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					                            careers in
2 0 0 3   S T U D E N T   G U I D E   B O O K




preparing
FOR YOUR CAREER
IN PHARMACY




10
TOP



REASONS TO BE
A PHARMACIST



PHARMACY:

Rx for
SUCCESS
                                                                                                          Pharmacy
                                                                                                                                                        careers in
Reinhard Franzen
President and CEO

                                                                                                          2 0 0 3   S   T   U   D   E   N   T   G   U   I   D   E   B   O   O   K




                                                                                                          contents
                                                                              Berlex Laboratories, Inc.


                                                                              340 Changebridge Road
                                                                              P.O. Box 1000
                                                                              Montville, NJ 07045-1000
                                                                              Tel: (973)487-2551
                                                                              Fax: (973)487-2460




            Berlex Laboratories is very proud to sponsor the "Careers in Pharmacy 2003 Student
            Guide Book." Senator Jack Reed of Rhode Island, along with seven other lawmakers,
            recently sponsored the "Pharmacy Education Aid Act of 2003" in response to the
            current pharmacist shortage in the United States. The bill would provide many financial          4          PHARMACY: Rx for success
            benefits such as loan repayment funds. It is a great time to become a pharmacist.
            Our goal with this publication is to broaden your career horizons to include the many
                                                                                                             8          PREPARING FOR YOUR CAREER                                                p.4
            facets of pharmacy. Our hope is that you will choose the very rewarding career of being
            a pharmacist.                                                                                               IN PHARMACY
            Berlex Laboratories is a pharmaceutical firm that focuses on innovative drug develop-
            ment, including biotechnology. We employ pharmacists throughout our organization
            and we interact with them daily in hospitals, pharmacies, nursing homes, and a variety
                                                                                                          12            NAVIGATING THE
                                                                                                                        ADMISSION PROCESS
            of other unique patient settings. Berlex Laboratories believes that pharmacists play a
            critical role in health care. We support this publication to bring valuable information to
            you, a potential future pharmacist, on the educational requirements, career options,
            and opportunities available as a pharmacist.
                                                                                                          14            EMPLOYMENT OUTLOOK:
                                                                                                                        Excellent
            Pharmacy is a very dynamic profession that we encourage to motivated high school
            students interested in pursuing a career in health care. Students who enjoy math,
            science, and communicating with people will find these skills valuable in the pharmacy
            profession. Graduates of pharmacy schools have career options in retail pharmacy,
                                                                                                          16            PHARMACY CHOICES:
                                                                                                                        Retail to research
                                                                                                                                                                                           p.8
            hospital pharmacy, managed care pharmacy, pharmaceutical manufacturers, and still
            options. There currently are over 7,000 open retail pharmacist positions in the United
            States, and the need is projected to grow over the next decade. This puts you, the
            future pharmacist, in the position to write your own ticket!
                                                                                                          19            TOP 10 REASONS TO
                                                                                                                        BE A PHARMACIST
            My hope is that you find this a valuable resource that provides you with useful infor-
            mation. A career in pharmacy is a choice that will benefit you well into the twenty-
            first century.                                                                                20            A DAY IN THE LIFE OF
                                                                                                                        A COMMUNITY PHARMACIST
            Wishing you the best in your future career,

            Reinhard Franzen
                                                                                                          23            THE ROLE OF TECHNOLOGY



            President and CEO
            Berlex Laboratories, Inc.
                                                                                                                                                                                    p.19
    P H A R M A C Y

                                                                                                                                              drugs each year, created to help        high cholesterol, cancer and arthritis.”
                                                                                                                                              people combat diseases from
                                                                                                                                              arthritis and cancer to allergies and   More than 150 prescription medications are
                                                                                                                                              heart disease. Biotechnology-related    covered through this program, and 150,000
                                                                                                                                              drugs, which work according to          seniors have enrolled. By becoming a pharma-
                                                                                                                                              newly discovered findings in the        cist, you can work one-on-one with these and
                                                                                                                                              human genome, are just starting         other patients and fill an increasing need for
                                                                                                                                              to hit the market and will address      expert pharmacists.
                                                                                                                                              ailments and even genetic condi-
                                                                                                                                              tions for which drugs have not          GREAT PAY
                                                                                                                                              yet been available.                     Aside from all of the expanded services that
                                                                                                                                                                                      pharmacists are adding to their job descriptions
                                                                                                                                              The field of pharmacogenomics           and the help the career provides others, pharma-
                                                                                                                                              is also about to explode—it’s the       cy also puts you on a fast career track. Entry-
                                                                                                                                              study of how patient’s genetic vari-    level pay in the profession is high. “About
                                                                                                                                              ations affect the way they react to     $65,000 to $70,000 a year in urban areas,”

                                                                       for                                                                    various drugs and will affect the
                                                                                                                                              way drugs are prescribed in the
                                                                                                                                              future. The result is an increasing
                                                                                                                                                                                      added Duane Reade’s Lane.

                                                                                                                                                                                      The field not only is lucrative, but prestigious



                                                                       success                                                                number of prescriptions that need
                                                                                                                                              to be filled, endless research oppor-
                                                                                                                                              tunities, a fast growing biotech
                                                                                                                                              industry as well as new corporate
                                                                                                                                              challenges that provide a variety
                                                                                                                                              of career options for pharmacists.
                                                                                                                                                                                      and stable. Pay is often even higher than the
                                                                                                                                                                                      figures Lane gives. According to a 2001 survey
                                                                                                                                                                                      by Drug Topics magazine, the median annual
                                                                                                                                                                                      earnings of pharmacists (including overtime
                                                                                                                                                                                      and bonuses) in 2000 was $78,624 per year as
                                                                                                                                                                                      compared to $64,980 per year in 1999.

                                                                                                                                               PHARMACIST AS HEALTH                   The Gallup Organization has consistently ranked
                                                                                                                                               PROFESSIONAL                           pharmacists among the most trusted of profes-
                                                                                                                                              Because of escalating medical costs     sionals. By taking proactive control of your
              Are you looking for a career that is interesting, pays    pharmacy are not only virtually guaranteed jobs, but    and a shortage of doctors, many states have loos-     future with a career in pharmacy, a skill set that
              well and benefits society? Pharmacy may be just the       will be paid top dollar as drug stores, mass market     ened the hold that doctors have had on patient        will continue to be in-demand, you can chart a
              prescription for a successful future.                     retailers, pharmaceutical research corporations, hos-   care, allowing pharmacists to use their medication    course for long-term success.
                                                                        pitals and a number of other operations compete to      expertise to monitor patient care and therapies.
              Today might seem a bit early to plan your entire          hire you.                                                                                                     WHAT EXACTLY DOES A PHARMACIST DO?
              career—but your days as a taxpaying citizen are                                                                   Pharmacists are key contributors in a number          Lots. It’s time to forget the notion that all phar-
              close at hand. The more you think about what              “There’s a crying need for pharmacists in all           of programs that have been created to make            macists do is count out pills. Dispensing drugs is
              you’re going to do tomorrow, the better chance you        roles,” stresses Dr. Barbara G. Wells, president of     medicines accessible and affordable.                  certainly part of the job, but the career goes far
              have of landing a job that you enjoy and providing        the American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy                                                              beyond simply working behind the counter. The
              a lifestyle you desire.                                   and dean of The University of Mississippi School        One example is a new initiative between two           settings vary—from an enlisted position on a
                                                                        of Pharmacy.                                            important industry organizations that are             military base to a pharmacist at your local chain
              You may have heard that the economy and the job                                                                   working to make it easier for consumers to get        pharmacy or independent pharmacy. Career
              market are not in the best shape right now, and           You may be wondering why the number of people           the medications they need. Together Rx and            options include:
              the rumors are, unfortunately, true. However, there       needed to work in the field of pharmacy is rising so    Pharmacy Care Alliance are focusing on educat-        • Community pharmacy
              is a demand for and, in actuality, a shortage of          dramatically. The substantial increase in demand is     ing “low-income seniors about meaningful drug         • Hospital/clinical pharmacy
              pharmacists and pharmacy technicians.                     being driven by a number of factors. Health issues      assistance programs offered by pharmaceutical         • Long-term care facilities
                                                                        are on the rise as the biggest population demograph-    companies,” explains Craig L. Fuller, president       • Academic
              “There’s no question that the need for pharmacists        ic—the baby boomer—is aging. Statistically, that        and CEO of the National Association of Chain          • Retail
              is staggering,” says Chris Lane, vice president of        means a spike in the number of people afflicted with    Drug Stores, or NACDS. “By offering one-card          • Independent pharmacy ownership
              pharmacy operations at drug chain Duane Reade.            age-related disorders, including high blood pressure,   access to savings, this program makes it easier for   • Pharmacy benefits manager
              In fact, there will be an anticipated shortfall of        high cholesterol and type 2 diabetes.                   8 million to 11 million Medicare enrollees—who        • Research
              about 157,000 pharmacists by 2020, according to                                                                   have no prescription drug coverage—to get medi-       • Armed services
              findings from the Pharmacy Manpower Project Inc.          Trained experts are in demand as pharmaceutical         cines used to treat some common afflictions of        • Public health service
              This means that those of you who choose a career in       companies continue to come out with more new            older Americans, such as diabetes, hypertension,      • Mail order/Internet pharmacy




