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What does someone need to do to become a Pharmacist?

How do I become a Pharmacist? Is it tough to get a Pharmacist job?

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Pharmacists are not doctors but their responsibility is as challenging. They are essentially medical professionals that focus on medications. Pharmacists work may range from administering prescriptions in community drug stores such as Rite-Aid, CVS, or Walgreens, to doing research in a pharmaceutical company. Since the pharmacists are also medical professionals, it is expected that they go through extensive and challenging education and training before they become qualified pharmacist.

It is important that before you decide on a particular career as a Pharmacist, you must be certain that you are really interested in it and that you are going to enjoy doing the job. Part of your job is to dispense drugs and familiarize the patients about the drugs. There will be instances where you will be of great help to doctors and nurses when they need information about pharmaceutical products. Your broad training and education will help these medical professionals decide on the proper medication to give to patients and also which drugs can cause adverse reaction to particular patients. Pharmacists may also teach pharmacy programs in medical schools or doing some research. Prescribing medications, however is something you are not allowed to do.

The first step in becoming a pharmacist is to be good in math, chemistry and physical sciences. It will be a great advantage if the individual starts gaining the skills in these fields during high school then develop or enhance the skills further by looking for a college that offers a strong emphasis in math and science. You can choose to take a pre pharmacy program, chemistry or pre-med before applying to a pharmacy school of your choice.

Before you become qualified to enter in a pharmacy school, you have to take and pass the entrance examination or the Pharmacy College Admissions Test (PCAT). Pharmacy school typically consists of three years education inside the classroom and one year internship where the skills and theories learned are practiced. Once you finish the degree, you will receive a Doctor in Pharmacy degree (no longer the Bachelor of Science degree which has become outdated).

After graduation comes the preparation for the licensing exam, just like in the case of doctors and lawyers. The exam will be held in the state where you aim to practice as a pharmacist. Licensing requirements differ from every region so it is better to acquaint or familiarize yourself with the requirements in the region. When you have your license, you can start applying for pharmacy jobs or continue with the education to become a researcher or educator in the pharmacy field.

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