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what is the most challenging part about being a pharmacist?

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Scott’s Answer

This is an intriguing question and somewhat hard to answer as it is very broad. I would say that one of the most challenging things is being ready for a very extensive learning process to prepare yourself to be ready for your patients. You will be tested and learning your entire career as pharmacy is a critical part of the healthcare process for patients. Preparing yourself with a vast knowledge and knowing how to research a patients profile and provide quality and safe healthcare to your patients is ongoing.

Every patient is different and has different requirements to maintain their health and the pharmacist is the most accessible health care provider to support their journey.

Scott recommends the following next steps:

Ensure you focus on your prerequisite classes to prepare you for the pharmacy curriculum during the professional years.
Find a local pharmacist to "interview" and shadow as available.

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EJ’s Answer

Good question, Michelle. I agree with Krystyna. I think most challenging part of being a pharmacist is communicating with other people. More people are using medications and many new medications are available everyday. Not only you need to have good understanding of current medications and treatment, you also have to deliver your knowledge to different people.You need to help people to understand or make a right decision for their medical treatment depends on your practice setting. This could be discussing with a doctor about changing his decision on treatment or helping patients to understand new medication he/she just started.

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Krystyna’s Answer

There are so many career paths you can pursue as a pharmacist, and they all present different difficulties! Definitely focus on getting some experience with patients, and shadowing a pharmacist if you can - being able to communicate with a variety of people (patients, pharmacists, pharmacy technicians, nurses, doctors, etc.) is EXTREMELY valuable. Throughout pharmacy school we practice and experience a variety of settings to ensure we are able to communicate what is needed so that patients receive accurate, safe, medically necessary care. This was one of the most difficult things for me in the beginning. Also, ensuring a work-life balance can be difficult. Luckily, pharmacy is a career where a lot of options allow for this balance, it just may be difficult to find that balance in the beginning.