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RxLink Pharmacy®  2004

Why I Chose Pharmacy School

It has been nearly two years since I received my acceptance letter into The University of Minnesota School of Pharmacy. I recall having many reasons for wishing to be a pharmacist, and while I am still excited to get my degree in the Pharmacy Profession, I find that the reasons I had for choosing Pharmacy two years ago have changed from the ones I now possess today. This is not something I have thought about considerably, yet looking at those inclinations I once had with regard to Pharmacy, and how they have changed, makes me wonder about how my feelings will be different about two years from now when I have graduated. Why did I choose Pharmacy School? In truth, that depends on when I am being asked; for as I learn more about the pharmacy profession I find that my answers to that question change as I find myself closer to earning my Pharm D. I will offer the answers I had prior to entering the Pharmacy Program, the answers I hold presently, and the answers I feel I may come to learn of as a Pharmacists. I anticipate there will be a global theme surrounding all of these different reasons for entering this profession, and the best way to conclude these thoughts would be with that answer.

I applied to Pharmacy school with the ideas that I would enjoy this profession much more than I would serving the public as a Physician. I felt that I would not burnout as readily as I might as a Doctor, that there would be more career satisfaction because patients tend to trust Pharmacists more readily than their doctors, and compensation in the Pharmacy field seemed reasonable considering the additional four years of school necessary for the Pharm D. Degree. Those three things mattered most to me: I would enjoy my occupation, I would look forward to working with patients on a daily basis, and the financial compensation would allow me the freedom to pursue my interests in my personal life. I did not expect any changes in these reasons to be forthcoming, but they have evolved into more informed opinions after participating in the Pharmacy School Program for nearly two years.

I have learned more than I thought possible in less than two years of Professional School. Reflecting back on my original motivations to join this profession, I find that the themes have remained the same while the details are now quite different. Job satisfaction involves much more than working in an Ambulatory setting and dispensing. It involves staying up to date with the literature, learning of new drugs that are suddenly available, and taking CE classes at conventions all over the country. This was something I had not anticipated or expected. Another welcome surprise was the quality of the individuals who had chosen to enter this profession. The friends I have made in this program will soon be more than my classmates. They will be my colleagues. this was something that had not been considered two years ago, yet now I see working with my Pharmacy friends one of the most exciting aspects of my future career. Job security did not previously occur to me either, yet now I see that Pharmacists have one of the brightest and most secure occupations in the Nation. These three newly revealed aspects of the Pharmacy Profession have shown me how, more than ever, I look forward to practicing Pharmacy following graduation.

No one can say what the future holds. I have thought upon how my perspectives will change once I am licensed and working with patients on a daily basis. I can anticipate one major factor will overshadow all other prior motivations directing me toward this field, and that is helping people who need my help. The satisfaction of sleeping that night and honestly realizing what a positive impact I have had on the people I have interacted with that day. Knowing that my actions have made the lives of those around me better. Reflecting on his, I can't think of a better reason to get into the Pharmacy Program. People often wonder what their calling is in this world. Through Pharmacy, I believe I have found mine.

All people have their reasons for doing what they do. In this essay, I find that I have been steadily changing and updating mine. However, despite all the changes, adjustments, and additions to my list of reasons why i chose Pharmacy, I find that there is a central theme that encompasses all of them. Whether the reasons come from my years prior to entering the program, my current feelings about the program, or the future thoughts, I will come to realize first hand in the Profession, all these reasons fit under the most important one that anyone should have in determining what they desire to do with their life. What is this universal reason that I know Pharmacy will provide me with? Life satisfaction.

RxLink®  2004

How Will I Make a Difference in the Pharmacy Profession?

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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