By: Saleem Sabeer

I started my journey to pharmacy as a undergraduate student at Arizona State University studying microbiology. My work experience included being a veterinary compounding pharmacy technician , a pharmacy volunteer at a hospital, and then finally a pharmacy intern doing medication management. In my work experience, I enjoyed seeing the healing benefits that patients and animals receive from medications. I also loved seeing doctors seeking advice from pharmacist colleagues as they are basically masters of medicine. Even more interesting is the adverse reactions that can occur from medications. This to me solidified the importance of a pharmacist in the healthcare setting and how they can collaborate with other healthcare professionals to improve patients outcomes. Pharmacists are being recognized as leaders in the community and can provide services to the underserved population by providing convenient and accessible healthcare. They can work under collaborative practice agreements with doctors to manage disease states such as diabetes and high cholesterol in the clinic or hospital. Pharmacists can even receive specialized residency training to sharpen there clinical knowledge in many areas.

My fascination and intellectual curiosity of the intricacies and mechanisms of how medicine affects the human body and striving for a deeper understanding of chemical structures and how they affect the activity of medications are all areas of pharmacy school that I have enthusiastically explored. Another topic that is quite interesting to me is infectious diseases. Bacterial resistance and outbreaks are on the rise and its important that we create novel ways to combat this. This is where pharmacists come into play providing antimicrobial stewardship which saves hospitals money.

My number one advice for people wanting to get into the pharmacy field is to get work experience as a pharmacy tech. This will give you the opportunity to first hand see what the pharmacist does in a variety of settings and what sort of skills they need to get the job done. If you are wanting to work in a clinical setting or hospital pharmacy it is important to have good relations and build trusting relationships with doctors as they will come to you for questions on antibiotic dosing and general drug questions. The role of the pharmacist is expanding to keep up with technological advances as well.