Doctors and nurses are not the only important poles of the healthcare industry. There are other pillars without which the industry would become crippled. Pharmacists are one among these pillars.
Pharmacy is the study and practice of preparation and handing out of medicine. Becoming a pharmacist requires you to have obtained formal education.
Pharmacists serve as a link between patients and physicians. They go through the prescriptions written by physicians and explain these prescriptions to patients.
A career in Pharmacy is a perfect choice for you if:
- You love the field of medicine but cannot imagine yourself as a doctor or nurse working in the rough hospital environment.
- You want to make a difference in people’s life.
- You are good with public interaction.
Let’s check out this video to understand the thick bundle of opportunities Pharmacy offers you:
The three most renowned and valued pharmacy courses are:
Diploma in Pharmacy (D.Pharm/D.Pharma)
Duration: 2 years
Eligibility: 10+2 with PCM/B
After a D.Pharm, you are eligible to work in a pharmacy store. However, to set up your own pharmacy store, you need to register with Pharmacy Council of India or the State Pharmacy Council. D. Pharm holders can also get admission to Bachelor of Pharmacy course as a Lateral Entry.
Bachelor of Pharmacy (B.Pharm/B.Pharma)
Duration: 4 years
Eligibility: 10+2 with PCM/B
Pharmacy graduates can explore career opportunities in hospitals, clinics, drugs and medical equipments manufacturing companies, government organizations, etc. The degree course is more suited to the candidates interested in a career in academics, research, or marketing.
- Master of Pharmacy (M.Pharm)
Duration: 2 years
M.Pharm allows you to specialize in any of your preferred branches of pharmacy. The degree helps you nourish your knowledge of the subject and become eligible for a career in research or academics.
Key Skills Required To Make A Career In Pharmacy
Extraordinary Interpersonal Skills
A major part of a pharmacist’s job comprises interacting with customers. Explaining the dosages, bewaring patients against probable side effects, and responding to their questions are some of the everyday duties. So a sulky and irritable attitude is the last thing you need.
Pharmacy is one of the fields where mistakes are not allowed. This is because even a simple miscalculation or omission could have a severe impact on a patient’s health.
An Interest in Drugs and Diseases
Pharmacists got to memorise the name and traits of thousands of medicines. They also need to keep themselves updated with the latest developments in the field of drugs. A person who is superfluously interested in the field would soon give up.
Dealing with overwhelming number of patients, organizing and dispensing drugs, maintaining records and handling the finances: pharmacists multitask, all through the day. All this requires a lot of patience.
Pharmacists’ Everyday Duty
- Going through the medical prescriptions written by doctors.
- Understanding patients records and explaining him the important precautions.
- Explaining the medication dosages to patients.
- Warning patients against the probable side effects.
- Answering patients’ queries.
- Handling the finances and managing the store.
- Keeping updated with the latest developments in the field.
Prime Careers In Pharmacy
Retail pharmacists work with medical stores. They directly interact with patients and perform the routine tasks mentioned above. These are the pharmacists we encounter most frequently in daily life. We often refer to them as ‘Chemist.’
Independent pharmacists are also retail pharmacists. The only difference is that independent pharmacists are the one who own retail pharmacies. Along with the knowledge of medical field, independent pharmacists need to have excellent management and business skills.
Veterinary pharmacists deal with the medicinal requirements of animals. They interact with animal owners and dispense them the needed drugs.
Hospital Pharmacists work in close coordination with hospital staff (including physicians, surgeons, and nurses). They also sometimes follow doctors in their patient visit hours. They help preparing appropriate prescriptions and advising patients’ relatives or friends about the dosages and side effects.
Alternative Careers In Pharmacy
Clinical research associates are the fellows who study the impact, benefits, and risks associated with existing and new medicines. Their ultimate job is to ensure that a medicine is well tested before reaching a pharmacy or hospital. Foreign companies, for the sake of reasonable cost, often outsource their clinical trials to India. So the career opportunities in this field are a lot and expanding.
Pharmacists interested in research and having strong public speaking skills can become lecturers in government or private universities. Medical field students no more blindly select to become doctors or nurses. Students are exploring their options. As a result, non-traditional medical field careers like laboratory technology, physiotherapy, and pharmacy are attracting a huge cadre of students. Owing to this, in the future, there is going to be a huge requirement of teachers in the field of pharmacy.
