What you’ll do: Pharmacists fill prescriptions, inspecting the orders and all related information for accuracy. You’ll instruct patients on how and when to take a prescribed medicine, and relate any contraindications and side effects that may be experienced. You’ll also advise patients on general health topics like diet, exercise and managing stress, and on the proper equipment and supplies to help manage health conditions.
Where you’ll work: Pharmacies and drugstores, hospitals, department stores, other general merchandise stores.
All pharmacists must earn a Doctor of Pharmacy (Pharm.D.) from an accredited school in order to practice. Postsecondary courses in your studies will include chemistry, biology and anatomy. Most students have three years of college experience or a bachelor’s degree upon entering pharmacy school.
For most programs, you’ll need to take and pass the Pharmacy College Admissions Test (PCAT). Your Pharm.D. program will take four years to complete. Typical courses in year one and two include:
- Pharmaceutical Calculations
- Physical Chemistry
- Applied Drug Information
In many programs, years three and four are transitional, combining intensive curriculum with clinical orientation and supervised pharmacy rotations. Sample courses from these years are:
- General Pathology
- Introductory Pharmacy Practice Experiences