1. Improve patient outcomes
Medication adherence and compliance is one of the many patient outcomes that pharmacists
have an immense impact on. Half of all patients with chronic diseases do not take
their medications as prescribed. Pharmacists play an important role in achieving positive
health outcomes, such as fewer hospitalizations, less disease progression and fewer
co-morbidities, by being accessible and building relationships with patients. Pharmacists
in the field of research also utilize retrospective data to identify and assess target
patient populations who are not appropriately adherent or compliant with their medications.
2. Be an integral part of the community
Pharmacists play a key role in helping patients feel better and are an integral part
of every community. According to recent Gallup Polls, pharmacists’ honesty and ethics
were rated highly by a large majority of Americans. Pharmacists are the most accessible
health professionals and are visible leaders in most communities. This is why it is
the PCOM School of Pharmacy’s mission “to educate and train caring, competent and proactive generalist pharmacists
who contribute to the health and well-being of the residents and to support the needs
of the underserved of Georgia, the Southeast region and society at-large." Our faculty
and students uphold this mission by participating in health fairs and brown bag events
throughout our communities.
3. Pursue diverse career options
The variety of career opportunities within the field of pharmacy is very diverse. While the majority of pharmacists (45 percent) work in an independent or retail
chain community pharmacy, many others have explored or created new opportunities for
themselves. Various healthcare environments for pharmacists include but are not limited
to managed care organizations, hospitals, nursing homes, the pharmaceutical industry,
colleges and the federal government. Pharmacists work in direct patient care, research,
and as part of the legislative process advancing our profession forward. Pharmacists
play key leadership roles in all aspects of the healthcare system.
4. Be part of the healthcare team
Pharmacists work with other health care professionals to improve health outcomes and
ensure the continuity of care. Numerous studies have shown the benefits of having
a pharmacist on hospital rounds and in ambulatory care settings, to prevent medication
errors and reduce costs. The role of pharmacists in the ambulatory care setting is
continuously expanding. With the advent of accountable care organizations, pharmacists
are now playing a role in reducing hospital readmission rates, chronic disease management
and medication therapy management. They are not only part of the medical care team
but are also participating in clinics, seeing and counseling patients. MTM is conducted
not only in person, but also through telephonic communications as we are advancing
into the digital world.
5. Benefit from growth potential
Many exciting developments are taking place in the pharmacy profession, including
specialty pharmacy, discipline of pharmacogenomics and digital advancements like artificial
intelligence. Specialty medications, like biosimilars, are becoming a big part of
the pharmaceutical industry and specialty pharmacies are flourishing as demand increases.
The same goes for increases in personalized healthcare expansion using genetic testing
for genome sequencing and selecting medications based on the patient’s DNA. Furthermore,
pharmacy schools are advancing their educational tools to meet the needs of their
current students. By using "e-Patient" simulation tools and artificial intelligence,
schools are training the next generation of pharmacy professionals.
6. Have autonomy
Pharmacists have the advantage of professional autonomy in choosing their work environment
and work hours. Pharmacists are able to redefine their roles in the healthcare setting
in order to provide optimal patient care. As healthcare practice becomes more interdisciplinary,
the role of a pharmacist continues to change offering greater opportunities in patient
care. As an integral part of the health care team pharmacist support clinicians by
ensuring patient medication safety and efficacy. There is also the ability to start
your own business and establish healthcare services for patients.
7. Work a flexibile schedule
Nontraditional work schedules are an advantage to a career in pharmacy that creates
a work-life balance. Pharmacists are needed everywhere in the country in many different
types of capacities, making it easier to find a position that will fit your lifestyle.
There are day shifts, night shifts, 7-on/7-off shifts and longer shifts (10 to 12
hours) which allows for more time off from work. Flexibility in pharmacist work schedules
and job description are becoming popular to enhance requirement and retention. In
addition, there are increasingly more opportunities for pharmacists to work remotely
from home providing 24 hour inpatient services for community hospitals and remote
verification for mail-order pharmacies.
8. Enjoy career stability
Americans are living longer and over the next decade with the patient population increasing
in age, there will continue to be a demand for pharmacy services. U.S. News ranked a career in pharmacy as #29 in Best Healthcare Jobs and #20 in Best Paying
9. Mentor future pharmacists
A benefit of becoming a pharmacist is being able to help others, not only patients
and other healthcare professionals. As a pharmacist, we are able to mentor future
pharmacists assisting in career paths and choosing pharmacy as a career. No matter
the setting of practice, all pharmacists promote enhancing the knowledge of future
pharmacists and recent graduates through their knowledge and experience. A 2010 ACCP
White Paper cited that mentoring of pharmacy students and junior staff in the workplace
are considered a reward and motivator for pharmacists.
10. Continue to grow your professional knowledge
A requirement of licensure is that all pharmacists must meet a mandatory state requisite
for Continuing Education credits. This ensures that all pharmacists remain knowledgeable
about new treatment guidelines and recent medications approved for treatment. Many
employers help to fund meeting this education requirement through support attending
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