Pharmacists dispense prescription medications to patients and provide
information such as drug uses, side effects, drug interactions, and
correct dosage. They also assist patients in choosing over the counter
medications. A pharmacist must understand drug composition, chemical and
physical properties, activity in a healthy body as well as in a person who
is ill, and tests for purity and strength. They may also be responsible
for giving advice on home health care equipment and supplies. Another
important function of a pharmacist is to keep comprehensive records of all
medications dispensed in order to satisfy certain provisions of the law.
Pharmacists must be neat, clean, and orderly and pay the utmost attention
to accuracy. Above all, a pharmacist must enjoy working with people in the
community and be able to serve them in a variety of circumstances.
Many pharmacists work in independent as well as national retail drug
chains. Hospitals, nursing homes, pharmaceutical and medical research
firms, public health departments, and the military also employ
High School Preparation:
Students interested in a career in pharmacy should take courses in
algebra, biology, chemistry, geometry, physics, computer skills, English,
health occupation/medical professions education, and retail selling.
A pharmacy degree program requires at least 2-years of specific
pre-professional (undergraduate) coursework followed by 4-academic years
of professional study. To become a licensed pharmacist, a student must
graduate form an accredited school of pharmacy, pass a state board
examination, and serve an internship under a licensed pharmacist in a
community or hospital pharmacy. Most states, including Mississippi,
require continuing education for license renewal.
Students interested in pharmacy should contact schools for information on
admission and course of study.
For educational institutions in
offering this course of study
Employment opportunities for pharmacists are expected to grow faster than
the average for all occupations through 2005. This is due to the rapidly
expanding pharmaceutical needs of a larger and older population. There
will also be an expanding need for pharmacists in the areas of research
and disease management.
Average Annual Salary
American Pharmaceutical Association
2215 Constitution Ave. NW
Washington, DC 20037
Phone: (202) 628-4410
American Association of
Colleges of Pharmacy
1426 Prince Street
Alexandria, VA 22314-2841
Phone: (703) 739-2330
American College of
3101 Broadway, Suite 380
Kansas City, MO 64111
Phone: (816) 513-2177
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