4 Careers in Pharmacy   • 2003                                                                                                                                                                                                      Careers in Pharmacy   • 2003   5
              Pharmacy: Rx for Success
              •   Consultant pharmacy                                preparation guide, page 8, for details.)
              •
              •
                  Call center
                  Pharmaceutical sales and marketing                 After earning a degree in pharmacy, successful gradu-
                                                                                                                                There are even more pharmacy specialty areas that
                                                                                                                                range from forensic pharmacy to a poison control.             You know
              •
              •
                  Drug research and development
                  Managed care
                                                                     ates go on to take the NAPLEX, or North American
                                                                     Pharmacist Licensure Examination, which is the board
                                                                                                                                To specialize in one of these types of practice, a resi-
                                                                                                                                dency typically is required, which is another popular      you will make a
              •   Association management                             exam to become a registered pharmacist. Additional         way that pharmacists can further their knowledge.
              •
              •
                  Local, state and federal government
                  Veterans administration
                                                                     tests vary by state—they involve specific state laws, or
                                                                     some states, like California, have a separate pharmacy     Pharmacy Residency: As noted, this is the best way
                                                                                                                                                                                           good pharmacist
              Some of the benefits of a career in pharmacy include
                                                                     exam. Pharmacists can apply for certification in multi-
                                                                     ple states and often do not need to retest to use their
                                                                                                                                for pharmacists to learn more about a specialized
                                                                                                                                area of interest. Residencies range from geriatrics,
                                                                                                                                                                                             because ...
              working close to home and a job that’s never dull.     license elsewhere if they want to move.                    community practice and pediatrics to critical care         1. You’re good at math and science. If these
              A good pharmacist sometimes gets to play detective,                                                               and even forensics.
                                                                                                                                                                                           subjects are among your best, a career in
              potentially saving customers’ lives. With                      Further education also is an option,
                                                                                                                                                                                           pharmacy may be the right choice for you.
              patients going to multiple specialists                               including residencies, fellowships           WHAT NEXT?
              and, perhaps, multiple drug stores,                                      and PhD programs. Pharmacists            You can start planning today—in fact, if you know          The better you are in these subjects, the eas-
              a helpful pharmacist checks to                                              can also go on to specialize          you want a career in pharmacy before you enter col-        ier it will be to get through the requisite
              see what kind of medical                                                      in one of five areas and            lege, you even potentially can skip a year or two of       coursework to receive your degree.
              problems a patient suffers                                                      become board-certified in         school and get right down to the part where you
              from and what other                                                               any of them. This can           start making money. Typically, the Pharm.D degree
                                                                                                                                                                                           2. You enjoy working with people. You
              medications a patient is                                                           lead to an increase in         program requires at least two years of college fol-
                                                                                                                                                                                           already may know that a career in science
              taking to avert poten-                                                              pay and makes the             lowed by four years of pharmacy study. Most stu-
              tially life-threatening                                                              job even more chal-          dents enter pharmacy school with three or more             appeals to you but don’t want to be iso-
              complications from                                                                    lenging to a doctor         years of college. A few pharmacy schools require stu-      lated in a lab. Pharmacists will tell you
              drug interactions.                                                                    of pharmacy who             dents to have a college degree to be eligible for          that the job is as socially oriented as it is
                                                                                                    wants to specialize         admission. Pharmacy schools moved away from the            scientifically oriented.
              HOW DO YOU                                                                           in a particular area.        B.S. in pharmacy to the Pharm.D degree because of
              BECOME A                                                                                                          the expanding complexity of the role of pharmacists
              PHARMACIST?                                                                         SPECIALTIES                   in today’s society. From there, it’s your choice as to
                                                                                                                                                                                           3. Multitasking is appealing. If you want a
              You can get a taste of                                                             INCLUDE:                       what you want to do and where and how you want             job that keeps you intellectually stimulated,
              what it’s like to work as a                                                       Nuclear Pharmacy:               to do it.                                                  pharmacy is for you. The field is evolving
              pharmacist starting today.                                                      Nuclear pharmacists com-                                                                     rapidly and involves numerous disciplines.
              By working in a pharmacy                                                      pound radioactive pharma-
              setting, you’ll get to see what                                            ceuticals for diagnostic purpos-
                                                                                                                                FOR MORE INFORMATION:
                                                                                                                                To learn more about pursuing a career as a pharmacist,     4. You don’t want to be chained to a desk.
              the day-to-day job is like. Many                                        es—for example, compounding               contact the following organizations:                       Increasingly, pharmacists are coming out
              pharmacists in a variety of settings find                          radioactive products for diagnosing
                                                                                                                                Academy of Managed Care Pharmacy                           from behind the counter, and many don’t
              their career paths this way.                               heart function.                                        800-827-2627 www.amcp.org
                                                                                                                                                                                           work behind the counter at all. There are
                                                                                                                                American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy
              “I got my start in the field years ago working in a    Pharmaco Therapy: These pharmacists are responsi-                                                                     high-paying jobs available as liaisons to drug
                                                                                                                                703-739-2330 www.aacp.org; www.pharmcas.org
              pharmacy—it’s the best way to get a feel for the       ble for ensuring the safe, economical and appropri-                                                                   companies who work with sales reps and
              career,” Lane says.                                    ate use of drugs for patients.                             American College of Clinical Pharmacy
                                                                                                                                816-531-2177 www.accp.com                                  allow you to travel the globe.

              Most of these jobs pay more than the average part-     Nutrition Support Pharmacy: These specialists feed         American Pharmacists Association
              time rate for an after-school job.                     and medicate patients who have special digestion
                                                                                                                                202-628-4410 www.aphanet.org                               5. Flexible hours are appealing. You can
                                                                     concerns and critical dosing requirements.                 American Society of Consultant Pharmacists                 make your own hours if you become a
              If you think a hospital setting would be most                                                                     703-739-1300 www.ascp.com
                                                                                                                                                                                           pharmacist. Do you want to travel? You can
              appealing, you can volunteer and get experience        Oncological Pharmacy: Chemotherapy and related             American Society of Health-System Pharmacists              work a shift where you can take a week or
              working as an assistant in a clinic. If you decide     cancer treatments are extremely complex and vital.         301-657-3000 www.ashp.org
                                                                                                                                                                                           two off at a time as part of your regular
              that a career in pharmacy is appealing, the road to    Working with cancer patients and their doctors is a        National Association of Chain Drug Stores
                                                                                                                                703-549-3001 www.nacds.org                                 schedule. If you go into teaching, you’ll get
              receiving your doctorate in pharmacy, or as it com-    fascinating and rewarding career path.
              monly is known, your Pharm.D, starts in college.                                                                                                                             the entire summer off—something you may
                                                                                                                                National Community Pharmacists Association
              Depending on the school, you choose a pre-pharma-      Psychiatric Pharmacy: This broad discipline moni-          703-683-8200 www.ncpanet.org                               miss after graduation.
              cy program or a major that falls within the accept-    tors complex mental conditions that increasingly are       National Pharmaceutical Association
              able range of a pre-pharmacy degree. (Please see       treated with medicines.                                    800-944-6742 www.npha.net




