Shayna S.’s Avatar

Shayna S.





Is there an area of pharmacy where you help people decrease or stop taking prescriptions by making lifestyle changes?

I am a HUGE advocate for individual healthy lifestyle management rather than fixing problems with a #pill. My #dream is to help people become their own health advocates. I want to teach people lifestyle modifications including #nutrition, #physical activity, and managing medications. I believe certain #prescriptions are over-prescribed and some maintenance medications can be avoided with lifestyle changes. I know it sounds backwards to be a pharmacist reducing medications, but that is my passion especially working in a pharmacy for almost 3 years not and seeing the effects in our society today. #lifestyle #management #health #healthadvocate #publichealth #pharmacy #pharmacist #society #rx #medication #health care #medications #medicine

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3 answers


I love your question!

I think without a medical credential it's possible to get in trouble for "practicing medicine without a license," and would encourage you to research that aspect of things.

There are many different aspects of healthy living. My mom wants a pill for everything, yet, she won't do a few basic stretches that I know would cure her aches and pains! I just came through knee surgery with almost no pain meds afterwards - Ice is awesome! (and free!) Fresh air is also a good cure. Everyone feels good while hiking!

People who have opened my eyes to alternative approaches include a nutritionist, chiropractor, physical therapist, and doctor (rheumatologist). Accupuncture and tai chi also talk about it. These are areas you might want to explore.

It's sad to see people throwing away so much money on Rx meds, especially when they have limited financial resources. Big Pharma is a big business. That is why they advertise so much, so we can go to the doctor and tell the doctor what we need! Reversing that will be a big challenge. I hope you keep trying !


Last updated Jun 10 at 10:48 PM

I work with a pharmacist in a primary care clinic. The pharmacist is always looking for ways to decrease our patients medications (more meds doesn't equate to better care). She also meets with patients for 30 - 60 minutes to discuss lifestyle changes including nutrition and exercise. She bills the insurance for her services too. Primary care is a good place for pharmacists to use all of their skills to help patients with health and well being.

I was told (not sure from who), "there's a medicine cabinet in our own bodies, we may as well make use of it". The "Food as medicine" concept has also become part of the primary care conversations. I like this question, thanks for asking it.

This professional recommends the following next steps:

  • Take classes in motivational interviewing and get experience talking to people with chronic conditions or new diagnosis.
  • If you are interested in this type of position, look into working at a large medical system (they usually have more funds to cover this position) rather than a small independent practice.
Last updated Jun 18 at 01:59 PM

Love your question and I'm on your side but I think you have a better chance as a personal coach then in a pharmacy. Who knows, maybe one day doctors will consult food experts for the cure instead of subscribing medicine. Why don't you make this your mission :-)

Last updated Jun 10 at 08:15 PM
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