My Favorite Pharmacy Stories

No matter what job you hold in pharmacy, you're likely to run into some funny situations.

No matter what job you hold in pharmacy, you’re likely to run into some funny situations.

Recently, I was reminiscing about my time as a pharmacy intern and student on PharmD rotations. Here are some of my favorite stories.

Price Check

As an intern at a retail pharmacy chain, I often spent time price matching prescription drugs at other stores.

One time, a customer brought in more than 10 prescriptions and asked me to price match every possible competitor for each drug. I think it took me about 90 minutes to make all the calls.

I was checking the customer out at the register when he suddenly flew into a rage. He angrily shouted, “This is 25 cents more than last time!”

I interrupted the man’s rant with, “Are you really going to hassle me over 25 cents?” I then reached into my pocket and handed the man a quarter.

We never saw him again.

Itchy Leg Aid

Another time as an intern, a man asked me to help him pick out some cream for an itchy insect bite.

We were in the OTC aisle looking at hydrocortisone cream when he rolled up his pant leg and revealed a red, swollen leg with red streaking in the vein from his ankle all the way up past where I could see. The patient obviously had an advanced case of cellulitis.

I told him, “There’s no OTC cream that can fix that,” and then I quickly walked him out of the pharmacy, pointed to an urgent care center across the street, and said, “If you want to keep that leg, you’ll go seek medical treatment right now.”

Thankfully, he took my advice.

Inappropriate Exam

As a Pharm D student, I spent a month working with an internal medicine physician. This physician believed that students should be actively involved, so I ended up participating in patient care rather than observing it.

One day, a patient came in with classic symptoms of benign prostatic hyperplasia. Without warning or asking me to leave the room, the physician had the patient drop his pants for a digital rectal examination.

After the test was completed, the physician asked if I would like to feel the enlarged prostate. I quickly declined, saying, “If you go to a pharmacy that does that, you're in the wrong pharmacy.” It was the only time I ever saw the physician laugh.

Jailhouse Script

Here’s a bonus story courtesy of my wife, who is also a pharmacist.

As an intern, my wife was working at a retail store when a man pulled up to the drive-thru window. He presented a script for Percocet and said, “I need this in a hurry because I’m on my way to jail.”

The pharmacist overheard him and said, “I don’t think they’re going to let you take those pills with you to jail!”