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Unveiling the Marvels of Pharmacy: Educating Others on the Diverse Roles of Pharmacists

Written and edited by: Angel Posadas, PharmD Candidate 2025

Have you ever told someone who doesn’t work in healthcare that you are going to be a pharmacist and their response was, “So you’re going to give people meds at Walgreens?” or “so you’re going to count pills all day?” I am sure we all ran into this similar situation at least once in our pharmacy journey. 

When I attended a meeting for a consulting student organization on the East side of UIC campus, I was one of a couple members that was currently pursuing a higher level degree. Most members were currently pursuing their Bachelor’s degree in business and other business subsets. I introduced myself to the members and told them I was getting my Doctorate in Pharmacy degree. One of the members asked “So you’re switching your whole career field?” I had to explain to her that PharmDs can work in healthcare consulting and the pharmaceutical industry. This concept was entirely new to them, but I was grateful for the opportunity to educate individuals outside of healthcare about the diverse range of opportunities available to PharmDs.

In a world where healthcare is constantly evolving, pharmacists play a pivotal role beyond the confines of traditional pharmacy settings. From hospitals to research laboratories, and from community pharmacies to pharmaceutical companies, pharmacists are at the forefront of patient care, innovation, and public health initiatives.

Pharmacists are not merely dispensers of medications; they are medication experts with specialized knowledge in drug interactions, dosage optimization, and patient counseling. In hospitals, they collaborate with healthcare teams to ensure safe and effective medication use, provide clinical consultations, and participate in patient care rounds.

Even in community pharmacies, pharmacists do more than dispense medications. They are trusted advisors, offering personalized medication counseling, immunizations, and preventive health screenings. They are accessible resources for patients seeking guidance on managing chronic conditions, over-the-counter medications, and prescription therapies.

Beyond direct patient care, pharmacists contribute to pharmaceutical research and development, conducting clinical trials, drug formulation, and regulatory affairs. They work tirelessly to innovate new medications, improve existing therapies, and address emerging public health challenges.

Educating others about the multifaceted roles of pharmacists is essential to dispelling misconceptions and fostering appreciation for their contributions to healthcare. 

How can you as a student advocate for the profession?

  • Organize informational sessions or workshops in local communities to educate individuals on the roles and responsibilities of pharmacists through your involvement with student organizations.

  • Utilize social media platforms to share informative posts, videos, and infographics about the diverse roles of pharmacists in healthcare.

  • Volunteer at health fairs, community events, or schools to engage with the public and provide insights into the valuable contributions of pharmacists.

  • Participate in advocacy efforts to promote legislation or policies that recognize the expertise and contributions of pharmacists to the healthcare system like Legislative Day through ICHP.

  • Brag about yourself! I notice that most times I am way too humble when I describe what I do as a student pharmacist. Let them know! This is the time to show out.

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