There are a lot of misconceptions and myths about careers in pharmacy and we’re on a mission to change that! Let’s debunk some of the most common myths about pharmacy careers.
Pharmacy Myth 1: Pharmacists only work in retail settings.
Pharmacists work in a wide variety of practice settings and we highlight a portion of them on our Novel Practice Settings page. Pharmacists have the opportunity to specialize in fields like pediatrics, cardiology, oncology, geriatrics, and psychiatry. They each perform many different functions. So, whether it’s research and drug development, consulting, analytics, government service, or economics, pharmacists are using their skills in a multitude of ways.
Pharmacy Myth 2: I need to interact with people every day as a pharmacist.
While being able to interact with patients is an important skill to learn as a pharmacist, there are dozens of different practice settings that don’t require a lot of person-to-person interaction. There are veterinary pharmacists that work primarily with animals. Also, some pharmacists work in offices and perform analytical and administrative work. Plus, there are even pharmacists that primarily work on social media! Pharmacy is a robust field with many different options for practicing.
Pharmacy Myth 3: I’m too old to get into pharmacy.
This industry has no age limit! Schools accept students of all ages and backgrounds to create the most diverse cohorts possible. Classes are full of students with different life experiences! Student range from coming straight from undergraduate school, from the workforce, or just from looking for a mid-career change. So, no matter your age or life stage, you’ll never feel alone in pharmacy school.
Pharmacy Myth 4: Pharmacists aren’t able to work with their communities.
Pharmacists are often thought of as healthcare professionals who work behind the counter, filling prescriptions and dispensing medication. However, this stereotype overlooks the important role that pharmacists can play in promoting community health and wellness. Pharmacists have become increasingly more involved in community health initiatives, working to promote health and wellness in their communities. In addition to medication counseling, pharmacists can also provide health screenings and other preventative health services.
For example, some pharmacists offer flu shots and other vaccinations to their patients. They may also provide blood pressure screenings and other health assessments, helping patients to identify potential health issues before they become serious. Pharmacists can also work with community organizations and advocacy groups to promote health and wellness. Many partner with local schools to provide education about drug abuse and addiction. They also work with community groups to promote healthy lifestyle choices, such as exercise and proper nutrition. And since most Americans live within five miles of a pharmacy and pharmacists are often the most accessible healthcare professional.
Pharmacy Myth 5: Pharmacists never get to work from home.
With the rise of telehealth, there are an increasing number of positions available for pharmacists to work from the comfort of their own homes. Some opportunities even include providing medication management services. Additionally, the COVID-19 pandemic has given rise to more work-from-home positions, with appointments ranging from insulin pump education, to general patient education, to medication injection instruction. Telehealth appointments are allowing pharmacists to connect more frequently with their patients and strengthen their trust and bond with their community.
Pharmacy Myth 6: There aren’t any jobs available for pharmacists.
As our population continues to age and medications become more complex, the need for pharmacists is expected to continue to grow. Therefore, there will be an increased demand for pharmacists in many different areas, such as hospitals and medication management services.
Pharmacy Myths… Busted!
Careers in pharmacy are diverse, rewarding, and impressive! We hope you’ve learned a bit more about the industry as we busted these pharmacy myths.
If you’re interested in diving a bit deeper, feel free to explore our website for a list of pharmacy career pathways, pharmacist bios, and a fun pharmacy career quiz!
This article is an update from a previous article from 2019, with new contributions thanks to Gayle A. Brazeau, Ph.D., Dean and Professor from Marshall University’s School of Pharmacy.