A degree in Pharmacy does not just equal a job as a pharmacist, there are a variety of jobs in the healthcare sector and beyond for you to pursue! Read on to find out what they are.
7) Community Pharmacist
Being a community pharmacist is what most people aim for when they pursue a degree in Pharmacy. A community pharmacist works in a private or retail pharmacy. Their duties include dispensing and distributing prescription medicine to customers. As a direct face to face job, community pharmacist interact with a large number of customers on a daily basis. They advise the public on suitable medication for minor illnesses, impart basic health information and explain medication guidelines. In addition, community pharmacist ensure medications are correctly labelled, check dosages, manage health programmes (i.e. smoking cessation, weight loss), supervise preparation of special medications and liaison with physicians on prescriptions.
6) Hospital Pharmacist
Hospital pharmacist have most of the same duties of a community pharmacist such as distributing and dispensing medications. However, as they work in the hospital they have more direct interaction with doctors and other medical staff. Hospital pharmacist work closely with medical professionals to ensure patients receive the best treatment in terms of type, dosage and administration methods of medications. They review medication profiles and consult with doctor’s if patients experience medication related complications.
Moreover, hospital pharmacist are responsible for the hospitals pharmaceutical supplies and equipment in addition to medication guidelines. Hospital pharmacist may also be required to create custom medications for patients based on doctors’ directions. They may also supervise or be involved in clinical trials.
However, hospitals and community pharmacies are not the only settings for a pharmacist to practice. Pharmacist can also enact their roles in hospices, nursing homes and health centers.
5) Medical Researcher
Why settle for just dispensing and advising on pharmaceutical medications? Why not invent some of your own? As a medical researcher, you conduct clinical trials or experiments to enhance knowledge on the medical sciences. With a pharmacy degree, your role in medical research is likely focused on improving existing medications or researching new administration methods or medications altogether. However, you are not limited to that and may also research on illnesses, disorders and treatment, prevention or diagnosis methods.
The research process involves proposing, design and conducting the experiment and interpreting the data after. If the results are published, there may be collaboration with the pharmaceutical industry, hospital, health organizations or institutions on how to utilize it.
While a pharmacist focuses on chemicals that are intended to heal people, a toxicologist focuses on the opposite. A toxicologist identifies, monitors and evaluates the negative impacts of toxic materials, chemicals and radiation on the environment and living organisms. It is a discipline that encompasses biology, chemistry, medicine and pharmacology. Much of the work as a toxicologist involves research and conducting experiments on the adverse effects of certain chemicals.
In regards to the pharmaceutical industry, one of the main duties of a toxicologist is to carry out risk assessments and ensure that experimental drugs are safe for human testing. Note that a sub specialty of toxicology is medical toxicology. To be a medical toxicologist, you are required to have a medical degree as they focus on treating or diagnosing patients exposed to adverse chemical substances such as poison.
3) Regulatory Affairs Officer
Before new medication reaches the public, they have to undergo vigorous testing and confirmation by government regulatory bodies first. As a regulatory affairs officer, you control the safety and efficiency of medications through supervising their licensing, marketing and legal compliance. Thus, regulatory affair officers are the link between the pharmaceutical industry, its products and regulatory authorities.
It requires a unique combination of medical, business and legal knowledge. Regulatory affairs officers have to be up to date on national and international medical related legislation as well as their company’s own policies and goals. They work closely with medical researchers to ensure developed medications comply with the regulations of the targeted regions.
2) Medical Sales Representative
Even if you create an amazing miracle drug, you still need someone to help sell it. That’s where a medical sales representative comes in. While regulatory affairs officers are the link to the government, medical sales representatives are the link to healthcare professionals themselves. Hence, they are responsible for marketing or selling their company’s products, which include medicines, prescription drugs and medical equipment, to a variety of customers such as general practitioners (GPs), hospital doctors, pharmacists and nurses.
As this is in essence a sales job albeit a very high end lucrative one, you will need to be to identify and satisfy your customers needs and concerns. With a degree in pharmacy, you will have a better understanding of the side effects and efficiency of medical drugs, thus gain higher trust with medical professionals. However, it’s not limited to just direct sales, a medical sales representative may also be involved in the marketing strategy and research of promoting medications.
1) Science/ Medical Writer
People these days are getting more and more educated on basic medical knowledge. They have keen interest in their health and wish to get the best information on how to improve it. As an individual with a pharmacy degree you are uniquely suited to the task of interpreting the complex research and findings of medical professionals and relay them as simply and effectively as possible to the general public.
Also known as a scientific journalist, you will write medical related articles in a variety of media outlets such as blogs, websites, journals or print publications. These articles or post can range from giving basic information, advice and overviews to critical examinations of the medical or pharmaceutical industry itself. However, you can also apply your knowledge of biology and chemistry to science in general and write for science-related media.
Well as you see, there is a wealth of things you can do with a Pharmacy degree. If you’re interested in gaining one the University of Reading Malaysia has an exceptional 2+2 Masters of Pharmacy programme where you spend two years in their Malaysia campus and the remaining two overseas in their UK campus. For more courses offered by prestigious UK universities in Malaysia check out our university page