Today's pharmacist plays a vital role in the delivery of quality health care. As a specialist in the science of medication therapies, the pharmacist serves as the primary source of pharmaceutical products and drug information for individual patients, other health professionals, and the community at large. Pharmacists are also involved in collaborative practices with physicians in which medication management activities assure effective drug utilization, drug safety, and optimum therapeutic outcomes. Career opportunities and rewards for pharmacists are excellent, some examples include:
The community pharmacy is a most accessible source for health care. The community pharmacist prepares and dispenses medication and serves as a consultant for drug usage and information as well as general health care. Community pharmacists also provide specialized services such as product compounding, health monitoring, medication management, home health care, and nursing home services.
The hospital pharmacy provides a setting for the pharmacist to work closely with physicians, nurses, and other professionals in the delivery of health care in institutionalized settings. In addition to the regular distribution and consulting functions, pharmacists in the hospital are often involved in unit-dose systems, intravenous additive programs, robotics, investigational drug studies, specialized monitoring and pharmacokinetic services.
The pharmaceutical industry provides opportunities for pharmacists in areas such as research, clinical trials, product development, marketing, sales, and management. Some of these positions require advanced degrees and training.
The federal government employs pharmacists in a variety of settings in the Public Health Service, Veterans Administration, Food and Drug Administration, Army, Navy, and Air Force.
The opportunities in specialty practice may require a pharmacist to attain nationally recognized board certification in areas such as: Nuclear Pharmacy, Pharmacotherapy, Nutrition, and Psychotherapy. Pharmacists practicing in these areas are usually required to complete specialized training such as residencies or fellowships.
Careers in pharmacy education offer pharmacists many rewarding opportunities to impart knowledge and skills to students, consumers, caregivers, and other health professionals. Pharmacy school faculty typically possess advanced degrees as well as specialized postdoctoral training.
For more information on career paths for pharmacists, please contact the Office of Pharmacy Student Affairs or visit the following websites: