Pharmacists are medication experts, responsible to patients for achieving the best medication treatment outcomes at the same time assuring cost-effective and safe therapy.
Pharmacists working with health care teams advise other health professionals on the proper dose, availability, side effects and monitoring parameters for effective medication usage. In some settings pharmacists work independently or within collaborative practice agreements to manage patients’ drug therapy.
Pharmacists may work in all environments where medications are used or medication therapy is evaluated as part of the patients’ care, but most commonly in community-based settings and health-systems.
Pharmacists are also legally charged to manage appropriate access to medication information and products.
In order to practice as a pharmacist, one must complete at least six years of college, graduate from an accredited college of pharmacy and successfully complete their state board licensure examination. Upon graduation, many pharmacists complete an additional 1 to 2 years of residency training to acquire specialty knowledge and skills necessary for today’s advanced team-based practice environment. This additional knowledge and skillset is demonstrated through specialty board certification.