for existing tropical neglected diseases particularly, emerging, reemerging and unknown clinical conditions.
He also challenged them to be lifelong learners and undertake professional development and to make use of opportunities available at the Ghana College of Pharmacists. Reverend Professor Charles Ansah, Pro Vice-Chancellor, paid tribute to all faculty and staff whose dedicated work had resulted in what is being witnessed in the Faculty currently. He noted that FPPS is one of the strongest faculties in the University and challenged the students to make an impact in their practice as well as treat their patients with utmost care and exhibit integrity at all times.