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About My Job: The Pharmacist

The Atlantic, September 2, 2010

A male reader writes:

I'm a full time pharmacist in a smallish community hospital.  What people think about my job, and the media misinterprets, is that I spend all day counting pills.  Look at any news story about a pharmaceutical product, or a pharmacy, or a drug recall, and there is a stock loop of footage of someone counting tablets.  The media never shows a pharmacist counseling a patient, conferring with a physician, giving an immunization or any of the hundreds of other things that we do to keep our patients healthy.

And a female writer concurs:

I am a pharmacy student, and will graduate in 2012.  I am part of the increasingly small proportion of pharmacy students who entered pharmacy school without a B.S. or B.A., as many pharmacy schools are beginning to require said degrees.  Whenever I tell people that it will take me 7 years total to become a pharmacist and that it is a doctorate degree, their immediate response is generally, "Why do you need to go to school for that long?  All you have to do is take pills from a big bottle and put them into a little bottle."