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Why Pharmacy

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Why Pharmacy?

The Role of the Pharmacist

The decision to join a trusted profession with a long-standing history is not one that should be taken lightly. While pharmacists still prepare or supervise the dispensing of medications, as may be the more traditional view, today's pharmacist performs a variety of other vital roles within the healthcare profession.

For example, today's pharmacists:

  • Advise patients about how medications should be taken or used in the safest and most effective way;
  • Consult with other health professionals and the public about medication selection, dosage, drug interactions, potential side-effects and therapeutic effects;
  • Select and advise patients about non-prescription medications, therapeutics and preventative measures;
  • Educate patients about health promotion, disease prevention and proper medication usage;
  • Function as part of health care teams in hospitals and other health treatment settings to monitor medication use, counsel patients, provide drug information and advice to other health professionals and the community, conduct clinical trials and prepare products for patients;
  • Develop legal standards and advise regarding government controls and regulations related to the manufacture and supply of medications;
  • Conduct research to develop, manufacture, test, analyze and market new pharmaceutical and medical products;
  • Manage pharmaceutical companies;
  • Work in fields not traditionally associated with pharmacy, including the military, law, journalism, academia, research and pharmaceutical policy.

Here are just a few of the career options available to today's pharmacists:

  • Academic Pharmacy
  • Community Pharmacy
  • Work with Government Agencies
  • Managed Care Pharmacy
  • Medical and Scientific Publishing
  • Pharmaceutical Industry
  • Hospice and Home Care
  • Hospital and Institutional Practice
  • Independent Pharmacy Ownership
  • Consulting Pharmacy
  • Trade and Professional Associations
  • Uniformed (Public Health) Service

It all comes down to this: Pharmacists are compassionate professionals who have a heart for helping the people they serve. Becoming a pharmacist is not an easy undertaking, but it is a truly rewarding accomplishment for those seeking a fulfilling career and not just a job.

Is Pharmacy for Me?

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Before you're ready to commit to becoming part of the pharmacy profession, it's important to make sure that pharmacy is a good fit for you. The pharmacy profession is perfect for people who possess a few key attributes. To find out if you have these attributes, ask yourself these simple questions.

Do you like... Are you... Do these goals of pharmaceutical care excite you?
  • Helping people?
  • Solving problems and puzzles?
  • Chemistry, biology and math?
  • Dependable?
  • Organized?
  • Detail-oriented?
  • Able to communicate well with others?
  • Preventing, slowing or stopping disease.
  • Eliminating or reducing symptoms.
  • Making differences in treatment, education and research that improve patient health.
  • Curing disease.

Top Five Reasons to Become a Pharmacist

So, you have the drive to succeed in a respected and valued profession where your desire to help people can be met. Why pharmacy instead of one of the other health care professions?

Here's a list of the top five reasons to become a pharmacist, as provided by the American Associate of Colleges of Pharmacy, which oversees the standards for excellence in pharmacy education:

1. Pharmacists Enjoy Helping People Get Well

We can't emphasize enough the calling of pharmacists to interact professionally and compassionately with the people they serve. Whether working behind the scenes to find new medications, or working in concert with physicians to choose precisely the best medication to improve the health of each patient, pharmacists are a driving force in the health care industry. And as pharmacy and the health care industry evolve, pharmacists move more and more into direct patient care roles. The average pharmacist is no longer confined to counting pills behind the pharmacy counter. Instead, the pharmacist is one of the most accessible members of the health care team, interacting in the store aisles with customers and educating patients.

2. Pharmacists Benefit from a Wide Variety of Career Opportunities

While the majority of pharmacists work in independent or retail community pharmacies, there are a wide variety of opportunities within a diverse number of healthcare environments for those seeking a different type of pharmacy career . Additionally, pharmacists are employed in every part of the country and licensure is generally reciprocal from state to state—though some additional testing and criteria may be required—affording pharmacists a high level of mobility, stability and flexibility. 

3. Pharmacists Work in a Profession that is Always in Demand

Pharmacy professionals continue to fill important openings across the country and wages have risen to an average of $118,470 according to the most recent data collected in 2014. And Texas is one of the states offering the most openings for graduating pharmacists (21,010 positions were open in 2014 alone) and an average wage of $118,870.

According to the AACP, those numbers are not likely to decline because the demand for pharmacy professionals is fueled by:

  • Increased demand for patient services that only those with a Pharm.D. can fill; 
  • Increased number of prescriptions filled each year (3.9 billion in 2013 alone!);
  • Increased number of prescription and over-the-counter medications available in the marketplace;
  • Increased elderly population (1 in 5 Americans to be classified as elderly by 2030).

4. Be an Important Member of the Health Care Team

The collaboration between health care professionals like physicians and pharmacists has significantly maximized health incomes, and that collaboration is only expected to increase. Additionally, research pharmacists play a vital role in the innovation of new and exciting drug therapies. 

5. Be a Highly Respected Member of the Community

According to a November 2014 Gallup Poll, pharmacists' honesty and ethics were rated as high or very high by 65 percent of Americans and pharmacists are most often viewed within their communities as visible leaders who are entrusted with the health of their neighbors.

Do I Fit the TTUHSC SOP Student Profile?

Once you determine that you may be a good fit for the pharmacy profession, your next step is deciding if you fit the profile of a successful TTUHSC SOP student. In addition to meeting the criteria above, our students also meet a few standard statistical criteria. You can see a snapshot of our student base from the last five years here.

Ready to Know More?

If the pharmacy profession sounds like the career path for you, click here to learn more about a pharmacy education at the Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center School of Pharmacy. Before contacting our staff, please take some time to fill out the Contact Form.

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