How Do I Become a Consultant Pharmacist?
Consultant pharmacists are professionals who give advice to patients on what types of medications to take, particularly when dealing with elderly patients in nursing homes. They also work in areas such as acute care hospitals and home health agencies, facilities in which long-term care patients reside. These individuals must be extremely detail-oriented and possess solid interpersonal skills. A person who wishes to become a consultant pharmacist needs to gain four years of undergraduate education followed by four years of pharmacy training. He or she then should pursue hands-on industry experience and become licensed to practice in this field.
If you desire to become a consultant pharmacist, you first should complete a four-year bachelor’s degree in a science subject such as chemistry or physics. Enrolling in this type of degree program requires submitting your high school diploma or the equivalent certification along with turning in your high school transcript. Officials at your chosen training institution also will ask to see your most recent standardized test scores, and you must fill out the college’s admission form as well.
After completing an undergraduate degree program, you have to apply to enter pharmacy school. This involves submitting your four-year degree program transcript and completing the university’s enrollment application. During your four years of pharmacy training, courses teach you about disease treatments, medicinal ethics, and information about various types of drugs. In addition, you must complete hands-on training in a real-world setting by working under a licensed pharmacist as you seek to become a consultant pharmacist.
Gaining another one to two years of practical training is required after earning a pharmacist degree. You can choose to complete a residency that allows you to gain experience with working with patients in settings such as hospitals and assisted living facilities, a task that you must master when you become a consultant pharmacist. Your responsibilities will involve reviewing drug regimens to ensure that patients do not suffer from negative physical reactions caused by certain medications. Performing research and putting together a project on your findings also constitutes a typical requirement of this type of on-the-job training opportunity.
Pursuing industry licensure additionally is necessary to excel in this career. In most areas, you have to take and pass a board exam before you are eligible to become a consultant pharmacist. Completing continuing education requirements allows you to retain your license as well as remain up-to-date on developments in this aspect of the medical field.
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