UofW Prescribing for Minor Ailments – Full 19 Conditions

Pricing Available to University of Waterloo Alumni, Students and Co-op Supervisors/Preceptors.




Prescribing for Minor Ailments – The Fundamentals is developed as a collaborative effort between the Ontario Pharmacists Association (OPA) and the University of Waterloo (UW) School of Pharmacy. Dr. Nardine Nakhla, Clinical Lecturer at the University of Waterloo School of Pharmacy, acted as lead author.

In this course, you will learn the principles of providing a minor ailment service, including the application of a structured approach to patient assessment and prescribing. You will receive the knowledge and tools needed to implement this evidence-based service, shown to improve patient access to timely and cost-effective care.

This course covers all 19 minor ailments that pharmacists can prescribe for in Ontario, including the 6 minor ailments as of October 1, 2023.

Note: This course does not focus on the legal requirements for pharmacists prescribing for minor ailments in each jurisdiction. Please refer to the regulatory authority in your jurisdiction for more information.

Learning Objectives:

For each minor ailment condition, participants should be able to*: 

  • Describe the pathophysiology 
  • Identify possible causes and risk factors 
  • Apply the Pharmacists’ Patient Care Process (PPCP) necessary for a patient consultation 


*Note, specific learning objectives for each individual module may differ slightly. 

Course Outline:

The course includes a total of 7 units, designed for self-directed learning. The introduction unit is mandatory, with the rest of the therapeutic/condition units optional: 

  • Introduction (Author: Nardine Nakhla) – 1 hour 
    Introduction to Minor Ailment Assessment and Prescribing 
  • Infectious Diseases (Author: Brett Barrett) – 1.5 hour 
    Uncomplicated Urinary Tract Infection (UTI), Impetigo and Lyme Disease (post-exposure prophylaxis) 
  • Dermatology (Authors: Ravina Sanghera, Kristi Van Gaalen) – 2.75 hours
    Acne (mild), Dermatitis (atopic/eczema, allergic and contact skin rashes), Diaper Dermatitis, Hives and Insect Bites & Stings
  • Eye, Ear, Nose, and Throat (Authors: Karen Riley, Nardine Nakhla) – 1.25 hour 
    Conjunctivitis (bacterial, allergic, viral) and Allergic Rhinitis 
  • Gastrointestinal and Oral (Author: Michael Boivin, Nardine Nakhla and Sherilyn Houle ) – 4 hours
    Aphthous Ulcers, Candidal Stomatitis (oral thrush), Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD), Hemorrhoids, Herpes Labialis (cold sores), Pinworms and Threadworms
  • Pain (Authors: Kelly Grindrod and Nardine Nakhla) – 0.75 hour 
    Musculoskeletal sprains and strains
  • Women’s Health (Authors: Nardine Nakhla, Kenny Chong) – 2.25 hour
    Dysmenorrhea, Vulvovaginal Candidiasis (yeast infection), Nausea and Vomiting of Pregnancy

We suggest you start with the Introduction unit. While many of the regulatory elements in the Introduction unit are specific to the province of Ontario in Canada, the therapeutic elements and assessment principles are consistent with best practices internationally.  

Throughout the course, you may encounter various interactive learning activities. These are part of the learning experience and are not saved or graded. At the end of each module, you are asked to complete a final exam.

Copyright Statement

All rights, including copyright, in the content of the course are owned by the University of Waterloo, Ontario Pharmacists Association and the authors, unless otherwise stated. The use of the course material is for the registered student only. Not to be copied or distributed without written permission from the University of Waterloo and Ontario Pharmacists Association. Permission inquiries should be addressed to: [email protected]. 


The patient care wheel image and process used in the course were adapted (with permission) from the Joint Commission of Pharmacy Practitioners (https://jcpp.net). 

Course at a Glance:

Who Should Take This Course:

The course is primarily developed to train pharmacists in prescribing for minor ailments. However, this course is open for pharmacy students and technicians as well as nurse practitioners and other clinicians who would like to gain and/or refine their knowledge on how to deliver a robust, high quality minor ailments service.

Development Team:

Academic Lead 


Expert Reviewers

Practitioner Reviewers

Downloadable Material