Urbana, Ill. (WCIA)

How do you become a veterinary pharmacist? Our friends at the University of Illinois Veterinary Teaching Hospital explain.

We recently chatted with Drs. Lauren Forsythe about the role of a pharmacist at the University of Illinois Veterinary Teaching Hospital. Today, Dr. Forsythe is back with Dr. Jessica Barazowski, a pharmacist who is completing a residency at the hospital to specialize in veterinary pharmacy.

Q: Jessica, if you are doing a veterinary pharmacy residency, did you go to vet school or pharmacy school?

A: I actually went to pharmacy school and graduated with my doctor of pharmacy degree. Veterinary pharmacy is a very small and fun specialty in the pharmacy world.

Q: How does pharmacist education differ for veterinary versus human pharmacists?

A: Pharmacy school is largely the same for all pharmacy students because the licensure board exams are the same regardless of specialty. There might be a few opportunities to take elective courses or clinical rotations during school that focus on veterinary pharmacy but the specialization takes place after graduation during a residency. He we offer a clinical rotation for pharmacy students that gives them the opportunity to start learning the basics of veterinary pharmacy.

Q: Residency is something that is common in human pharmacy, right? How does a residency in veterinary pharmacy differ?

A: The role of a veterinary pharmacy resident is very similar to the role of a traditional pharmacy resident. However, instead of working alongside medical residents at a human hospital, a veterinary pharmacy resident will work alongside veterinary residents in a veterinary teaching hospital.

Q: So what are some of the things a veterinary pharmacy resident gets to do?

A: A veterinary pharmacy resident will rotate throughout the Veterinary Teaching Hospital’s many specialties to gain knowledge of the clinical decision making that leads to the use of certain medications. Unlike a traditional pharmacy resident, a veterinary pharmacy resident will have to learn how to extrapolate their understanding of medications to multiple species.

Q: Jessica, are there a lot of veterinary pharmacy residents throughout the country?

A: I am one of only 6 veterinary pharmacy residents in the US and the first resident for the Illinois program.

College of Veterinary Medicine – Veterinary Medicine at Illinoishttps://vetmed.illinois.edu