Pharmacists know everything about medication from how it works to dangerous interactions between prescriptions. If you would like to prepare medications and counsel patients on the proper use of certain drugs, consider majoring in Pharmacy/Pharmaceutical Sciences.
Pharmacists oversee pharmacies, work with patients, keep records of pervious prescriptions, and inform people about potential side effects of medications. If you decide to major in this area of study, you will take classes in chemistry, math, biology, anatomy and physiology, and medical ethics to learn the scientific background of medications and the reactions they cause within the body.
Along with the option to major in general Pharmacy, students are also able to concentrate in certain areas such as Pharmacy Policy and Regulatory Affairs, Pharmaceutics and Drug Design, Medicinal and Pharmaceutical Chemistry, Natural Products Chemistry and Pharmacognosy, Clinical and Industrial Drug Development, Pharmaceutical Economics, Physical Pharmacy and Cosmetic Sciences, Pharmaceutical Sciences, Pharmaceutical Marketing and Management, and many others.
Pharmacy/Pharmaceutical Sciences students should have strong analytical skills and pay close attention to detail. As a professional, they will be responsible for checking patients' history to ensure they are not taking other medications that may be dangerous to mix with new ones. They must also fill prescriptions accurately and keep them organized so they go to the right person. Since you will counsel people picking up prescriptions, it is important to have strong interpersonal and communication skills in order to relay understandable information.
Most graduates in this field work fulltime in pharmacies, drug stores, hospitals, and grocery stores, but a percentage of pharmacists are part time. Pharmacies are usually open during normal business hours, but some Pharmacy/Pharmaceutical Sciences professionals may work on weekends or at night to ensure people can get medication whenever necessary. Other graduates pursue careers in medical labs researching new and more effective drugs.
While some areas in this field only require a bachelor's degree, students who are interested in becoming pharmacists must receive their Doctor of Pharmacy degree. It typically takes 4 years to finish a doctoral program. Along with an advanced degree, graduates must also be licensed in the state they plan on working in.
Pharmacy/Pharmaceutical Sciences graduates typically work in pharmacies located in drug stores, hospitals, and grocery stores. However, some people work in medical labs creating new drugs to fight diseases. The Pharmacy/Pharmaceutical Science field is growing at a faster than average rate, meaning students should be able to find a job after graduation.
Here is a small sample of the careers that a degree in Pharmacy/Pharmaceutical Sciences might open up.