First year is spent at the Wits Main Campus where a student can participate in a variety of activities including the Wits Pharmacy Students Association which is proactive in Pharmacy affairs. Here you get to experience student life and meet new friends before the academic year begins. The first year subjects are Human & General Biology; Physics, Chemistry, Biomedical Mathematics and Human Behavioural Sciences which includes aspects of socio-economics and Psychology.
From the second year, Pharmacy courses are offered in the Faculty of Health Sciences. In this respect Wits is unique since it provides interaction with medical students, physiotherapists, occupational therapists and nurses - future health professionals with whom successful team work is essential. The second year subjects are more medically and pharmaceutically oriented. The subjects include Anatomy, Physiology, Biochemistry, Pharmaceutics, Pharmaceutical Chemistry and Pharmacy Practice. Pharmacy Practice involves teaching the practical applications, legal and ethical aspects, marketing and business skills.
Third year is a continuation of second year - only more advanced and detailed - particularly in pharmaceutics and pharmacy practice. Chemistry is divided into two components - organic and analytical. Clinical subjects include Pathology which is the study of disease in the body and its organs. Medical Microbiology covers bacterial, viral and parasitic infections and their respective treatments. Pharmacology also begins in third year. It deals with individual drugs, their mechanisms of action, beneficial and adverse effects. Pharmacology in third and fourth year provides the student with specific drug related information which makes the pharmacist unique from other health care professionals. Pharmacotherapy relates the areas of medicine, surgery, neurology, paediatrics, gynaecology and orthopaedics to treatment with drugs. It helps pharmacists recognise various disease symptoms to initiate treatment when possible and advise doctors or nurses on the appropriateness of drug therapy.
In fourth year, business and marketing aspects are covered in Pharmacy Practice. Medicinal Chemistry is the study of chemical properties of drugs. In pharmaceutics, students learn about what happens to drugs in the body, and how to therapeutically monitor drugs and design a dosage regime for patients. Pharmacotherapy is more clinically oriented and students spend time at various clinics and hospitals where theory is now put to practice. An Emergency Medical Assistants course is offered which equips a graduate for unexpected situations. Furthermore, an elective is studied, which is a specialisation in an area of pharmacy, which a student may intend to pursue.
To succeed in the field of Pharmacy you will need to be disciplined, dedicated, enthusiastic and motivated. If you are a person prepared to strive to better yourself, make the most of change and serve the needs of your communities, you are the Pharmacy student we need.