DIFFERENT ROLES OF PHARMACISTS
What kind of jobs are available to someone with a pharmacy degree?
Before you commit to pharmacy school, I would recommend shadowing a pharmacist to make sure you like what you would be doing. Pharmacy school and training is a big commitment and investment. I initially shadowed someone in physical therapy (what I THOUGHT) I wanted to do. Through school and talking to people, pharmacy was recommended to me. I had a good idea of what a retail pharmacist did (or so I thought) so I did a little shadowing in a hospital and talked to a pharmacy director to learn about the role of a hospital pharmacist. Wow, were my eyes opened! One of the main reasons I chose pharmacy was because there are so many options. I tend to get bored rather easily and I was intrigued by all the different roles and responsibilities a pharmacist could do and have.
Just a few:
Retail pharmacist/pharmacy manager: these are the pharmacists you see at Walgreens, CVS, etc...
Clinical hospital pharmacist (This category is the broadest – there are general pharmacists and then there are pharmacists that have specialties (oncology, anticoagulation, cardiology, renal, transplant, emergency department, psychiatry, critical care, antimicrobial stewardship, etc….
IV room pharmacist verifying sterile preparations at a hospital
Investigational Drug pharmacist
Oncology pharmacist (clinical specialist or working in an oncology infusion clinic)
Ambulatory care (clinic) pharmacist
Pharmacist who works for a home health infusion company
Drug utilization pharmacist
Operating room pharmacist
Medication safety pharmacist
Pharmaceutical company: Medical science liaison, medical information scientist, sales representative and many more depending on experience
Professor in a pharmacy school
If you work in a smaller hospital, you may fill more than one of these roles. Larger health systems tend to have different pharmacists dedicated to each part of the drug distribution process.
So I went to pharmacy school thinking I would work for the FDA or a pharmaceutical company; through different twists and turns, I work in hospital administration at a large hospital and love it! There are so many different avenues available to you and it’s a great career path to take.