6 Careers in Pharmacy   • 2003                                                                                                                                                                                                     Careers in Pharmacy   • 2003   7
preparation guide


     P R E PA R I N G                      F O R          Y O U R          C A R E E R



             in pharmacy
             So, you want to be a pharmacist?
             Start planning now.
            The decision to pursue a career in pharmacy is an        associate dean/associate pro-
            excellent choice. Pharmacy offers attractive salaries,   fessor at the Harrison School
            a comfortable work environment, flexible hours and       of Pharmacy at Auburn
            diverse career options. Sounds great, right? But these   University. Also, any business
            luxuries don’t come without work—the education           courses are key because phar-
            process of a pharmacist is intense. In 1992, all the     macists today also are expect-
            colleges of pharmacy voted to make the doctorate of      ed to comprehend business
            pharmacy the only acceptable professional pharmacy       applications—especially in
            degree. A five-year Bachelor of Science degree is no     retail environments.
            longer offered. Obtaining a doctorate in pharmacy
            requires at least two years of pre-pharmacy and four
            years of pharmacy school. Because pharmacists are
            such a crucial component of health care, obtaining
                                                                     Years ago, pharmacists did
                                                                     not receive business train-
                                                                     ing. Today, it is an impor-
                                                                                                                                                                                Sample semester
            a pharmacy degree today is on par with attending         tant component of the
            medical school.                                          education process.                                                                                          Pharmaceutical Chemistry
            HIGH SCHOOL PREP                                         Working outside of school is
            While still in high school, you should meet with a       advised. “A student might                                                                                       Pharmacognosy
            guidance counselor to ensure that all the required       shadow a pharmacist in their
            courses are being taken. You might even want to          area or volunteer in a health-
            start your application process one year in advance.      related field,” suggests
                                                                                                                                                                                      Pharmacology
            Visiting a college Web site provides a glimpse at        McClain. Most local health
            what is required for entry. High school courses that     care associations are willing                                                                                 Pharmacy Practices
            are must-haves include physics, chemistry and            to have potential pharmacy students volunteer.          Recent developments suggest that more stu-
            biology. “Students should also have a good back-                                                                 dents are taking a three- or four-year pre-phar-
            ground in math,” says Valencia McClain, coordina-        COLLEGE PREP                                            macy program to enhance their performance                  Pathology
            tor of student affairs at the University of Florida      Prior to entering a professional school of pharmacy,    in pharmacy school. “We are in the process of
            College of Pharmacy.                                     students are required to complete two to four years     increasing pre-pharmacy to three years and get-
                                                                     of pre-pharmacy course work at the college level. You   ting a more science-based curriculum. We are
                                                                                                                                                                                         Nutrition
            Adds Sue Bierman, Ph.D. and assistant professor at       might want to consider focused studies in math and      finding that students with three years are bet-
            Butler University, “Take precalculus or calculus. Math   science courses to sharpen your skills. “There are      ter prepared for what they face in pharmacy               Drug Safety
            aptitude is a good indicator of success in pharmacy.”    two phases of pharmacy programs,” says Bierman          school,” says Jungnickel.
            While sciences and math seem natural choices in          of Butler University. “The first two years of study
            coursework, college professors also suggest classes      are in preparation for the professional phase of the    Some schools require that students take the          Business Management
            that enhance verbal skills. “I think you need to         pharmacy programs. Students will take university        PCAT exam, which is the Pharmacy College
            remember that pharmacy is a verbal profession, and       required courses and pharmacy prerequisites.”           Admission Test. This is similar to the MCAT
            you should take courses that bolster verbal commu-       During the sophomore year, she says, students           exams taken by potential medical students.
            nications,” advises Paul W. Jungnickel, who is the       generally apply for entry to the professional phase.    Most pharmacy colleges require a minimum


8 Careers in Pharmacy   • 2003                                                                                                                                                                       Careers in Pharmacy   • 2003   9
         Preparing for your Career in Pharmacy                                                                                                  U.S. Pharmacy Colleges
                                                                                                                       Albany College of Pharmacy                                         University of Louisiana at Monroe, College of Pharmacy
         grade point average during the first two years. The   courses in niche areas, such as Spanish for health
                                                                                                                       University of Arizona, College of Pharmacy                         Northeastern University, College of Pharmacy
         minimum acceptable undergraduate GPA is around        care professionals.
         the 3.0 mark—or B average.                                                                                    University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, College of Pharmacy   Nova Southeastern University, College of Pharmacy

                                                               Upon graduation, a license to practice pharmacy is      Auburn University, School of Pharmacy                              Ohio Northern University, College of Pharmacy
         Although not required, many admissions experts        required in all states. To obtain a license, you need   University of Buffalo, School of Pharmacy                          Ohio State University, College of Pharmacy
         recommend attending pre-pharmacy at the college       to serve an internship under a licensed pharmacist,
                                                                                                                       Butler University, College of Pharmacy                             University of Oklahoma, College of Pharmacy
         where the pharmacy education is going to be           graduate from an accredited college of pharmacy
                                                                                                                       University of California, San Francisco, School of Pharmacy        Oregon State University, College of Pharmacy
         completed. One admissions director suggested that     and pass a state examination.
         pre-pharmacy not be done at community or junior                                                               University of California, San Diego, School of Pharmacy            University of the Pacific, School of Pharmacy
         colleges, though it remains an option.                As of fall 2002, there were 84 colleges and             Campbell University, School of Pharmacy                            Palm Beach Atlantic College, School of Pharmacy
                                                               schools of pharmacy with accredited professional        University of Cincinnati, College of Pharmacy                      Philadelphia College of Pharmacy
         PHARMACY SCHOOL                                       degree programs.
                                                                                                                       University of Colorado, School of Pharmacy                         University of Pittsburgh, School of Pharmacy
         Once in pharmacy school, courses are more specific
         to the specialty you choose. However, most schools                                                            University of Connecticut, School of Pharmacy                      University of Puerto Rico, College of Pharmacy

         of pharmacy combine required courses with a broad                                                             Creighton University, Nebraska, School of Pharmacy                 Purdue University, School of Pharmacy
         range of professional elective options. For                                                                   Drake University, College of Pharmacy                              University of Rhode Island, College of Pharmacy
         example, a pharmacy student might need
                                                                                                                       Duquesne University, School of Pharmacy                            Rutgers University, College of Pharmacy
         154 core credits and 38 elective credits
                                                                                                                       Ferris State University, College of Pharmacy                       Samford University, School of Pharmacy
         for a total of 192 credits to obtain a
         doctorate of pharmacy.                                                                                        Florida A & M University, College of Pharmacy                      Shenandoah University, School of Pharmacy

                                                                                                                       University of Florida, College of Pharmacy                         South University, School of Pharmacy
         A TYPICAL COURSE LIST                                                                                         University of Georgia, College of Pharmacy                         University of Southern California, School of Pharmacy
         COULD INCLUDE:
                                                                                                                       Hampton University, School of Pharmacy                             University of South Carolina, College of Pharmacy
         • Pharmaceutical
           chemistry                                                                                                   University of Houston, College of Pharmacy                         Medical University of South Carolina, College of Pharmacy

