WELCOME TO THE BEST PROFESSION. By choosing a career in pharmacy, you have opened a door to a multitude of opportunities in a wide variety of practice settings, any one of which you may find rewarding. Regardless of where you practice, however, you have chosen a career dedicated to helping others.
Overall interest in the pharmacy profession is growing. Pharmacy school applications, enrollments, and degrees awarded continue to rise, according to the American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy. The number of colleges and schools with pharmacy degree programs also continues to grow, with the total now standing at about 90. These increases are no surprise.
The demand for qualified pharmacists, together with the expanded opportunities in pharmacy and in health care, makes the pharmacy profession extremely attractive. Pharmacists repeatedly rank among the most trusted professionals in any field, and community pharmacists are the most accessible health care professionals. Many exciting opportunities and distinct challenges are facing pharmacists in the days and years ahead in every practice setting.
Both independent and chain pharmacists are on the front lines of health care every day. Increasingly, hospital pharmacists are part of the patient care team making medical rounds. All are dedicated to serving as medication experts and advocates for their patients.
Welcome again to a profession full of opportunity. You are trusted by the public, respected by your peers in medicine, and are vital to the health care system.
Mr. Roberts is the executive vice president and chief executive officer of the National Community Pharmacists Association.