Letters to the editor: November 20, 2006

November 20, 2006

I appreciate and applaud you for the press you have given to the B.S. vs. Pharm.D. issue. Based on Lucinda Maine's comments in your Oct. 9 issue, I disagree with her about the validity of your survey, but I did feel the article was a little bit "he said, she said."

I also do not doubt that the decision to go all Pharm.D. was a good one, or that we will ever go back to two degrees. What I appreciate most was the two follow-up letters in your Sept. 18 issue.

Stephen K. Hetey makes an interesting point about bachelor degrees being awarded in other countries and recognized as "doctor." I believe that our profession made a big mistake by not simplifying the conversion of B.S. pharmacists to Pharm.D.s. This would have averted the fragmented profession we have created, and the misconception somehow that a Pharm.D. is somehow better than a B.S. degree. I believe the advancement of our profession has necessitated the Pharm.D., but that practicing B.S. pharmacists who have kept abreast of their profession should not be denigrated or looked upon as inferior in any way.

My wife and I (both B.S. pharmacists) have been clinical instructors and have worked with many Pharm.D.s. Some are great, others not so great. What bothers us (and I imagine many other B.S. pharmacists) is the notion that somehow we are inferior professionals.

I appreciate the attention you have given this issue. The Pharm.D. is a good thing, and it's here to stay. I believe it was necessary, if for no other reason but "to bring new practitioners up to speed with the rest of us, B.S. or Pharm.D." It's very frustrating to put your heart and soul into your profession when some people do not look at you as their equal.

Mark R. Jacobs, R.Ph.
Wisconsin
mrjacobs@facstaff.wisc.edu

As the debate continues over the B.S. versus Pharm.D. degree, there are pharmacists who have an M.S. degree to consider. This degree requires more education than the B.S. and involved a much more difficult curriculum than the current Pharm.D.

More important, the M.S. degree required a 3.0 average as compared with the 2.0 average for the Pharm.D. Since the time to obtain the M.S. degree is two years after the B.S. degree and one more year after the Pharm.D., it seems that those with the M.S. degree are logically the most educated pharmacists.

Robert S. Katz, M.S., R.Ph.
Stamford, Conn.
Pharmrobert@msn.com

Yours for the asking

I just read your Oct. 9 cover story, "Minority report." I was wondering if there might be a place where pharmacists, such as myself, with bilingual capabilities can register and who can be called upon by nonbilingual pharmacists to help interpret to their patients.

I am a registered pharmacist as well as a diabetes educator and I am fluent in both English and Spanish.