         • Pharmacognosy (deals                                                                                        Howard University, College of Pharmacy                             South Dakota State University, College of Pharmacy
           with natural drugs)                                                                                           Idaho State University, College of Pharmacy                      Southwestern Oklahoma State University,
         • Pharmacology                                                                                                                                                                   School of Pharmacy
                                                                                                                           University of Illinois, College of Pharmacy
         • Pharmacy practices                                                                                                                                                             St. John’s University, College of Pharmacy
         • Pathology                                                                                                        University of Iowa, College of Pharmacy
                                                                                                                                                                                          St. Louis College of Pharmacy
         • Nutrition                                                                                                         University of Kansas, School of Pharmacy
         • Drug safety                                                                                                                                                                    Temple University, School of Pharmacy
                                                                                                                             University of Kentucky, College of Pharmacy
         • Business                                                                                                                                                                       University of Tennessee, College of Pharmacy
                                                                                                                              LECOM, College of Pharmacy
           management                                                                                                                                                                     University of Texas, College of Pharmacy
                                                                                                                              Long Island University, College of Pharmacy
                                                                                                                                                                                          Texas Southern University, College of Pharmacy
         Students also                                                                                                        University of Maryland, School of Pharmacy
                                                                                                                                                                                          Texas Tech University, School of Pharmacy
         can study issues                                                                                                     Massachusetts College of Pharmacy
         pertinent to their                                                                                                  Mercer University, School of Pharmacy
                                                                                                                                                                                          University of Toledo, College of Pharmacy
         desired career areas,                                                                                                                                                            University of Utah, College of Pharmacy
                                                                                                                             University of Michigan, College of Pharmacy
         such as dynamics of                                                                                                                                                              Virginia Commonwealth University, School of Pharmacy
         patient manage-                                                                                                    Midwestern University, Chicago College of Pharmacy
                                                                                                                                                                                          Washington State University, College of Pharmacy
         ment, issues in home                                                                                             Midwestern University, College of Pharmacy - Glendale
         health care delivery or                                                                                                                                                          University of Washington, School of Pharmacy
                                                                                                                         University of Minnesota, College of Pharmacy
         the biology of aging.                                                                                                                                                            Wayne State University, College of Pharmacy
                                                                                                                       University of Mississippi, School of Pharmacy
                                                                                                                                                                                          Western University of Health Sciences,
                                                                                                                       University of Missouri-Kansas City, School of Pharmacy
         Students intending to                                                                                                                                                            College of Pharmacy
         enter the retail world can                                                                                    University of Montana, School of Pharmacy
                                                                                                                                                                                          West Virginia University, School of Pharmacy
         take courses in community                                                                                     University of Nebraska Medical Center, College of Pharmacy
                                                                                                                                                                                          Wilkes University, School of Pharmacy
         practice, which often include                                                                                 Nevada College of Pharmacy
         internships at local drug stores.                                                                                                                                                Wingate University, School of Pharmacy
                                                                                                                       University of New Mexico, College of Pharmacy
         Some students might even pursue                                                                                                                                                  University of Wisconsin, School of Pharmacy
                                                                                                                       University of North Carolina, School of Pharmacy
                                                                                                                                                                                          University of Wyoming, School of Pharmacy
                                                                                                                       North Dakota State University, College of Pharmacy
                                                                                                                                                                                          Xavier University of Louisiana, College of Pharmacy




10 Careers in Pharmacy   • 2003                                                                                                                                                                                                        Careers in Pharmacy   • 2003   11
                                                                                                                                                                    ˆ
                                                                                                                                                                    ˆ
                                                                                                                                                                    ˆ
                                                                                                                                                                    ˆ
                                                                                                                                                                    ˆ
                                                                                                                                                                    ˆ
                                                                                                                                                                    ˆ
                                                                                                                                                                    ˆ
  navigating admissions
                    process
                                                                                                                            t h e


                                                                                                                                        ence. Admissions directors say this makes a
                                                                                                                                        big difference!

                                                                                                                                        Most retail chains such as Walgreens, Wal-Mart
                                                                                                                                        and Eckerd offer summer internship programs
                                                                                                                                        where students can get paid while learning the
                                                                                                                                        business. Although you can’t fill prescriptions,   pharmacy careers. Scholarship information is available by
                                                                                                                                        you can perform pharmacy technicians’ duties       calling pharmacy colleges or checking Web sites. Grants
                                                                                                                                        such as checkouts or taking prescriptions from     also are available for students. Pharmacy school can be
                                                                                                                                        patients. There is a pharmacist shortage in        expensive, but there are a number of financial aid
                                                                                                                                        America today, and pharmacies need as much         options available.
                                                                                                                                        help as possible.
                                                                                                                                                                                           By the year 2004, a new admissions avenue will be
                                                                                                                                        Large pharmaceutical companies and                 available. Half of all U.S. colleges of pharmacy are par-
                                                                                                                                        hospitals also offer internships. Call             ticipating together in a centralized application pool,
                                                                                                                                        human resources departments for informa-           known as the Pharmacy College Application Service
                                                                                                                                        tion. Not only can internships help get            (PharmCAS). Students can use the single PharmCAS
                                                                                                                                        you into college, they also open doors             application form to apply to several colleges.
                                                                                                                                        for employment. “We look for experience            PharmCAS will make it easier for you to navigate the
                                                                                                                                        during the summer or even while at                 pharmacy admissions process. PharmCAS will also
                                                                                                                                        school,”says Alan Levin, chairman of               make it easier for schools to tap into the pool of
                                                                                                                                        Happy Harry’s Drug in Newark, Del. “We             applicants more effectively.
                                                                                                                                        find these students make great employees.”
                                                                                                                                                                                           Online applications are becoming very popular. However,
                                                                                                                                                                                           because the world of cyberspace is not perfect, follow
                                                                                                                                        step three:           Select at least three col-   up online applications with e-mails or phone calls to
                                                                                                                                         leges of choice. How can you narrow them          confirm receipt. To learn more about PharmCAS, go to
                                                                                                                                         down? Sue Bierman, Ph.D. and assistant pro-       www.pharmcas.org.
                                                                                                                                         fessor at the College of Pharmacy and Health
                                                                                                                                         Services at Butler University, recommends         Almost half of all colleges now require that you take
                                                                                                                                         looking at the Web sites of universities of       the Pharmacy College Admissions Test (PCAT) as pre-
                                                                                                                                         interest. “Review the pharmacy information,       pharmacy student. A minimum grade point average also
                                                                                                                                         as well as the university academic mission.       is requested at most schools. Letters of recommendation
                                                                                                                                         Does this fit your interest? Some colleges        and essays are crucial to the application process as well.
                                                                                                                             specialize in training for one aspect of pharmacy over        Good sources are local pharmacists, physicians, teachers
    step one: Make sure you have taken or plan to                 www.aacp.org and www.pharmcas.org or the National          another. Think hard about what field you want to enter        or health care professionals who know you.
     take all prerequisite math and science courses. A check of   Association of Boards of Pharmacy at www.nabp.net.         and match your application with college strengths.”
     college Web sites or a visit to your guidance counselor      The National Association of Chain Drug Stores at
     can help determine what you need. You can request uni-       www.nacds.org is another key resource. There also are                                                                    step five: If possible, arrange for personal meet-
     versity handbooks or obtain standards for applications on    trade publications, such as Drug Store News, which deal    step four: Start applying at least a year before              ings with prospective school advisers or counselors.
     Web sites.                                                   with pharmacy issues.                                      entry. While it can be time-consuming and expensive to        Practice for personal interviews with parents or friends.
                                                                                                                             complete multiple admissions, pharmacy is a competitive       Pharmacy is a career where your personal appearance and
     Admissions policies vary from school to school, so                                                                      field and you need to have choices. “Apply early because      verbal skills are important. Neatness and clarity count!
     check each site carefully. Know as much as you can about     step two: Find a way to get some experience.               deadlines vary in terms of scholarship consideration,”        How hard is it to get in? Although pharmacy schools
     the school and its programs. The Internet has become         Shadow your local pharmacist. You can volunteer at         Bierman says. Most colleges have scholarships available       have very high expectations, the fact is that there is a
     an incredibly useful tool for learning about pharmacy        a hospital or participate in community service. By         for potential pharmacy students. Many industry leaders,       swelling demand for pharmacists. A strong background
     and pharmacy schools. Visit association sites, such as       working with a pharmacist, you can truly understand        such as James Harrison, who founded Harco Drug in             and good grades should ensure your acceptance into a
     the American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy at          what the job entails while getting valuable experi-        Tuscaloosa, Ala., have made large endowments to further       pre-pharmacy program. Good luck.


