Questions for the pharmacy profession: Who has the answers?

June 21, 2011

Stan Illich has practiced pharmacy in the private, corporate, and governmental sectors. Over the years, certain questions kept returning to his mind. He shares some of them in this blog post.

Stan Illich has practiced pharmacy in the private, corporate, and governmental sectors. Over the years, certain questions kept returning to his mind. He shares some of them below.

  • Are we overeducating some pharmacists and undereducating others? Is our “generic” approach to producing a pharmacist working?
  • Should our pharmacy schools be teaching different and more targeted classes to pharmacy students who have a specific career in mind?
  • Should a chain pharmacist be taught one thing that would be most useful for her, while a clinical pharmacist might be taught using a different track?
  • Are we giving our students what they need to be successful in the specialty fields such as nuclear, oncology, etc.?
  • Why do we continue to resist requiring everyone to serve an accredited residency in order to qualify for the practice pharmacy?
  • Is “registered” an outdated term, like “druggist”?
  • Is our pharmacy curriculum too limited for those whose goal it is to be “clinical pharmacists”?
  • Is our profession as respected as we believe it is? Is it greatly respected? By whom, and why?
  • Is our profession not respected as it should be because our educational and experiential content are sadly anemic?
  • If one of the goals of “clinical pharmacy” is respect from our physician colleagues, should we compare the intensity of our training and education to theirs?

Over the course of my 41-year career, I have wondered about all these questions. They haunted me, and I just sat there and wondered.

What will you do?

Stan Illichhas practiced in chain-store pharmacies, owned a drugstore, served as an army pharmacy officer and a civil service employee, and been vice president/COO of a community health center. Currently he practices pharmacy in Mississippi. You can contact Stan atstanillich@comcast.net.