WHEN YOU BEGAN PHARMACYschool, did you imagine becoming part of ahealth care team providing services to yourcommunity? Today, the pharmacy professionis complex and challenging, but it also presentsmany opportunities for personal growthand fulfillment.
As you begin your career, examine theoptions and consider what path you would liketo pursue. A pharmacist's first job after graduationis often in a staff position, but your imaginationshould not stop there. If you enjoy thebusiness side of pharmacy, you might becomethe pharmacy manager overseeing pharmacyoperations and patient care programs. Afteryou have learned the operations of the pharmacy,you may choose to climb the ladder todistrict or regional manager.
A chain pharmacist who wants to createpatient care programs can become a clinicalservices manager. If visiting pharmacy schoolsand showing student pharmacists the path tointernships and job opportunities sparks yourinterest, then a career in pharmacy recruitingor human resources may be right for you.
Procuring pharmaceutical products andensuring that stores have access to andinformation about new products is anopportunity for those who might choosethe purchasing department. If politics andlaw grab your attention, you may choose tobe an advocate for community pharmacyand speak up to ensure the best for patientsand the profession. An interest in technologypresents opportunities to provideinput into the development of timesavingand workflow enhancing systems.
As patients' needs change and new programsand services emerge, the challengesand opportunities for community pharmacistswill increase. Develop your skills andfind which areas of practice best suit yourpersonality, abilities, and goals. Keep up withthe changes in practice and in federal andstate laws. Take advantage of the expandingopportunities to build an engaging andrewarding career.
Mr. Hannan is the presidentand chief executive officerof the National Associationof Chain Drug Stores.