12 Careers in Pharmacy   • 2003                                                                                                                                                                                                 Careers in Pharmacy   • 2003   13
    E M P LO Y M E N T                 O U T LO O K




                            excellent
                                                                                                                                Lane, vice president of pharmacy operations at                ment in this booming area, check out local hospitals,
                                                                                                                                Duane Reade.                                                  community colleges and even the military for programs.

                                                                                                                                In general, the largest employers of druggists in 2000        The BLS states that this area will grow “much faster than
                                                                                                                                were discount department stores, grocery stores, drug         average” into 2010, due to the same factors driving the
                                                                                                                                stores and hospitals. Of those, the median annual             need to fill pharmacist positions. In addition, cost-cut-
                                                                                                                                salaries broke down as follows according to BLS:              ting on the part of pharmacies and insurers is expected
                                                                                                                                                                                              to enhance the role and earning potential for techs, who
    There’s no need for alchemy when        follow—whether you decide to earn          since the number of degrees being                                                                      make a median salary of $9.93 an hour, with the top
    it comes to conjuring up golden         a doctorate of pharmacy, a certifica-      granted annually is not anywhere                                                                       10% earning more than $14.56 per hour. Certified
                                                                                                                                   Discount Department Stores……………$73,730
    employment opportunities in phar-       tion as a pharmacy technician or           near matching the number of new                                                                        technicians often earn more. Here’s a breakdown of
    macy. Not only are there a wide         start working in a pharmacy today.         job openings that are being created         Grocery Stores………………………………$72,440                          technician hourly pay rates by area of practice:
    variety of positions and job options    Here’s the job prognosis:                  in the field. The demands on each
    available, but the pay and benefits                                                pharmacist are increasing as a result.      Drug Stores…………………………………..$72,110
    are top-notch.                          OUTLOOK: PHARMACISTS                       Prescriptions dispensed at U.S.             Hospitals……………………………………..$68,760                               Hospitals……………………………………...$11.44
                                            As a Magic 8 Ball might note, the          retailers rose from 1.9 billion to
    “Pharmacy is critical to our busi-      “outlook is good” when it comes to         2.8 billion yearly between 1992                                                                            Grocery Stores………………………………$10.57
    ness,” said Tom Ryan, chairman of       finding employment as a pharmacist.        and 1999: 44%, according to
    CVS, who started out as a pharma-                                                  Health Resources and Services            Over the past few years, however, hospital salaries have
                                                                                                                                                                                                  Drug stores…………………………………….$9.00
    cist for the chain. “We have made       It’s very good. In fact, it is projected   Administration (HRSA) data. This         been rising “to fill the extreme demand for pharmacists
    pharmacy recruiting one of our          as one of the fastest-growing profes-      increased the number of prescrip-        in this area of practice,” said Barbara Wells, dean at
    main goals. A shortage of pharma-       sions in the first decade of the mil-      tions filled by each pharmacist by       University of Mississippi and president of American           OUTLOOK: PHARMACY AIDES
    cists has a direct impact on our        lennium. According to the Bureau of        32% during the same time period—         Association of Colleges of Pharmacy.                          If you plan on seeking employment right out of high
    business. It is a great career with     Labor Statistics (BLS), employment         from 17,400 annually in 1992 to                                                                        school, or a part-time job preparing for a future job as a
    plenty of potential.”                   for pharmacists will grow faster than      22,900 in 1999.                          Even with cash incentives, the pharmacist demand has          pharmacist, the career of pharmacy aide might be a fit.
                                            the average for all occupations                                                     reached epidemic proportions. In fact, Congress mandated      This position involves helping licensed pharmacists in
    There are three basic career paths in   through 2010. The odds are in your         This dramatic increase quite             a report by the HRSA of the Department of Health and          the day-to-day administrative duties of running a phar-
    pharmacy that you can choose to         favor if you become a pharmacist,          clearly indicates the need for           Human Services in 2000 to examine fully the shortfall         macy. Responsibilities include handling money, stocking
                                                                                       more pharmacists.                        of pharmacists. This study, “The Pharmacy Workforce:          shelves and a variety of related duties.
                                                                                                                                A Study of the Supply and Demand for Pharmacists,” was
                                                                                       Another factor that will benefit         conducted by the National Center for Health Workforce         Although the number of aide positions is not growing
                                                                                       those seeking careers in pharmacy        Information and Analysis in HSRA’s Bureau of Health           as fast as the number of pharmacist positions through
                                                                                       is the large number of baby-boomer       Professions division. Findings indicated that U.S. drug       2010, it is projected to grow significantly for the same
                                                                                       pharmacists who will be retiring         store pharmacist position vacancies rose from approxi-        reasons as other careers in pharmacy. With less respon-
                                                                                       within the next 10 years, leaving        mately 2,700 in February 1998 to nearly 7,000 openings        sibility than pharmacy technicians, pay is slightly
                                                                                       even more slots open.                    by February 2000.                                             lower, though certification as an aide can also mean
                                                                                                                                                                                              higher pay.
                                                                                       The career also pays quite well.         OUTLOOK: PHARMACY TECHNICIANS
                                                                                       The top 10% earned more than             As pharmacists branch out into other areas, the position      About 80% of the 57,000 pharmacy aides employed in
                                                                                       $89,010 a year—many in the six           of pharmacy technician grows in importance. The career        2000 worked in retail pharmacies, including supermarket
                                                                                       figures. This does not include the       outlook also is excellent for technicians, whose primary      and mass retail chains. Still, 13% were in hospitals.
                                                                                       incentives being offered by many         job description includes counting out tablets and label-      Other potential venues include mail-order pharmacies
                                                                                       organizations, such as relocation        ing bottles. Techs also work as liaisons between patients     and pharmaceutical wholesalers.
                                                                                       costs and cash sign-on bonuses as        and pharmacists. Pharmacy technicians, depending on
                                                                                       high as $10,000 or $20,000.              the state, can receive prescriptions in either paper format   The overall median hourly salary was $8.52 in 2000,
                                                                                                                                or electronically. The classic image of a pharmacist          according to the BLS, with top earners making more
                                                                                       Another valuable asset is the            measuring out drugs is actually more in keeping with          than $13.14 per hour.
                                                                                       flexible hours available, which are      the duties of a technician—the pharmacist usually is
                                                                                       encouraging many women to go             supervising medication mixing and dispensing, while           Here are some typical salaries per hour as they vary
                                                                                       into the field. Deans at universities    working closely with patients.                                by location:
                                                                                       across the country estimate that up
                                                                                       to 70% of some classes are women.        In a hospital setting, technicians actually deliver
                                                                                       “It’s the perfect way to earn a high     medication to patients and update each patient’s chart.            Hospitals………………………………….…$11.17
                                                                                       salary while working part-time,
                                                                                       and I think that’s why many              Because of the high level of responsibility and complexi-          Grocery Stores………………………………$8.47
                                                                                       women are going this route, in           ty of tasks that a technician executes, formal training
                                                                                                                                                                                                   Drug Stores…………………………………..$8.02
                                                                                       what was formerly a male-domi-           and certification is favored. To work toward passing the
                                                                                       nated career track,” adds Chris          National Pharmacy Technician Examination for employ-


14 Careers in Pharmacy   • 2003                                                                                                                                                                                                   Careers in Pharmacy   • 2003   15
                  P H A R M A C Y                                             C H O I C E S


                                  retail to research
                                  Your career can take you from store to hospital                                        HOME CARE/LONG-TERM CARE FACILITIES
                                                                                                                         PHARMACISTS: The function of a home care or
                                                                                                                                                                                    medications properly to avoid excessive hospital stays.
                                                                                                                                                                                    Often a pharmacist working in managed care creates
                                  or even to the Food and Drug Administration!                                           long-term care facilities pharmacist is similar to that    drug therapies in conjunction with physicians.
                                                                                                                         of a hospital pharmacist. However, patients served
                                                                                                                         are not on-site in the hospital. This field offers the          Pharmacy Benefits Managers, or PBMs, are charged


