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Pharmacists are sometimes small-business owners, owning the pharmacy in which they practice. Their specialized knowledge as skilled professionals makes them a vital part of any healthcare team. They act as a learned intermediary between patients and other healthcare providers to ensure that proper medical therapy is chosen and implemented in the best way possible.
Pharmacists are sometimes referred to as chemists (or dispensing chemists), which sometimes causes confusion with scientists in the field of chemistry. This term is a historical one, since pharmacists originally were required to complete an undergraduate degree in Pharmaceutical Chemistry (PhC) and were known as "Pharmaceutical Chemists".
Additional recommended knowledge
Pharmacists are exceptionally trained in medicine-related fields including pharmacology, pharmacognosy, chemistry, pharmaceutical chemistry, pharmacy practice (including drug interactions, medicine monitoring, medication management), pharmaceutics, pharmacy law, physiology, anatomy, biochemistry, kinetics, nephrology, hepatology, and compounding medications. Additional curriculum covers basic diagnosis with emphasis on disease state management, therapeutics and prescribing (selecting the most appropriate medication for a given patient).
One of the most important roles that pharmacists are currently taking on is one of pharmaceutical care. Pharmaceutical care involves taking direct responsibility for patients and their disease states, medications, and the management of each in order to improve the outcome for each individual patient. Pharmaceutical care has many benefits that include but are not limited to:
Pharmacists are often the first point-of-contact for patients with health inquiries. This means that pharmacists have large roles in the assessing medication management in the primary care of patients. These roles may include, but are not limited to:
In some states, pharmacists have prescriptive authority to either independently prescribe under their own authority or in collaboration with a primary care physician through an agreed upon protocol.
Qualifications and registration
The requirements of pharmacy education, pharmacist licensure and post-graduate continuing education vary from country to country and between regions/localities within countries. In most countries, prospective pharmacists study pharmacy at a pharmacy school or related institution. Upon graduation, they are licensed either nationally or by region to dispense medication of various types in the settings for which they have been trained.
Specialties exist within the pharmacy profession, with the place of occupation being the major differentiator. Specialities include:
Specialty practice accreditation
In Australia, accreditation exists only for certain specialties and is provided by professional bodies for the following:
In Portugal a pharmacist can become certified in recognized professional specialty practice areas by passing an examination administered by the Order of Pharmacists. The Order of Pharmacists certifies pharmacists in four specialties:
In the United States, a pharmacist can become certified in recognized specialty practice areas by passing an examination administered by one of several credentialing boards.
In ancient Japan, the men who fulfilled roles similar to those of modern pharamacists were highly respected. The place of pharmacists in society was expressly defined in the Taihō Code (701) and re-stated in the Yōrō Code (718). Ranked positions in the pre-Heian Imperial court were established; and this organizational structure remained largely intact until the Meiji Restoration (1868). In this highly stable hierarchy, the pharmacists -- and even pharmacist assistants -- were assigned status superior to all others in health-related fields such as physicians and acupuncturists. In the Imperial household, the pharmacist was even ranked above the two personal physicians of the Emperor.
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|This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Pharmacist". A list of authors is available in Wikipedia.|