Is Pharmacy A Good Career

Believe it or not, the comparison between pharmacists and doctors is not the same as David v Goliath. Think about it, both form the backbone of the healthcare sector in the US and are handicapped without each other’s cooperation and assistance. Yet surprisingly and contrary to popular belief, pharmacists will be enjoying a better professional outlook than doctors in the coming years.

Surprised! Read on.

Why Pharmacy!

If you want to serve humanity without getting your hands dirty, consider becoming a pharmacist. With the right academic qualifications and license to practice, pharmacists earn in excess of $110,000 annually (2012 median pay, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS)). And this is without prior work experience. Obviously the financial rewards get even better with time.

An attractive feature in pharmacy is the time period within which you can become a pharmacist. After completing bachelors, pharmacists hold Doctor of Pharmacy (Pharm. D.), a 4-year degree. Some pharmacy schools may however offer the same in 3-years. All in all, a qualified pharmacist spends 7 years to complete his/her education while a surgeon or physician on the other hand spends a lot more time. Getting a head start means earning an attractive salary, gaining experience meanwhile your friends in medical school are still studying or completing their internship or residency requirements.

How to become a pharmacist

Now that you already know that pharmacists hold a Pharm.D. Degree, holding a research or clinical pharmacy job will need a 1-2 year residency, posts Pharm. D. But if you intend to run your own pharmacy, then holding a degree in public health or a master’s in business administration (MBA) may come in handy.

You also need to be aware that pharmacists require a license to practice. For that, they must pass two exams, one in pharmacy skills and knowledge and the other in pharmacy law. The latter pertains to the state where you want to practice.

Should you become a pharmacist?

Time for self assessment, you need to be honest to yourself in this section. Do you think or know that you have the following personal traits and qualities:

  • Managerial skills
  • Analytical skills
  • Detail oriented
  • Communication skills

If the answer to every point is yes then Congratulations! The above mentioned are the qualities found in successful pharmacists.

Hopefully, by now there is no confusion in choosing between a medical and a pharmacy school. However, if you are still unsure, think of it in this way; doctors get all the lime light yet pharmacists are those unsung heroes who may not get all the attention, yet without whose professional expertise, doctors cannot cure patients.


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