YouTube Can Change Public Perception of Pharmacists

Pharmacy Careers, Pharmacy Careers Spring 2020, Volume 14, Issue 1

The internet is an innovative way to educate people about the health care profession.

A European study found that patients do not perceive pharmacists as health advisers and instead see them primarily as medication dispensers.1 This attitude feels prevalent in the United States, as well, and is most likely due to lack of education about the pharmacist’s role. Patients coming to the pharmacy usually do not see the clinical decisions that pharmacists make daily.

The internet is an innovative way to educate people about the health care profession, and pharmacists who use YouTube as a platform can positively change the public’s perspective on the profession. Although most health-focused YouTube stars are doctors and nurses, the online pharmacy community is growing.

The following are some examples of pharmacists who are shining a light on their careers, 1 video at a time.

Kelsey Douglas

Kelsey Douglas, PharmD, is a community pharmacy manager and fitness enthusiast. Her channel features workouts and nutrition videos that show the life of a fit pharmacist, and it attracts viewers who share the same interests. She advocates for the pharmacy profession, and she advises fellow pharmacists about how to add healthy habits to their work schedules. She inspires health care practitioners to take care of themselves.

AVAILABLE AT: youtube.com/channel/UCCx39_QvSR6BfMVc_LEZpVQ

Be His Masterpiece

This channel is run by a student pharmacist, Dee, who does not publicly use her last name and makes videos about her graduate school adventures. In her videos, she provides useful tools for students, such as study and time management tips. She relies on her Christian faith to illustrate many of her points and musings on pharmacy life, and she continues to work toward her goals. Her positive attitude portrays the pharmacy profession in a refreshing and optimistic light.

AVAILABLE AT: youtube.com/channel/UCIht7wspEned9N2zzNdQr2g

Brian Fung

Brian Fung, PharmD, BCPS, is an informatics pharmacist who makes videos about his experiences in the field. In addition to educating people about his specialty, he gives advice about residencies in pharmacy. He shows that a pharmacy career can take many diverse paths. Even those who enjoy interacting with computers more than with patients can find a role in the medical industry as an informatics pharmacist.

AVAILABLE AT: youtube.com/user/jinzul

Happy Pharm Life

First-year pharmacy resident Sierra Richard, PharmD, wants to help viewers obtain their dream residency. Her most recent videos include explanations of Pharmacy Online Residency Centralized Application Service and tips for acing interviews. She also gives advice on how to ask for letters of reference and fill out applications. This is a wonderful resource for anyone looking for practical recommendations when applying to residency programs.

AVAILABLE AT: youtube.com/channel/UCf8n3UqviTfYpsgU8HjER8w

Abraham the Pharmacist

Abraham Kho is a pharmacist in the United Kingdom, and his channel has over 23 million views. He creates videos for individuals who wants to learn more about medicine and diseases. His videos cover a variety of topics, such as vaccines and over-the-counter treatments. His evidence-based content, presented in an interesting way, shows that pharmacists are knowledgeable professionals who strive to improve patient health.

AVAILABLE AT: youtube.com/user/ebyiraany

A 2015 study2 reported that films and television shows often depict pharmacists in a negative or neutral perspective. Pharmacists who support misuse or abuse of medications for personal gain, and those portrayed as pushovers or victims, are some examples of common tropes about pharmacists in the media. These depictions

leave a poor impression with the public and reinforce stereotypes about the profession, which could dissuade individuals from pursuing a pharmacy career or trusting their

pharmacists.

Fortunately, the internet gives a voice to real-life professionals who experience the world of pharmacy every day. Viewing passionate pharmacists on YouTube is one way

the public’s opinion of pharmacists could be changed for the better.

BETTY DERZA is a 2020 PharmD candidate at Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science in North Chicago, Illinois.

REFERENCES

  • Majchrowska A, Bogusz R, Nowakowska L, Pawlikowski J, Piątkowski W, Wiechetek M. Public perception of the ranges of roles played by professional pharmacists. Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2019;16(15):2787. doi: 10.3390/ijerph16152787.
  • Yanicak A, Mohorn PL, Monterroyo P, Furgiuele G, Waddington L, Bookstaver PB. Public perception of pharmacists: film and television portrayals from 1970 to 2013. J Am Pharm Assoc. 2015;55(6):578-586. doi: 10.1331/JAPhA.2015.15028.