Opportunities Are Endless in Pharmacy
Ed Cohen, PharmD
Dr. Cohen is manager of immunization Clinical Services at Walgreens.
Looking back almost 100 years at thepractice of pharmacy, pharmacists werevery involved with their patients' care.Most medications, sold with or withouta doctor's prescription, were prepared bypharmacists in a laboratory-type setting totreat the patient. There were very few, ifany, remedies that were manufactured aswe have them today. Pharmacists knewtheir patients, their ailments, and the medicationsthey had prepared.
Today, pharmacists are equally involvedwith their patients' care. Pharmacists haveelectronic records of their patients' medicationsand are able to quickly review thetreatment regimen. Patients on complexregimens rely on the pharmacist for guidanceto properly take their medications to getthe maximum benefit, at the lowest cost.As your pharmacy career begins, youwill never lack for opportunities to impactpatients and their care. You can be involvedin direct patient care, workingwith patients who are well, at risk fordisease, or chronically ill. You can workin various types of practice settings in thecommunity or in an institutional practice.You can work in industry, in research, orin sales. You will always be a teacher toyour patients, to other practitioners, andto future pharmacists.
You can also get involved with pharmacyoutside your practice site by joiningprofessional associations. These groupswork on your behalf to ensure that youhave the opportunity to practice pharmacyas a true health care professional, withthe rights and privileges to be part of yourpatients' care, and to be compensated foryour services.
The best of luck to you as you embarkon your career as a pharmacist.