So, I’m a Pharmacist Now, but What Does That Mean?

Alright, now that it’s been 2 months since I got licensed, let’s talk about how I feel to FINALLY be a pharmacist. Honestly, it feels unreal. There are days where I have major imposter syndrome and feel like I’m not qualified to be answering questions and verifying prescriptions. But the thing is, I AM qualified. I went to professional school for 4 years to become qualified. I took 2 very intense board exams to become qualified. I AM a pharmacist.

I have to constantly remind myself that pharmacy school and real practice are two very different things. I may have learned a lot during school, but there’s also a lot that they couldn’t have taught me. As of November 2020, there were over 20,000 prescription drugs on the market. On top of that, there are thousands and thousands of supplements and OTC medications. I have to remind myself that it is physically impossible for me to know every drug and every side effect.

In school, they taught me one of the best skills to utilize as a pharmacist, and that’s to investigate AND to do it quickly. How long does it take me to pull up MicroMedex or Lexicomp or the Natural Products Database and search for a specific drug or supplement? Less than 5 minutes. How long does it take me to dig a little deeper and look for primary literature? A little longer, but not too long. That’s the thing about pharmacists. We know how to dig.

So yeah, I may feel like sometimes I don’t know anything. I may feel like I’m not qualified, but between my ability to research and several more years in practice, I’ll know a heck of a lot more. I mean hey, even I can cut myself some slack. It’s only been 2 months.

I absolutely love everything about being a pharmacist. Getting to counsel patients on how to take their medications and see the impact that I’ve already had in 2 months, I know I chose the right field.

I’m learning so much, and I know I’ll continue to learn over the course of my career as a pharmacist. I’m slowly gaining confidence in myself. I’ve given countless COVID vaccines and COVID tests, I’ve counseled over a dozen patients, and I’ve had great conversations with others. I’m getting more comfortable in the shoes that I’ve stepped into when I took the Oath of a Pharmacist, passed my boards, and signed on to a residency program to grow as the pharmacy professional I know I can be.

So here’s to the rest of my life, to continuously learning, but most importantly, to helping my patients.

Stay Golden,

Emily

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