Remembering our bold start - a message to alumni

Thursday, December 7, 2017

What were you doing on January 7, 2008? You may not remember, but 90 of your colleagues certainly do. They were starting class at Canada’s newest pharmacy school. The building wasn’t even finished yet.  School of Pharmacy under construction

As UW students and pharmacy learners in a changing healthcare landscape, you’ve preserved through many changes. The 2011 cohort had a year of classes on main campus before construction of the Kitchener satellite building was complete. The 2012s and 2013s joined the 2011s as the first Canadian pharmacy students to complete co-op work terms and project-based partnerships with community organizations.  Your hard work in those early years of our program gave UW Pharmacy students a stellar reputation. Today we have more co-op job postings than students available to fill those jobs.

Students in lab coat standing in hallwayBut just as we were beginning to hit a steady state as Canada’s newest pharmacy school, the pharmacy landscape changed, and the PharmD was announced as the new degree-to-practice. As we welcomed the class of 2014, we also began the challenging process of changing our BSc Pharm program to a PharmD program. Rx2015 and 2016 experienced the launch of the Communities of Practice rotation model and completed clinical rotations across Ontario. The class of 2017, our most recent graduates, are the first cohort who experienced the full PharmD program.

We’ve always been Canada’s most innovative pharmacy school, and it’s the perseverance of our students that enables us to push boundaries on what pharmacy learners can do both inside and outside the classroom. While you were here, you never turned down an opportunity and you never turned away when challenges arose. Thank you for your commitment.

3500+ co-o-p work terms completed since program launch in 2008

68% of co-op work terms occuring outside the GTA

500 preceptors supporting clinical rotations in 14 regions across Ontario


2017 statistics that show the growth of our program over the last 10 years

What began as 90 eager students in 2011 has translated today to 766 alumni working, studying, and improving pharmacy practice across the country. In January we welcome Rx2021, our eleventh pharmacy class.

We have lots to be proud of looking back on our bold start. And we have even more to look forward to as we get ready for our bright future.

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