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what makes a good pharmacist

Discussion in 'Pharmacy' started by firework, Aug 23, 2010.

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  1. firework

    firework Junior Member 10+ Year Member

    Apr 24, 2006
    What personalities do you think one should have to be a good and happy pharmacist?

    I know it sounds strange, I think I want to be a pharmacy technician more than pharmacist. I really like filling prescriptions, I find it very relaxing, peaceful and fulfilling. I can do it 10 hours straight without feeling bored. I also like doing inventory, putting price tags on, finding the bags for the patients, organize prescriptions, etc. I am worried I will not be a good pharmacist because I like dealing with medicines rather than patients.
    Last edited: Aug 23, 2010
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  3. crazybob

    crazybob 2+ Year Member

    Jun 9, 2009
    Do you mean certain types of patients or all patients?

    Maybe a change in setting may help. If you like dealing with medications and very few patients, then doing inpatient or nuclear pharmacy might be what you like.
  4. Its Z

    Its Z Retired 7+ Year Member

    May 15, 2010
    communication and personal skills are the 2 most important traits.
  5. powertoold

    powertoold 7+ Year Member

    Dec 15, 2006
    So you'd rather have a personable pharmacist with a 4% error rate versus one that has a 2% error rate but isn't very good with people? I find that it's difficult to have the best of both worlds since a personable pharmacist also tends to socialize with the coworkers and doesn't spend enough time verifying the prescriptions, etc..

    I'd agree with communication skills, but the pharmacist also has to have good knowledge of what to communicate.
  6. owlegrad

    owlegrad Uncontrollable Sarcasm Machine Staff Member SDN Administrator 7+ Year Member

    I won't try to speak to what makes a good pharmacist because I am still a student. As for being a happy pharmacists, the secret is the same for everyone:

    "Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content." Philippians 4:11

    Good advice. :thumbup:

    I also agree with the idea that you may enjoy institutional or nuclear pharmacy more than retail. Or maybe mail-order?
  7. WVUPharm2007

    WVUPharm2007 "Bubs Depot!" 10+ Year Member

    Well, I'm boned.
  8. aboveliquidice

    aboveliquidice No sacrifice - No victory Moderator Emeritus 10+ Year Member

    Apr 23, 2006
    What are these things... These "skills" he speaks of?
  9. Its Z

    Its Z Retired 7+ Year Member

    May 15, 2010
    i will take a robot pharmacist with zero percent error rate and make him a frontline soldier. but i will take the mistake prone pharmacist who can deal with people and make him a manager.
  10. socalpharm86

    socalpharm86 7+ Year Member

    Jun 13, 2009
    With 13k new grads a year, this scenario shouldn't be likely ;)
  11. powertoold

    powertoold 7+ Year Member

    Dec 15, 2006
    But then both of the pharmacists would be "good" in their own respective positions.

    If I had to define a "good" pharmacist, I'd value motivation and ambition to advance the profession and patient care, an open mind, and a willingness to learn (even the tedious material, which there is a lot of in pharmacy).

    I don't care how personable someone is; if one doesn't have ambition and motivation, it'd be difficult to find the energy to be a good pharmacist. One would have to continually challenge the status quo and keep finding new and innovative methods to practice pharmacy.
  12. Its Z

    Its Z Retired 7+ Year Member

    May 15, 2010
    yeah right....good luck with an ambtious and motivated arsehole who cant communicate and pisses off everyone.
  13. Its Z

    Its Z Retired 7+ Year Member

    May 15, 2010
    pharmacy is a people business based on customer service. most pharmacists tend to carry enough knowledge base to perform the job. but it aint the ambition or motivation that sets one a part rather the pharmacist who provides the best customer service and who effectively communicates leading to a better patient outcome through a teamwork that sets one a part.
  14. Mariachi


    Sep 3, 2009
    Thumbs up:)

    Pharmacy seems to attract too many antisocial/ anal-retentive gunners... Pharmacy is a team sport, it's not just about one individuals "error rate." If your presence behind the counter causes conflict and unnecessary stress in your coworkers, the whole work flow gets screwed up.
  15. pharm B

    pharm B Phar Noir Moderator Emeritus Lifetime Donor 7+ Year Member

    Jul 11, 2008
    Out to Pasture
    Rocket Scientist
    hSDN Member
    hSDN Alumni
    This is a universal concept. Do they end up in academia when they can't get promoted in retail? :smuggrin:
  16. powertoold

    powertoold 7+ Year Member

    Dec 15, 2006
    Then we're probably just arguing semantics here. You can definitely have motivation and ambition to provide great customer service?

    Check out this excerpt (don't know the source the book got it from though):

    http://books.google.com/books?id=XW...3#v=onepage&q=introverted pharmacists&f=false

    I agree that most pharmacists have enough knowledge to do the job, unfortunately, not well. I'm not going into details, but many people will agree with me, especially regarding older pharmacists.
    Last edited: Aug 24, 2010
  17. charfdorn

    charfdorn 2+ Year Member

    Mar 29, 2009
    Denver, CO
    I think you should be a technician. There's nothing ignoble in that, or unworthy of respect, and you don't have to take on six figures in debt to do it.
  18. powertoold

    powertoold 7+ Year Member

    Dec 15, 2006
    lol, ironically, in retail pharmacy, technicians are dealing with patients more than pharmacists...
  19. MountainPharmD

    MountainPharmD custodiunt illud simplex 10+ Year Member

    Aug 15, 2004
    I can only speak for the retail side. You have to have the right personality as well as the right frame of mind. This list is in no way exhaustive. Just a few things off the top of my head......

    1. You must genuinly like practicing pharmacy. If you got into this for the money or a guaranteed job you will be miserable.
    2. Detail oriented
    3. Ability to work under pressure.
    4. Able to multitask. You must be able to accuratly and quickly do at least three things at once, most of the time more.
    5. Good comminication skills with customers and your staff.
    6. A very thick skin. People lose thier mind when they come into the pharmacy. You must learn to not take it personnel.
    7. A short memory. Let things go like ****ty customers, bad days, idiot upper management ect. No sense holding on to bad things.
    8. Ability to leave work at work. Clear you mind, lock the gate and go home happy.
    9. Focus on the 1% of patients who actually appreciate what you do.
  20. PharmJunkie

    PharmJunkie 5+ Year Member

    May 29, 2010
    I really agree with the qualities you listed here. This is exactly the qualities that each pharmacist should have.

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