A Career in Pharmacy Continues to Rank in Top 100 Jobs, With Ongoing Growth in the Field

Article

A professional with a newly-minted pharmacy doctorate degree today has many options for a rewarding career.

The past 3 years have put a spotlight on how valuable skilled health care providers are, as well as how much an individual health care professional can impact patients’ experiences in health care. The pharmacy profession in particular has seen substantial growth and remains a top career choice with respect to job satisfaction, job security, income, and opportunity for advancement. A professional with a newly-minted pharmacy doctorate degree today has many options for a rewarding career.

One of the main elements contributing to the pharmacy sector’s unchanged position as a top job in health care is the deep satisfaction that pharmacists experience as they witness firsthand the impact they have on their community and the people they help daily. With the care that a pharmacist can provide, he or she can bring about improvement in the lives of their patients and customers, and this impact can trickle into the patients' broader network, including family, coworkers, and community. Because of this significant role, pharmacists consistently report high job satisfaction.

Since pharmacists remain one of the most accessible health care providers in any given community—with the rise of telehealth even further broadening this accessibility—patients rely on them for much more than simply filling prescriptions. With the proliferation of complex, technical, and potentially alarming or inaccurate information on the internet, a pharmacist is a vital resource in communities for sound medical advice. Pharmacists clarify flawed data, provide more detailed context for medications and conditions, and ease patient doubt in a meaningful way.

A career in pharmacy is in many ways future-proof, as the profession continues to expand its scope and value to an increasingly collaborative and interdisciplinary medical establishment—and will continue to do so in the years to come. We now have clinical pharmacists in many areas as specialists—from cardiology and infectious diseases to oncology and endocrinology, to name just a few examples.

Many disease states now have a pharmacist working with a physician side-by-side, providing knowledge and guidance for patients around medication management and a personalized treatment plan. The value of the pharmacist’s efforts in patient care is significant, as the pharmacist can craft a treatment plan that utilizes a patient’s specific genetics and biology to increase the treatment success rate.

As life expectancy increases, so do new diagnoses and new medications. Further, as the mental health crisis in the United States persists, pharmacists have a vital role to play in providing treatment support for individuals experiencing difficulties in their mental health treatment, as physicians and psychiatrists are often less accessible due to high demand.

Another contributing factor to pharmacy’s position as a top job is the expanding diversity of roles that a PharmD allows individuals to pursue. For those who are not called to the clinical side of pharmacy, there is the business industry side of the profession. Drug development, consultancies, fellowships, health informatics, laboratory diagnostics, and technology are just a few examples, in addition to the government and regulatory roles that are extremely important as new treatments are developed.

As an educator at Marshall B. Ketchum University’s College of Pharmacy located in Fullerton, California, I have firsthand knowledge of the current high demand for dedicated and well-educated pharmacists. The expansion of the profession combined with a large number of pharmacists retiring has created a very strong job market for our graduates and resulted in companies requesting that we share hiring notices with our students regularly.

A career in pharmacy is a deeply rewarding vocation, with tremendous opportunities for growth, extensive flexibility, and diversity with respect to specialties, quality of living, and job satisfaction that comes with helping people to become well again.

About the Author

Monica Trivedi, PharmD, is an assistant professor and associate dean of Clinical Affairs and Community Outreach at Marshall B. Ketchum University. Shebegan her career in pharmacy as a pharmacy technician in 1997. She received her Doctor of Pharmacy degree from the University of Southern California School of Pharmacy in 2002. After graduation, she worked in the community pharmacy setting as a Pharmacy Manager for Longs Drugs in Mission Viejo, California from 2002- 2006. In 2006, she was promoted to Pharmacy District Manager for Long Drugs focused on operational responsibilities of staffing pharmacists, sales, budgeting and customer service. CVS then acquired Longs Drugs and she transitioned to a Pharmacy Supervisor for CVS in the Orange County area until April 2011. In April 2011, Trivedi joined Target Corporation as a Healthcare Business Partner for the Inland Empire area. For Target, she educated and supported the pharmacy operations in three districts for a total of 27 pharmacies in the market. Dr. Trivedi joined MBKU in February 2016. She developed the experiential program for the College of Pharmacy. Her research has been focused on student teaching and learning during rotations, in addition to immunization initiatives. Throughout the years, Trivedi has been focused on patient-centered care with the implementation of expanded Immunization programs, medication therapy management, leadership development for pharmacists and expanding healthcare services.

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