Becoming a Pharmacist in Korea | Academically

Building a Top-Notch Career as a Pharmacist: Becoming a Pharmacist in Korea

May 16, 2024 3 min read
Becoming Pharmacist in Korea

KEY TAKEAWAYS

  • How can you become a pharmacist in Korea?
  • What is the top scope of practice for pharmacists?
  • Which is the best country for migrating pharmacists?

Career opportunities for pharmacists are ever-growing worldwide. Like doctors and nurses, pharmacists are also an integral part of the healthcare system worldwide. The demand for skilled and qualified pharmacists continues to rise in different countries. This demand for pharmacists opens up a world of opportunities for international medical graduates (IMGs). This blog will show how international medical graduates can migrate to Korea as pharmacists. 

Who are Pharmacists?  

Before we delve into the process of becoming a registered pharmacist in Korea, let us understand who pharmacists are and what they do in the healthcare industry.

Pharmacists are healthcare professionals who are experts in the field of pharmacy. The main functions that they perform include ensuring the safe and effective use of medications and providing the correct medication-related information to patients and other healthcare workers. 

Scope of Practice for Pharmacists

 1. Medicine Dispensation

Pharmacists dispense the prescribed medications to patients. They also ensure that the prescription is accurate, verify that the dosages are appropriate, and provide instructions on how to take the medicines correctly. They are also responsible for assessing the compatibility of different medications when multiple prescriptions are involved. 

 2. Medication Safety and Quality Assurance 

Pharmacists play a crucial role in ensuring medication safety and quality assurance. They verify the authenticity, integrity, and quality of medications, monitor for potential medication errors, and implement strategies to prevent adverse drug events. Pharmacists collaborate with healthcare teams to develop medication policies and protocols and encourage safe medication practices throughout the healthcare system.

 3. Drug Information and Education

Pharmacists possess in-depth knowledge of medications, drug interactions, therapeutic guidelines, and emerging pharmaceutical advancements. They are considered a valuable and reliable source of drug information for patients, healthcare workers, and the community. They also educate patients and healthcare providers about new medications, advances in treatment options, and the appropriate use of pharmaceutical products.

 4. Research and Development 

Pharmacists contribute to pharmaceutical research and development, conducting studies, clinical trials, and drug utilisation evaluations. They evaluate the efficacy and safety of medications, monitor for possible drug-related issues, and contribute to refining pharmaceutical knowledge and practices.

How to Become a Pharmacist in Korea?

Nowadays, qualified pharmacists aspire to migrate to foreign countries and make the most of their careers. Korea is one of the preferred countries for pharmacists. When it comes to Korea, their healthcare system is highly advanced, technologies are top-notch, and the demand for pharmacists is growing.

Graduation From an Approved University

When considering migrating to Korea as a pharmacist, this is the first and foremost requirement. If the candidate is an international medical graduate, he/she should hold a degree in pharmacy and must graduate from an institution approved by Korean officials. The list of approved universities and colleges can be found on the official website of the Korean Ministry of Health and Welfare. In addition to this, a pharmacist licence from your home is also required. 

Clear The Pharmacy Board Exam

The next step in this process is clearing the Korean Pharmacy Board Exam. This board exam is conducted in South Korea once a year. This comprehensive exam assesses their understanding of pharmaceutical sciences, drug interactions, regulations, and ethical responsibilities. The Pharmacy Board Exam will have 12 subjects. They are as follows.

  1. Qualitative Analysis
  2. Quantitative Analysis
  3. Pharmaceutics
  4. Korean Pharmacopoeia
  5. Pharmacology
  6. Biochemistry
  7. Preventive Chemistry
  8. Microbiology
  9. Organic Pharmaceutical Synthetic Chemistry
  10. Inorganic Pharmaceutical Synthetic Chemistry
  11. Pharmacognosy
  12. Regulations on Pharmacists and Management of Controlled Drugs

Being Mentally Fit 

The candidate aspiring to migrate to South Korea as a pharmacist must be proven to be mentally fit and healthy. If there are existing mental issues, the candidate will not be considered mentally healthy and, therefore, will not be eligible. Also, the candidate should not be addicted to drugs or similar harmful substances as this can also affect eligibility. 

Hold a Clean Record Certificate

The candidate must hold a certificate of a clean record.

The following records will make the candidate ineligible for further consideration.

  • Have been convicted of a crime
  • Have been in jail
  • Have been filed for bankruptcy
  • Have been legally declared incompetent
  • Have been legally declared with limited competence

To prove that the above-mentioned activities are not associated with you, a clean record must be submitted along with the licence to practise pharmacy in your home country.

Obtain a Work Visa

After clearing the Pharmacy Board Exam, the candidate must land a job in Korea as a pharmacist. After the employer applies for a Certificate of Confirmation of Visa Issuance, the candidate can submit the supporting documents to the Korean embassy in his/her home country to obtain a work visa. After receiving the work visa, they can fly to Korea and kick-start their overseas career as a pharmacist.

Which Country is ideal for Migrating Pharmacists?

Korea Vs Australia

EXAM 

When looking at the exams for pharmacists, the exam for migrating to Korea is conducted only once a year. In contrast, the exam for migrating to Australia is conducted thrice a year. Therefore, pharmacists consider the KAPS exam (Australia) more convenient.

EXAM CENTER

Appearing for the exam is another challenge faced by the aspirants. As the Korean Pharmacy Board Exam is conducted in South Korea, candidates usually find it difficult to travel so far for the examination. However, the KAPS examination by Australia is shown in all major cities, and candidates can write the exam from their home countries. This is another attractive factor for pharmacists considering moving abroad.

Pharmacists play an essential role in the formation of a healthcare system. The scope of practice for pharmacists can vary between countries and may be subject to specific regulations and professional guidelines. Nonetheless, pharmacists worldwide share the common goal of ensuring safe and effective medication use, assisting in patient well-being, and contributing to healthcare quality. Pharmacists have many opportunities to explore abroad, driven by the global demand for healthcare professionals. By understanding the requirements, adapting to new cultures, and leveraging professional networks, pharmacists can embark on fulfilling careers while contributing to improving healthcare systems worldwide.

If you want to learn more about migrating to foreign countries as a pharmacist, contact us; we will be happy to help.

Fill up this form for a free one on one counselling session. 

Dr. Akram Ahmad
Dr. Akram Ahmad
about the author

Dr. Akram Ahmad is a clinical pharmacist and lecturer with over 10 years of teaching and research experience across various subjects of medicine in India, Malaysia and Australia. He is an educationist and a medpreneur with extensive knowledge of the global healthcare diaspora. Through his articles, videos and engaging sessions, he always aims to impart unexplored knowledge about the healthcare world to interested students and professionals.