A pharmacist is a healthcare professional who specializes in helping patients to achieve and maintain well-being and health through the optimal use of medications. Exciting historical changes in the educational requirements for licensure ensure that pharmacists are some of the most highly trained and expert professionals in the medical field. As of 2000, the 5-year college degree has been eliminated and students aspiring to become pharmacists must complete a 6-year Doctorate in Pharmacy (PharmD) program from an accredited institution. Once licensed, a pharmacist has a multitude of careers from which to choose. Some of the employment paths include: Clinical Pharmacy, Retail Pharmacy, Home Infusion and Chemotherapy Pharmacy, Nuclear Pharmacy, Long Term Care Pharmacy, Contract-based Pharmacy, Research and Hospital Pharmacy.
With the health care system demanding more pharmacists than ever before due to national health care mandates, an aging Baby Boomer generation and an influx of new medications available for patients; a career as a pharmacist has reached a new peak of professional diversification. According to the American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy (AACP), pharmacists entering the field are experiencing more career mobility, flexibility and stability than any other time in United States history. If you are a person who is scientifically inclined and want to help people lead healthier and happier lives, read on! A career as a pharmacist might very well be—just what the doctor ordered!