Technical standards

The Doctor of Pharmacy program at Wayne State University is designed to prepare students for entry into a broad range of practice settings within the pharmacy profession. Technical standards refer to those physical, cognitive and behavioral skills, beyond academic requirements, that graduates must possess in order to effectively practice as pharmacists. All students are expected to meet the technical standards in order to be admitted to and graduate from the Doctor of Pharmacy program.

The Wayne State University Doctor of Pharmacy program acknowledges the Americans with Disabilities Act (Public Law 101-336), and ascertains that graduates from the program must possess certain minimum technical capabilities. Students with disabilities will be held to the same fundamental standards as their peers. Reasonable accommodation will be provided to assist in learning, performing and satisfying the fundamental standards, consistent with university policy. Technological accommodations will be made for some handicaps where possible. However, there are many areas of the curriculum, such as those related to experiential training, where students must be able to perform in an autonomous manner, an expectation that also exists for practicing pharmacists. The use of a trained intermediary is not an acceptable form of accommodation since it implies that the student must rely on observations and information provided by a third party.

The Doctor of Pharmacy curriculum at Wayne State University has a number of components for which attendance is required and no accommodation can be made except for emergency situations. Submission of an application for admission to the Doctor of Pharmacy program indicates that the applicant is aware of the attendance requirements and the technical standards required of pharmacy students at Wayne State University. The Pharmacy Admissions Committee reserves the right to deny admission to candidates who, in the judgment of the committee, are not able to meet the technical standards.


Students must possess a functional level of visual acuity, hearing and tactile sensation sufficient to allow them to meet the level of observation required of a pharmacist. Students must observe activities in the classroom, laboratory and the clinical setting in order to acquire the necessary knowledge and skills to complete the academic requirements of the curriculum. In order to practice as a health professional, a pharmacist must be able to observe patients during interviews and physical assessments, read and evaluate medical and drug information, read and interpret medication orders, inspect drug products, and observe the activities of other health professionals and technical staff operating under their supervision.


Students must be fluent in the English language in order to effectively communicate orally and in writing. Communication with faculty members, fellow students and patients is essential for academic success in the Doctor of Pharmacy program. Pharmacists are required to communicate drug and health information to patients, caregivers and other health care professionals and must be able to make complex or technical information understandable to individuals who do not have a background in the health sciences. Documentation of activities in the patient's record, preparation of drug reviews and written instructions to patients require excellent written communication skills. Clear communication with technical staff working under the supervision of a pharmacist is essential.

Motor Function

Students must possess sufficient motor function to succeed in the pharmacy program and to practice as a pharmacist in a broad range of settings. These skills include, but are not limited to, the ability to use a computer, perform physical assessment of patients as needed to monitor response to drug therapy, provide first aid and basic cardiopulmonary resuscitation and prepare/dispense pharmaceutical products.

Intellectual-Conceptual Abilities

Students must be able to measure, calculate, reason, analyze, integrate and synthesize in order to successfully complete the Doctor of Pharmacy curriculum. Pharmacists must be able to perform calculations required for preparation and dispensing of medications as well as drug doses for patients. The ability to solve complex patient related problems in a timely manner requires a high level of intellectual function and is an essential skill for pharmacists. Students must be able to learn in a variety of settings including the classroom, laboratory and patient care environment and under different conditions including large groups, small groups and one-on-one with preceptors. Individual study is essential for success in the program and pharmacists must take individual responsibility for their continuing education after graduation.

Behavioral and Social Attributes

Students must possess the emotional health required for academic success as well the practice of pharmacy. It is expected that students will accept constructive criticism in a mature manner. Pharmacists must act with integrity and with the highest of ethical standards in dealing with patients, health care professionals and technical staff under their supervision. Interactions with patients require empathy, compassion, courtesy, and the willingness to place the patient's interest before self-interest. Sensitivity to the concerns of others and the ability to respect patient confidentiality is essential. Pharmacists are required to exercise good judgment and maintain a professional demeanor in a workplace that may be stressful and distracting. Flexibility in adapting to changes in the professional environment is important.