The most visible place you’ll encounter pharmacists is behind the counter of a pharmacy store, dispensing medicines and advising members of the public. However, pharmacy careers are in fact available in many different places, including research labs, hospitals and doctor’s surgeries, veterinary care, the armed forces, national regulatory bodies, and in academia.
Popular pharmacy careers include:
Hospital pharmacy careers
Hospital pharmacy careers mean working within a hospital, dispensing medicines which have been prescribed by doctors, advising patients on how to take the medicines and what to expect, and working alongside other professionals to suggest the most effective course of treatment. Hospital pharmacists are also responsible for purchasing and testing medicines kept in stock by the hospital.
Research pharmacy careers
Research pharmacy careers are available in a range of different organizations, including universities, hospitals, clinical research centers and pharmaceutical companies. Major research fields include drug discovery and development, medical technologies, optimizing medical prescriptions and usage, risk minimization, and national healthcare policy and regulation.
Community pharmacy careers
Finally, community pharmacy careers refer to the most visible pharmacy roles, in high street pharmacies and GP practices. Community pharmacists provide advice for members of the public on how to treat minor ailments, and distribute drugs available ‘over-the-counter’ or with a doctor’s prescription. They may also offer basic health checks or contribute to community programs designed to promote better health.
Within each of these pharmacy careers, there’s scope for career progression by taking on a managerial role, and/or by pursuing further expertise within a particular field of medicine. All pharmacy careers require pharmacists to continually update their knowledge of the latest research, discoveries and regulations.