Pharmacists are medical professionals who specialize in dispensing prescription drugs to their patients. Most professionals work within community pharmacies that may be operated by either a large corporation or as independent entities. A smaller group works from hospital-based pharmacies and delivers the medications required during hospital surgeries and stays. The remainder find employment working within the pharmaceutical industry doing research or running projects to develop and test new medications for future use. Most pharmacists dispense drugs that are already manufactured in pill form but some pharmacists are compounders and prepare medications on-site. In Canada, a pharmacist is also known as a druggist or chemist.
The Canadian rules and regulations required to become a pharmacist are quite involved. There are three main stages that a person must successfully complete before becoming licensed as a pharmacist. A Bachelor’s degree in Pharmacy must first be completed. After this, the student must pass a national examination given by the Pharmacy Examining Board of Canada. Once these first two requirements have been successfully completed, a period of on-the-job training must be entered. During this time, the pharmacy intern must work under the supervision of a licensed pharmacist. The average wage for a licensed pharmacist in Canada is CAD 95,000.
Because drugs can be very potent, pharmacists have many different duties that the public may not be aware of. Not only do they dispense the medications, but they must also review the combination of medications that their customers are taking to be sure that there are no complications. This is important since many people see more than one physician who can dispense medications that may interfere with the medicines dispatched by a different doctor. In cases of renal or hepatic failure, the pharmacist must carefully monitor the patient’s condition before delivering the final dose. Pharmacists, such as Myles Haverluck, are specially trained for patient education because they work as compounders. When medications are tailored specifically to an individual and their medical problem, it is important that patient’s be able to recognize problems as soon as possible. The process of becoming a pharmacist in Canada is so rigorous in order to avoid potential medical problems and delver the best results for health care.