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RxLink The #1 Link for Pharmacy Students

How Will I Make a Difference in the Pharmacy Profession? 2004

University of Iowa College of Pharmacy

The light at the end of the tunnel: Graduation Day! After countless hours of studying, thousands of dollars invested, hundreds of cans of cola consumed, several textbooks highlighted, and one brain loaded with information, I will embark on my journey to become a pharmacist. Not just any pharmacist, but one who will make a difference. I envision the shift of focus from the drug to the patient by implementing pharmaceutical care, educating patients, and volunteering in the community.

Pharmaceutical Care

Pharmaceutical care is more than giving the patient their medicine and telling them about the drug; it is providing information and education to the patient to improve their quality of life. People look at pharmacists as the most accessible member of the health care team and protector of the public from drug misadventuring. The kind of atmosphere I would like to work in is one where I can sit down with the patient and investigate what is working for them and what can be done to progress to a higher level of health.

Marketing this service will be a challenge, but one I am willing to tackle. Reimbursement from third party providers in nearly all cases is directed towards medication. If the medication does not work, or is duplicated therapy; then the insurance company, the health care providers, and ultimately the patient have wasted time and money. Utilizing the therapeutic knowledge I am learning now will allow me to collaborate with physicians in an effort to provide the best possible care to the patient while reducing the total cost of health care.

Patient Education

Imagine a patient who goes to their physician for a check up and ends up being diagnosed with diabetes. The patient has heard of this disease state before, but shakes with fear when the physician describes all of the maintenance that will be necessary so the patient can stay healthy. The change in diet, the expensive medicines; and if that isn’t enough, the constant and painful poking of their fingers to test blood glucose levels. How will this patient ever lead a normal life again with all of this to worry about?

This is where I come in, like a hero to save the day; or at least dispel some fears and show the patient a normal life is possible. I will host clinics for disease states like diabetes to help the patient understand their diagnosis. At these clinics, I will update them on the new medications and new technologies available that can help manage their illness. Spending extra time with these patients will increase medication compliance and improve the quality of life.


Helping people is such a wonderful feeling. This is one of the reasons I decided to study pharmacy. While completing my coursework, I have had the opportunity to volunteer at the Free Medical Clinic of Iowa City. At this clinic, people can receive health care and medication at no cost. Without people volunteering their time to run this clinic and manufacturers and businesses donating medications, thousands of people would suffer and hundreds could die.

Upon graduation, I plan to volunteer many hours to help those less fortunate. Additionally, I want to get others involved in volunteering, regardless if it is at a medical clinic or being a role model to a child. So many programs would disappear without volunteers, like United Way and the Boys and Girls Clubs of America. It is amazing how a few hours of your time can change the lives of so many people.

By focusing more on the patient than the drug, teaching people, and giving back to the community, I will make a difference in numerous lives. For now, though, I will keep on track through the tunnel and look for that light which will signal the start of a brand new expedition.

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