Pharmacist Career Pathways
The Doctor of Pharmacy program at Roseman University of Health Sciences prepares students for diverse opportunities in research, medicine, public health, hospital and retail settings, and other key industries. The United States Bureau of Labor Statistics projects the creation of more than 17,000 new jobs for pharmacists by 2026. These are just a few of the pharmacy careers pursued by our graduates.
Individuals with a Doctor of Pharmacy (PharmD) degree have an exciting array of careers from which to choose. As a pharmacist you may choose to:
Community pharmacists provide pharmaceutical care directly to patients by safely and efficiently dispensing prescription medications, counseling them on the proper use of the medication, informing them of side effects or potential drug interactions, and advising them on the use of over-the-counter medications and herbal supplements. Community pharmacists also provide information to physicians, nurses, and other healthcare providers.
Hospital pharmacists provide pharmaceutical care by ensuring that hospital patients receive the appropriate medications at the right time and in the correct dosage. They work closely with physicians, nurses, nutritionists, and other members of the hospital patient care team to consult and advise on drug therapies chosen for these patients. Hospital pharmacists also are responsible for the special preparation of IV’s, nutritional solutions, chemotherapeutic agents, and occasionally radioactive medications.
Pharmaceutical Industry Jobs
In the pharmaceutical industry, pharmacists are valuable contributors to research and development programs, clinical trials of new medications, and quality control efforts. Additionally, pharmacists may develop and/or implement marketing and sales strategies, assure compliance with government regulations, and assist in public relations.
Use your degree in other ways
There are many other places a pharmacy degree can be useful, such as The Food and Drug Administration, the Drug Enforcement Administration, the Public Health Service, academia, research, or the National Institutes of Health, just to name a few.
These pharmacists work in an insurance company setting and make recommendations about what type of drugs should be covered in the plan formulary. They also review client claims, coverage, and appeals to determine which types of drug therapy are medically necessary.
Many pharmacists work in hospitals and other health care settings, partnering with doctors and other providers as a critical part of the care team. These professionals provide medication therapy and management for clients who have complex chronic conditions such as diabetes and heart disease, requiring multiple prescriptions with potential drug interactions. Many health systems have found that adding a pharmacist to the care team for these clients is a cost-effective way to optimize their health outcomes. Some pharmacists in clinical practice specialize in home health care, providing pain management, chemotherapy, antibiotics, and other services at the bedside of a chronically ill patient.
Long-Term Care Facilities
At nursing homes and assisted living facilities, pharmacists on staff manage the medication dosage and administration for the residents, many of whom have complex chronic conditions requiring several types of medication therapy. These professionals play more of a behind-the-scenes role and don’t have the patient counseling and interaction responsibilities of other career paths in pharmacy. Many pharmacists in this type of role pursue a specialty certification in geriatric pharmacy.
Pharmacoepidemiologists study the effects of drugs on the population as a whole. They may focus on drug dosages, safety and effectiveness, risk management, and development and testing of new drug therapies. Pharmacists who specialize in research often work for federal agencies such as the Food and Drug Administration, the Veterans Administration, and the National Institutes of Health.
According to Pharmacy Times, about 60% of pharmacy graduates in the U.S. go on to work for a large national chain. These professionals enjoy flexible shifts, management opportunities, and the ability to promote health among community members through medication counseling and services such as vaccinations. In addition, many retail pharmacies also have urgent care centers where the staff pharmacist assists with patient medication management.
Becoming a pharmacist opens the door to these career paths and many more. Contact the Roseman University of Health Sciences College of Pharmacy to learn more about our doctoral program and its admission requirements.