what is pharmacy?
The mission of the pharmacy profession is to provide for the pharmaceutical care needs of the public. To this end, pharmacists are drug therapy experts who provide comprehensive, coordinated management of their patients' medication use.
The pharmacist, recognized as the most readily available health care professional, is responsible for an expanding range of pharmaceutical care functions to enhance positive outcomes from the use of medications.
Pharmacists care for their patients in important ways...
- Plan and implement effective drug therapy
- Monitor and evaluate drug therapy for improved outcomes
- Evaluate clinical literature
- Select the appropriate dosage form
- Calculate dose and determine dosing schedules
- Prepare Medications
- Educate and counsel patients
- Offer preventative health care services
- Coordinate patients' care with other health care providers
Few professions offer such diverse practice opportunities as pharmacy. Some of these include:
Community Practice - Pharmacy offers a rich variety of professional options in diverse settings in the community. Independent pharmacies, chain pharmacies, and health clinics provide opportunities for close patient contact. Community practice can include specialized home health care, consulting for nursing home patients, and working with physicians in group practices.
Hospital Practice - Hospital pharmacists are valued members of the health care team, contributing their unique knowledge of drug therapy to their patients' care plans. Hospital pharmacists can be involved in direct patient care, teaching, drug use evaluation, clinical studies, public service, and administration. A number of specialty options are also open to pharmacists in hospital practice.
Managed Care Pharmacy - Pharmacists practice in Health Maintenance Organizations, Preferred Provider Organizations, and other settings. The development of formularies, implementation of drug utilization review, and analysis of prescribing patterns are some of the responsibilities of a managed care pharmacist.
Pharmaceutical Industry - Quality control, marketing, clinical trials, research and development, sales, and administration are some of the numerous career opportunities available. Post-graduate training or education may be needed for some of these career opportunities.
Public Service Practice - Clinical pharmacists practice in many federal agencies such as the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Pharmacy practice in the federal services also includes the Air Force, Army, Navy, Public Health Service, and Department of Veterans Affairs.
Academia - Opportunities for an academic career include administration, education, research, and clinical service in colleges of pharmacy and academic health sciences centers.
Additional opportunities for specialization and leadership positions in patient care practice, education, or research may lead students to elect post-graduate education or training beyond the Doctor of Pharmacy degree.