                                  T
                                        he image of the local drug store      people’s lives. And, the aging popula-     chance to work hand in hand with nurs-                                  with working with employers to create
                                        pharmacist in a white jacket          tion ensures a growing demand for          ing care agencies to provide total                                           pharmacy benefit packages.
                                        probably pops into your head          candidates to work in the profession.      care for patients in the home                                                    Pharmacists are needed to work
                                  when you think of a career in pharma-       In fact, the need for pharmacists is       and also involves educating                                                        within PBMs to ensure the
                                  cy. About 60% of all pharmacists do         expected to grow faster than the aver-     patients and caregivers on                                                            right pharmacy benefits
                                  work in the community drug setting.         age for all occupations through the        the medications.                                                                         are made available
                                  However, pharmacists held about             year 2010. So, if the local pharmacy                                                                                                  to employees.
                                  217,000 jobs in 2000 (the latest year       counter isn’t ideal for you, consider      “What I like is that
                                  with complete data), ranging from the       these options:                             I have an ongoing                                                                               ACADEMIC
                                  local hospital to the federal government.                                              relationship with                                                                                 PHARMACY:
                                                                              HOSPITALS, CLINICAL PHARMACY               patients, rather                                                                                   More than 3,000
                                  No matter what venue you select,            AND OTHER INSTITUTIONS: Years              than just occa-                                                                                    full-time faculty
                                  pharmacy offers financial rewards in a      ago, hospital pharmacists were relegat-    sional consulta-                                                                                    members work
                                  job where you can positively impact         ed to the basements of hospitals where     tions,” notes                                                                                        in the nation’s
                                                                                          they merely filled prescrip-   Dave Werner, a                                                                                       colleges and
                                                                                           tions. That’s not so today.   pharmacist                                                                                           schools of phar-
                                                                                           Hospital pharmacists are      actively work-                                                                                       macy. In addi-
                                                                                           important members of the      ing in a long-                                                                                      tion to serving
                                                                                           hospital or nursing home      care facility in                                                                                   as teachers and
                                                                                           health care team. And         Fulton, N.Y.                                                                                      researches, these
                                                                                           with the aging of America,                                                                                                     academics also
                                                                                           the demand for pharma-        CONSULTANT                                                                                     serve as goodwill
                                                                                           cists to work in hospitals    PHARMACIST:                                                                                   ambassadors to the
                                                                                           and extended care facili-     Consultant pharmacists                                                                      entire industry.
                                                                                           ties continues to swell.      typically practice in long-                                                               “Teaching is a wonderful
                                                                                           Hospital pharmacy can be      term care, often monitoring                                                            way to use all of your
                                                                                           very satisfying because the   medication use in extended-                                                         knowledge to train future phar-
                                                                                           pharmacist works directly     care facilities. The consultant phar-                                           macists. It keeps you up to date.
                                                                                           with physicians, nurses       macist, however, may or may not be the                                     Each day is truly a different experi-
                                                                                           and patients.                 pharmacist in charge of actually dispensing                        ence,” says Paul W. Jungnickel, Ph.D., RPh,
                                                                                                                         the medication.                                            an associate dean/professor at the Harrison School of
                                                                                          Hospital pharmacy is                                                                      Pharmacy at Auburn University.
                                                                                          composed of a number of        MANAGED CARE PHARMACY/PHARMACY BENEFITS
                                                                                          specialized areas, such as     MANAGERS: Managed care is an expression you’ll hear        PHARMACEUTICAL SCIENCES: The pharmaceutical
                                                                                          nuclear pharmacy, drug         more and more as you get out into the world. Basically,    sciences include drug discovery and design, drug deliv-
                                                                                          and poison information,        managed care is designed to facilitate checks and bal-     ery, clinical sciences, drug analysis, cost effectiveness of
                                                                                          and intravenous therapy.       ances so that all members of the health care team are      medicines and regulatory affairs. You could work on a
                                                                                          About 38,000 pharmacists       delivering the best health care at the best costs.         team—at a manufacturer or university, for example—to
                                                                                          work full- or part-time in                                                                uncover new medications or investigate what delivery
                                                                                          hospitals or nursing           Pharmacy is a cornerstone of this process because phar-    systems are most efficient. If you have a strong handle
                                                                                          homes today.                   macists are called upon to make sure patients are taking   on economics, you could put your talent to work in


16 Careers in Pharmacy   • 2003                                                                                                                                                                                           Careers in Pharmacy   • 2003   17
                                                                                                                                                                                               10
        determining the economic savings from the use of            pharmacists today are no longer just in drug stores-
        one drug rather than another.                               grocery, discount and mail-order merchants all need
                                                                    pharmacists to staff their growing businesses. And,
        INDUSTRIAL PHARMACIST/PHARMACEUTICAL                        the retail pharmacy of today is different from what
        SALES AND MARKETING: Most pharmaceutical                    your perception might be.
        manufacturers have a variety of jobs for pharmacy
        graduates ranging from overseeing drug production           Today’s retail pharmacists are frequently called
        to selling products to physicians and retailers.
        Other positions on the manufacturing end of the
        business include working in marketing, public rela-
        tions and with government regulators. Many senior
                                                                    upon to counsel patients, rather than just fill pre-
                                                                    scriptions. Although filling the prescription called
                                                                    in by the doctor is still the No. 1 function, phar-
                                                                    macists also are instrumental in teaching patients
                                                                                                                                                                                          TOP
        executives of leading pharmaceutical firms have             about health care. Perhaps you’ve even seen physi-
        pharmacy degrees.                                                                         cal changes in your
                                                                                                   local store where the
        MAIL-ORDER/DIRECT-
        TO-CONSUMER
                                                “This has been                                     pharmacist is no
                                                                                                   longer working
                                                                                                                                                                                                   reasons to be
        PHARMACIST: Both
        mail order and the
                                         the perfect profession for me.                            behind glass, but
                                                                                                   down at a special
                                                                                                                                                                                                   a pharmacist
        Internet represent                                                                         counter where you
        pharmacy industries              I raised three children and                               can consult with him
        growing at warp speed.                                                                     or her. No wonder
        These sectors need             remained employed with a job                                pharmacists are
        pharmacists to oversee                                                                     among the most trust-
        filling, as well as to         that made me feel I was doing                               ed professionals.
        serve as liaisons with
        patients. Many                      something important,”                                     “This has been the
        Internet sites also                                                                           perfect profession
        seek pharmacists                                   says Mary Christian,                       for me,” says Mary
        for content.                     pharmacist at an independent pharmacy in Warren, N.J.        Christian, a pharma-
                                                                                                      cist at an independent   1   you want a job           There is a massive void of     6 respect There aren’t too many jobs where you
        DRUG INFORMATION                                                                              pharmacy in Warren,          people who know the pharmaceutical business.                are an instant authority on a subject, but getting
        CENTERS: Many phar-                                                                           N.J. “I raised three         You can help fill it. The employment outlook is not         a doctorate of pharmacy automatically makes
        maceutical manufactur-                                                                       children and remained         that bright in numerous fields—most dot-coms                you a central fixture in your community, from
        ers, retailers, hospitals and universities offer hotlines     employed with a job that made me feel I was doing            went the way of the dinosaurs—but pharmacies are            day one.
        for patients, doctors and other health care providers.        something important.”                                        here to stay.
        Pharmacists are needed to staff these call centers to                                                                                                                              7 you like a challenge You’ll never be bored
        ensure accurate information for both professional and         INDEPENDENT OWNERSHIP: This is the ideal sit-            2   you like helping people          As a pharmacist,           behind the counter—there’s a constant flow of
        personal use is dispensed.                                    uation for a pharmacist who likes community                  you get to work directly with the community,                new information to integrate, such as new med-
                                                                      pharmacy, but wants to be his or her own boss.               helping people deal with what is often their No. 1          ical technology, new drugs and new customers.
        ASSOCIATION MANAGEMENT: There are numerous                    Rather than look to chain management for direc-              priority—health.
        associations, national and local, with pharmacists            tion, independent pharmacies are able to stock a                                                                    8 variety Today’s pharmacists do a lot more than
        needs. The National Association of Chain Drug Stores,         range of prescription and OTC goods that are cus-        3 a good salary There is a strong cash incen-                   count pills. New laws being passed across the
        for example, employs several pharmacists who help             tomized for a particular region or town.                     tive thanks to high demand. Starting salaries are           United States enable pharmacists to perform
        work on regulatory issues. “My pharmacy degree is             “Pharmacists that own a community pharmacy                   about $75,000 and go up into the six-figure                 check-ups on patients’ blood pressure, diabetes
        monumental in my role in working on very impor-               enjoy the flexibility to develop their pharmacy              range. Some companies even offer signing bonus-             and other increasingly common illnesses.
        tant issues to pharmacy, such as pharmacy benefits            practice to meet the needs of the patients they              es like BMWs!
        cards,” explains Kurt Proctor, who is the president           serve,” notes Tom Murry, Pharm.D and Director of                                                                    9 you want a life           Ask some older career
        of the National Association of Chain Drug Stores              Student Affairs, National Community Pharmacists          4 flexible hours Night        owl or morning person,            types how they feel about the daily commute
        Foundation, which is focused on advancing the                 Association. “Also, the average salary of an inde-           there’s a pharmaceutical shift for you. Often, phar-        and there are sure to be groans. Pharmacies
        pharmacy practice nationwide.                                 pendent pharmacy owner is $150,000 plus profits,”            macies are open 24 hours a day. You have the free-          tend to be located in town centers, so you can
                                                                      he adds, according to his organization.                      dom to work a flexible shift—9-to-5 or whatever             live close to your workplace—even within
        COMMUNITY RETAIL PHARMACY: Retail is an                                                                                    suits you best.                                             walking distance.
        appealing career for many pharmacy graduates.                 OTHER FIELDS: Pharmacists also are needed in a
        Attractive starting salaries and making your own              host of federal, state and professional positions. For   5 location, location, location           You won’t         10   making a difference          Pharmacists make a
        hours are part of the lure. The retail industry has been      example, the United States Public Health Service, the        have that option if you need to work on Wall                positive impact on their communities and can
        impacted negatively by a scarcity of pharmacists, and         Food and Drug Administration and all branches of             Street. You can take your pharmaceutical skills             save lives by ensuring that patients get the right
        many retailers have made the recruiting of pharma-            the armed services need pharmacists. There also are          anywhere in the country—or the world. Bilingual?            medications in the right combinations. It’s a
        cists one of their most important initiatives. Retail         positions available in the Veterans Administration.          Even better.                                                reward uncommon in most careers.


