Why Become a Pharmacist?

You are organized, have good communication skills, excel at chemistry and math, and like to solve problems. A career as a pharmacist might be right for you because:

  1. Internet Research: Like physicians and nurses, pharmacists take an oath. Research and list five of the vows in the Oath of a Pharmacist.

  2. Internet Research: According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, in what type of work environment can a pharmacist expect to work?

  3. Internet Research: What is the job outlook for pharmacists?

The Journey to Becoming a Pharmacist

As a pre-pharmacy student, you will complete two to four years of undergraduate school at a college or university and will take the PCAT to qualify for pharmacy school. Your pre-pharmacy studies are similar to pre-medical school and include courses such as:

Your PharmD degree from an accredited college or school of pharmacy takes another four years to complete. Courses teach you about all aspects of drug therapy and how to communicate with patients and other healthcare providers about drug information and patient care. In addition, you will learn about professional ethics, concepts of public health and business management. Besides classroom instruction, you will experience clinical rotations working with licensed pharmacists in a variety of practice settings.

One semester of your graduate program courses may include:

  1. Internet Research: Research a local college/university/school with a PharmD degree program. Provide the following information:
    • Entrance requirements (GPA, PCAT score, essays)
    • Tuition costs (per credit hour or per semester)
    • School location
    • Length of program/degree
    • Courses/classes required to graduate

  2. Internet Research: According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, what is the current median pay of a pharmacist?

The Responsibilities of a Pharmacist

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, pharmacists dispense prescription medications to patients and offer expertise in the safe use of prescriptions. They also provide advice on how to lead a healthy lifestyle, conduct health and wellness screenings, provide immunizations and oversee the medications given to patients.

Pharmacists typically do the following:

  1. On Your Own: Using the list above, identify which responsibilities benefit the patient and which responsibilities benefit other members of the healthcare team.