Getting the Most out of Your Pharmacy Career

As a pharmacist, you have a lot of decisions to make, and you have a lot of opportunities as well. Here are a few tips from practicing pharmacists on how to get off on the right foot and make the most of your burgeoning career.

Remember to put the patient first.

As a healthcare professional, caring for the life and health of your patients should be your number one priority. Don’t get so caught up in the numbers on your paycheck.

Focus on the future, not the past.

Maybe your GPA isn’t what you hoped it would be. That’s water under the bridge. As you begin your career, focus on the opportunities that lie ahead and what you can achieve with hard work, planning and persistence.

Remember you are a professional.

That means keep in mind what contributions you can make to the pharmacy profession, rather than focusing only on the nuts and bolts of your job.

Figure out your professional niche.

There are many areas you can go into today as a pharmacist, everything from drug manufacturing to pharmaceutical sales, working for international health organizations, corporate management, medical writing and journalism, teaching, research, as well as the more traditional areas of retail pharmacy, clinical and hospital pharmacy.

Develop a five-year professional plan.

Where do you hope to be in five years, and how do you plan to get there? Think about any additional professional training you may need to reach your career goals, such as clinical certifications.

Try to maintain a healthy work-life balance.

Of course, it isn’t always easy to do. But if you can get a work schedule that allows you time for personal development and family involvement, it may be worth taking. Take care of yourself as well. Take time to exercise, to sleep well and enjoy recreational activities.

Be prepared to provide clinical services.

Things like child immunizations, prescribing service in warfarin clinics and toxicology consults are playing a greater role in the job of the pharmacist.

Stay current with the pharmacy practice laws of your state.

These vary from state to state, and you don’t want to find yourself out of compliance.

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