The Future of Pharmacy Jobs -- Will It Be Feast or Famine?

Darrell Hulisz, PharmD; Daniel L. Brown, PharmD


April 15, 2014

In This Article

Final Thoughts, and Advice for Future Pharmacists

Dr. Hulisz: US News & World Report[5] ranked the career of pharmacist as #5 of 100 careers overall and #3 among the best healthcare jobs. Among the reasons cited was solid employment growth. Do you agree?

Dr. Brown: I am a pharmacist, so I am biased -- but yes, I agree. Pharmacy is and always has been a rewarding profession that provides valuable healthcare services and unmatched access to care. The role of pharmacists will continue to develop and expand, as it should.

A tightening job market due to the growth of pharmacy schools changes neither the importance of pharmacy nor the public's need for pharmacy services. It might become more challenging to find the right job amid increasing competition from a growing applicant pool, but those who prepare themselves well and are willing to be flexible should have no trouble securing employment. When they do, I expect that they will find pharmacy to be a richly rewarding vocation.

I consider myself blessed to have spent 3-plus decades in this field. On the other hand, those who are attracted to pharmacy primarily because they anticipate an easy-to-find, high-paying job might want to reconsider.

Dr. Hulisz: What advice would you give to a current pharmacy student?

Dr. Brown: Be optimistic, and have faith that you have chosen the right profession. It is a profession that will serve you well if you take care of business. By that I mean, fully dedicate yourself to making the most of your pharmacy education, and prepare yourself for the future in ways that maximize your marketability.

Study diligently for the sake of learning, not just to pass exams. When engaged in a real-life training experience, treat it as a 24/7 interview. Impress everyone at the training site with your work ethic, your commitment to excellence, your service-oriented mentality, your compassion for all people, your emotional maturity, and your ability to work well with others. In short, put your best foot forward at all times. People tend to notice a positive attitude, a willingness to work hard, and a trustworthy character. If they witness such attributes in you, they will want you to be a member of their team.

Also, get involved in supporting, promoting, and developing your profession. Be an advocate for pharmacy issues, and prepare yourself to be a pioneer of progressive new roles and services. Become the kind of pharmacist who feels compelled to blaze a trail where one does not already exist.

If you follow this advice, grounded in a sense of humble gratitude for the talents and opportunities that have been afforded to you, employers will eagerly seek to hire you. Issues pertaining to employment will become inconsequential.

There is a well-worn biblical expression which suggests that we tend to reap what we sow. That principle supersedes the dynamics of the job market. Pharmacy students who sow a great education are destined to reap the rewards of a great career.


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