Education for Pharmacist
Pharmacist Average Salary

The education for pharmacist careers is comprehensive and can be challenging. However, the rewards include the ability to help people manage their health, opportunities to educate the public about medicines, drugs and prescriptions, and relatively high income.

In 1992 all the colleges of Pharmacy in the United States voted to phase out the five-year Bachelors of Science in Pharmacy and instead make the Doctorate of Pharmacy (Pharm.D.) the only professional Pharmacy degree. Currently, students generally take six years of post-secondary education to obtain their doctorate of pharmacy. The following topics are the typical focus during education to become a pharmacist.

  • Pharmacology - how drugs and our bodies interact. study various ways drugs can be introduced to the body.
  • Pharmaceutical Chemistry - the chemical aspects of drugs and medicines. determine if medicines are pure or have a percentage of other ingredients.
  • Instruction in Pharmacy Practice - understand the various processes used in pharmacy. study relationships with patients and physicians
  • Pharmacognosy - study the numerous natural drugs and medicines that are available from plants and animals
  • Business Management - understand what's involved in pharmacy administration. computers, marketing, economics, merchandising
  • Clinical Components - study importance of relationships with patients, responsibility for montioring drugs and prescriptions

Some students are electing to pursue dual degree programs, adding a year to their education for residency training in pharmacy practice.

Upon graduating from a pharmacist program, one must become licensed to practice pharmacy in any state. This requires passing the NAPLEX (North American Pharmacist Licensure Examination )

Pharmacists work in a range of settings including retail pharmacies such as CVS and Walgreens, long term care facilties, hospitals and managed care facilities.

Some folks study to become pharmacy technicians before becomming pharmacists and that can be a natural path towards a fulltime role in pharmacy.

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