18 Careers in Pharmacy   • 2003                                                                                                                                                                                            Careers in Pharmacy   • 2003   19
    A         D AY                 I N           T H E                 L I F E

                  of a community pharmacist


Q
                                                      So, now you        information on living a healthi-
                                                      know how you       er lifestyle. I will call a doctor if
                                                      can become a       I feel there is a potential prob-
                                                      pharmacist and     lem with a medication a patient
                                                      the technical      has been prescribed. It’s not just
                                                      aspects of the     about looking at drug interac-
                                                      career—but         tion complications, but taking a
                                                      what’s it          big-picture approach to overall
                                                      really like?       health. For example, will one
                                                                         cholesterol medication work bet-
                                                      Amir Masood,       ter with a particular high blood
                            Amir Masood,              Pharm.D is the     pressure remedy that the patient
                        clinical pharmacy manager,    clinical pharma-   is already taking?
                               CUB Pharmacy           cy manager at
                   CUB Pharmacy in Chicago, a company operated           Patient contact is incredibly
                   by Supervalu Inc., which operates hundreds of         important, and the role of a
                   pharmacies across the United States under various     pharmacist involves more and
                   banners. Masood is also director/preceptor of         more of this as the field evolves.
                   the CUB-MWU Community Pharmacy Residency
                   Program and works directly with associates as
                   they complete residencies in community pharma-        Q: After the consultative                             this customer’s blood pressure, noticed her symptoms        various conditions and help patients learn to
                   cy to further their educations. Here’s a look at      screenings, how does your day develop?                and had her go to the emergency room immediately—           manage illnesses.
                   what he typically does during a day.                                                                        since her primary care physician was out of town—she
                                                                         A: I focus on my dispensing role. I usually have      might not be here today.                                    Q: It’s obvious that being a pharmacist involves a
                                                                         a few pharmacy technicians on hand to fill pre-                                                                   lot more than filling prescriptions. Do you feel that
                   Q: How does your workday begin?                       scriptions, and my job is to ensure that every-                                                                   the false perception that the job is monotonous
                                                                         thing runs smoothly and precisely. I also make        Q: You supervise a number of employees: What kind           still remains?
                   A: I like to get in early to meet with patients       sure orders get filled quickly and accurately.        of interaction do you have with them?
                   signed up for consultations. This one-on-one                                                                                                                            A: In between day clinics and managing staffers, there is
                   interaction with people is one of my favorite parts                                                         A: Usually when I grab some lunch I take time to make       an amazing range of activities. Being a pharmacist goes
                   of the job. We also get walk-ins. Many of these       Q: What kind of situations do you encounter on        conversation with the staff, as well as with the students   way beyond, as the old expression goes, “Lick, stick and
                   patients have cholesterol and diabetes issues.        a daily basis?                                        serving as interns and residents learning about commu-      pour.” A modern pharmacist isn’t stuck in the
                                                                                                                               nity pharmacy. It’s nice to be able to talk about matters   corner counting pills—that’s not why we receive six or
                   Each patient gets about 15 minutes during which       A: I see some amazing things, and it’s great to       that interest my co-workers and myself equally and try      seven years of schooling. We take a team approach with
                   their blood is drawn and the results are analyzed.    feel like I accomplish some good in the communi-      to offer help as they follow a pharmacy career path.        doctors in managing patients. Medical doctors are
                   We do screenings for an expanding array of con-       ty. Just last week, an elderly woman came in and                                                                  pressed to see as many patients as possible to make up
                   ditions, from osteoporosis to hypertension.           said, “Honey, can you take a look at my eye?” She                                                                 for lost revenue because of changes in the health
                                                                         had a red dot in it that had appeared 12 to 14        Q: How much time do you actually spend behind               insurance industry. Pharmacists can take the time to
                                                                         hours earlier. I asked her what medication she was    the counter?                                                do simple, but potentially life-saving, preventative and
                   Q: How closely do you work with patients              taking, and she had run out of her high blood                                                                     maintenance screenings to make sure that patients are
                   regarding health problems and maintenance?            pressure medicine, and hadn’t refilled it promptly.   A: I would say about 30% of my time is spent dis-           being properly medicated.
                                                                         I asked her how she felt—did she have numbness        pensing, and 70% is spent in a clinical capacity, out
                   A: Sometimes someone will come in who is a            on one side? Blurred vision? I suggested this cus-    with patients and training the pharmacy resident. We
                   ticking time bomb because of their cholesterol        tomer call her doctor right away because her          have health fairs at various sites as well as within the    Q: Is a pharmacist responsible for store operations, as
                   level, and they had no idea because they hadn’t       responses and elevated blood pressure indicated       pharmacy to provide screening services and health           well as working with patients?
                   been to the doctor. The pharmacy is much more         she might be having a mini stroke—which could         benefits. The higher volume the pharmacy, the more
                   accessible and affordable for many people.            potentially cause blindness or even death. It turns   services it can provide on-site, but many pharmacists       A: A pharmacy is a business, and there are a number of
                   Increasingly, people are coming to us for regular     out that she was having a stroke. Had I not taken     venture out to other sites to help spread awareness of      logistical matters to keep track of. It’s essential to keep a


