The education of a pharmacist is rigorous. Students wishing to become pharmacists today must complete six years of study (two years pre-professional/four years professional education) to earn a Doctor of Pharmacy degree.
Pharmacists have the responsibility for assuring appropriate use of medications. As medication experts they are responsible for insuring that the information provided by a prescriber is complete, that the new medication and dose are appropriate for the patient’s condition, and that the patient understands the proper way to take the medication.
Graduates of the College of Pharmacy take a national licensing examination and may practice pharmacy in a variety of settings throughout the nation. The majority of graduates provide care to patients in a community setting, either in a chain drug store or managed care facility. Others find employment in hospitals, pharmaceutical sales, teaching or in research.
The concept of pharmaceutical care is transforming the role of the pharmacist from a distributor of drugs to a manager of the patient’s drug therapy. The pharmacist is being reimbursed for achieving positive outcomes in drug therapy to improve the quality of life. This new role requires new training for the pharmacist.
At this time the job market is very positive, in virtually every state there is a manpower shortage. This need is expected to escalate as the millennium approaches and fewer students are graduated. Salaries are excellent as a whole and reflect the responsibility that the pharmacist has in the therapeutic management of the patient. Individual salaries will vary depending upon the area of practice and the location
Graduates of URI’s pharmacy program have enjoyed success as businesspeople, pharmacy professionals, researchers, and academicians. Two URI alumni, Joseph Mollica 62 , former chairman of Dupont Merck Pharmaceutical Co., and Ernest Mario 66, cochairman and CEO of Alza Corporation and former cochairman and CEO of Glaxo Ltd., were the only pharmacy graduates in the country to head up Fortune 500 companies.
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