WHEN YOU BEGAN PHARMACY school, did you imagine becoming part of a health care team providing services to your community? Today, the pharmacy profession is complex and challenging, but it also presents many opportunities for personal growth and fulfillment.
As you begin your career, examine the options and consider what path you would like to pursue. A pharmacist's first job after graduation is often in a staff position, but your imagination should not stop there. If you enjoy the business side of pharmacy, you might become the pharmacy manager overseeing pharmacy operations and patient care programs. After you have learned the operations of the pharmacy, you may choose to climb the ladder to district or regional manager.
A chain pharmacist who wants to create patient care programs can become a clinical services manager. If visiting pharmacy schools and showing student pharmacists the path to internships and job opportunities sparks your interest, then a career in pharmacy recruiting or human resources may be right for you.
Procuring pharmaceutical products and ensuring that stores have access to and information about new products is an opportunity for those who might choose the purchasing department. If politics and law grab your attention, you may choose to be an advocate for community pharmacy and speak up to ensure the best for patients and the profession. An interest in technology presents opportunities to provide input into the development of timesaving and workflow enhancing systems.
As patients' needs change and new programs and services emerge, the challenges and opportunities for community pharmacists will increase. Develop your skills and find which areas of practice best suit your personality, abilities, and goals. Keep up with the changes in practice and in federal and state laws. Take advantage of the expanding opportunities to build an engaging and rewarding career.
Mr. Hannan is the president and chief executive officer of the National Association of Chain Drug Stores.