20 Careers in Pharmacy   • 2003                                                                                                                                                                                                  Careers in Pharmacy   • 2003   21
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                T H E


                                                                                                                                                                                 role
                                        Focus on Pharmacists
          A doctorate in pharmacy opens the door to a virtually           to patients who can only receive nutrition via IV—it is
          endless corridor of careers. Retail practice may be the first   extremely challenging, and interesting.” Viola’s team of
          thing that comes to mind for many, but looking at the           eight pharmacists is involved in diverse areas including
          industry as a whole, it represents only a fraction of the       proper dosing and drug interactions. The hospital
          diversity of the business. Here, working pharmacists dis-       environment also calls for a complex dispensing
          cuss other job opportunities.                                   system, including automated systems for controlled
                                                                          output of narcotics.
          MANAGED CARE
          “I like the aspect of frequent direct patient care,” notes      ACADEMIC
                                                                                                                                                                                          of
          Alice Lee-Martin, regional clinical pharmacy program
          administrator at Kaiser Permanente of the Mid-Central
          States. “We work directly with patients on managing
          various conditions—asthma, end-stage renal disease
          (kidney failure), hypertension—through a variety of clin-
          ics.” Lee-Martin’s company also offers pain management
                                                                          “Teaching is an extremely rewarding way to help try and
                                                                          shape the future of pharmacy,” says Robert “Buzz” Kerr,
                                                                          professor at the University of Maryland and President-
                                                                          Elect of AACP. “It is exciting to have an up-close view of
                                                                          how the field is changing through its upcoming employ-
                                                                          ees—from the dramatic increase in the number of
                                                                                                                                                                                                 technology
                                                                                                                                                                                               changes and new             counting and filling prescriptions.
          clinics, and services involving patients affected by HIV.       women in the field, to the interest in an amazingly
                                                                                                                                                                                               pharmacy launches,          Many retailers, in fact, are starting
          She notes that insurance and health care systems are            diverse range of practices.” Not only do professors get
                                                                                                                                                                                               also are communicated       to purchase filling machines that
          allotting more and more responsibilities to managed care        to work with students planning everything from a joint
          facilities for routine disease maintenance plans.               M.B.A. and pharmacy degree to a career at a mom-and-
                                                                                                                                                                                               via computer.               process prescriptions at one central
                                                                          pop, small-town pharmacy, but they get to work behind                                                                                            location and then distribute the filled
                                                                          the scenes, as well.                                                                                                In hospitals, bar codes      bottles to retail stores. This scenario
          HOSPITAL PRACTICE                                                                                                                                                     are used to dispense medication,           might suggest pharmacists aren’t
          The day-to-day in a hospital setting can be an intense,                                                                      Just as technology has changed
                                                                                                                                                                                identify patients and reorder medica-      needed. However, experts say the
          rewarding experience. It allows a pharmacist to interact        RESEARCH                                                     our everyday world—imagine               tions. Personal digital assistants also    opposite is true. Pharmacists are
          with critically ill patients, working closely with medical      The research conducted by pharmaceutical companies
          doctors to determine ideal medication and nutrition             saves lives every day. Opportunities exist in biotechnolo-   your life without the World Wide         are now used commonly by pharma-           needed for quality control of the
          solutions. “We have about 250 beds, with an average             gy, pharmacogenomics and other innovative fields that                                                 cists for product information and          automated process.
                                                                                                                                       Web—it also has impacted phar-
          stay of four days, so the patients you are treating are         come together to produce cutting-edge pharmaceutical                                                  other data.
          constantly shifting,” says Julio Viola, director of clinical    products. Research caters to all aspects of the eternal      macy in all settings.                                                               • INVENTORY CONTROL:
          pharmacy at Sound Shore Medical Center, Bronx,                  consumer demand for a “miracle in a bottle,” and thanks                                               Other digital innovations include:         Although a pharmacist’s main goal
          N.Y. “We work with everything from dosing                                 to the scientists in research and development,     “You need to have decent knowledge                                                  is to serve patients, most have
          an infant 1/100th the size of an adult                                         they come closer every year.                  of personal computers, which, fortu-     • E-PRESCRIPTIONS: Ever look at            some business responsibilities, such
                                                                                                                                       nately most kids have today,” says       your physician’s handwriting? Errors       as ordering pharmaceuticals. The
                                                                                                                                       Paul W. Jungnickel, an associate         in reading prescriptions are a huge,       use of hand-held ordering devices
                                                                                                                                       dean/professor at the Harrison           potentially life-threatening problem.      and computerized inventory sys-
         close eye on inventory. This                                                             Q: What do you see as key            School of Pharmacy at Auburn             Technology has come to the rescue.         tems has made this process easier
         helps make sure that                                                                      personal benefits of being a        University. “If you have basic skills,   New systems allow physicians to            and more efficient.
         patients’ needs are met                                                                   doctor of pharmacy?                 you can learn the specific programs.”    key in prescriptions to devices, such
         and that the pharmacy is                                                                                                                                               as personal data assistants or pagers,     • RESEARCH: The use of computers
         as profitable as possible.                                                                A: The flexibility of my            Less than 10 years ago, pharmacists      that transmit the prescription             to study drug composition or to learn
         Using computer programs                                                                   hours is a definite plus.           had to check prescription compatibil-    directly to the pharmacist.                more about diseases is having a pro-
         and our own staff observa-                                                                Pharmacists typically work an       ity manually to ensure one drug                                                     found impact on the science of phar-
         tions, we get a feel for how                                                             eight-hour day, but some pre-        would not cause death or sickness        Currently, about 30% of a pharma-          macy. And technology is allowing
         fast certain medications                                                               fer to swing 10- or 12-hour            when mixed with another. Labels          cist’s time is spent receiving and clar-   pharmacists to do more than ever.
         need to be restocked. Has                                                             shifts with more time off in            were typed manually—a long and           ifying prescriptions on the phone.         Says Jungnickel, “One of the things
         everyone suddenly started tak-                                                      between. Some pharmacists work            arduous process. Computer systems        Electronic prescribing can reduce          that is amazing to me is how many
         ing a new allergy medication? Is                                                 seven-days-on, seven-days-off schedules.     have had a dramatic impact on day-       that time so pharmacists have more         positions now are filled with a
         there a patient with a chronic need                                                                                           to-day operations. One of the biggest    time to consult with patients. At the      pharmacist who knows technology
         for a rarer medication, for an ailment like                             I’m lucky to feel that I accomplish a lot—            changes is that retail pharmacists are   same time, it can slice the number of      instead of the post being manned
         epilepsy, being ordered for on a regular basis? It               besides filling thousands of prescriptions successful-       able to use computers to check for       errors. In one test, electronic pre-       by an M.D.”
         could be a disaster if they ran out of meds. Are we              ly. As you can see, being a pharmacist involves being        drug interactions. The advanced          scribing cut mistakes by 55%.
         in-stock in the right levels on the most popular                 a little bit of everything—part psychologist, part           computer systems implemented at                                                     As you can see, technology is rapidly
         and the most hard-to-find medications? It’s also                 medic, part businessman, part scientist. One thing is        retail today also confirm that           • CENTRAL FILL: With the growth            expanding the career options avail-
         time to touch base with the pharmacy manager                     certain—I am never bored, and I couldn’t be happier          patients have up-to-date insurance.      of mail-order and Internet pharmacy        able in the pharmaceutical field. New
         coming in for the next shift, to make sure we’re on              that I chose to make a career in pharmacy part of            This saves millions of dollars and       has come the need to fill each bottle      systems are tools that make working
         the same page in terms of store operations and any               my life. It’s nice to do something that I enjoy for a        hours of time. New information,          of pills at warp speed. Today, there       in a pharmacy more effective—and
         pressing patient needs.                                          living that helps people in the process.                     such as product recalls, pricing         are machines capable of quickly            exciting—than ever.


22 Careers in Pharmacy   • 2003                                                                                                                                                                                                            Careers in Pharmacy   • 2003   23

				
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