Medical Sales Representative
Medical Sales Representatives work as mediators between pharmaceutical companies and physicians, clinics, pharmacies, and hospitals.
These representatives are responsible for presenting and selling their company’s products (including drugs and medical equipments). A lot of their time is spent in client locations.
Interacting with clients and conducting presentations is the major part of their jobs. So the field best suits those having extraordinary interpersonal, presentation, and persuasion skills.
While pharmacists are involved in direct dealing with patients, pharamacologists have no direct contact with patients. Pharmacologists spend most of their time in research centres, labs, and academic institutions. In general, pharmacologists are scientists immersed in studying the various aspects of particular medicines.
Regulatory Affairs Office
Regulatory Affairs Officers possess the knowledge of business, law, and pharmacy. They use this knowledge to ensure that the drugs and medical equipments developed by a particular company meet the legal requirements. This immunes company’s against unfavorable legal actions in the future. Almost every drug manufacturing company needs the services of a regulatory affairs officer.
Research and Development
The growth of any industry co-relates to the pace and quantum of research and development. So is the case with the healthcare industry.
Because of the rapid expansion of this industry and burgeoning of diseases, there is a huge requirement and short supply of R&D professionals in the pharmaceutical industry.
Through research, pharmacy professionals find out the different ways to improve the quality of existing medicines. They also explore different possibilities to make new and more advanced medicines.
The career is not specifically related to pharmacy. But any pharmacy student having an inclination for writing can find this option interesting.
Scientific writers write scientific stuff. Depending on their interest, scientific writers may work in media, research, trade, or manufacturing industries.
Toxicologists help in identifying toxic chemicals. They observe different chemicals to assess their level of toxicity. They seclude any chemical that may have a harmful impact on humans. They also ensure that a chemical is free from any toxics before it reaches a human.
Nuclear pharmacists deal with the preparation of radioactive materials. These materials are used to diagnose and treat certain diseases.
Here is all you need to know about nuclear pharmacy:
Pharmacoeconomists, as the name suggests, are involved in conducting the cost benefit analysis of different medical technologies. They identify different direct and indirect costs associated with certain medical advancements. The field demands you to have an interest in both pharmacy and economics.
Here is detailed description about the field:
Medication Therapy Management Pharmacists
Medication therapy management pharmacists go through a patient’s record to understand the impact his medicines have had on him so far. They advise patients about the cheaper and more effective medicine options. These pharmacists help patients devise an action plan for their future medication.
Top Pharmacy Colleges In India
India houses a number a pharmacy colleges. But when it comes to career, no one wants to compromise with the quality of education. To ensure that you receive the best pharmacy education, you must enrol only in any of the best pharmacy colleges.
Following are some of the most eminent pharmacy colleges in India:
- Andhra University, Vishakhapatnam
- Department of Pharmaceutics, IIT BHU, Varanasi
- Delhi Institute of Pharmaceutical Education and Research, New Delhi
- Dibrugarh University, Dibrugarh
- Dr. Harisingh Gaur Vishwavidyalaya, Sagar
- Government College of Pharmacy, Rohru
- Institute of Chemical Technology, Mumbai
- Jadavpur University, Kolkata
- Jamia Hamdard, New Delhi
- Maharaja Sayajirao University of Baroda, Vadodara
- Maharishi Dayanand University, Rohtak
- National Institute of Pharmaceutical Education and Research, Ahmedabad
- National Institute of Pharmaceutical Education and Research, Hyderabad
- National Institute of Pharmaceutical Education and Research, Kolkata
- National Institute of Pharmaceutical Education and Research, Mohali
- National Institute of Pharmaceutical Education and Research, Raibareli
- Rashtrasant Tukadoji Maharaj Nagpur University, Nagpur
- School of Pharmacy, Devi Ahilya Vishwavidyalaya, Indore
- University Institute of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Chandigarh
- University College of Pharmaceutical Science, Kakatiya University, Warangal
India’s Pharma industry is booming. According to an ASSOCHAM and TechSci Research report, the industry is likely to touch $55 billion by 2020.
So if you have a passion to serve the medical field without having to deal with the cuts and burns, include pharmacy among your career options.