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Becoming A Pharmacist

I am grateful every single day that I have the privilege of serving others as a pharmacist. Pharmacy is such a dynamic and rewarding career; there are countless career paths for pharmacists today. Among these are managed care, specialty, nuclear, industry and numerous other unique and interesting choices.

Our Commitment To Our Patients Is Paramount.

As pharmacists, we have a responsibility to greatly improve clinical outcomes for patients and contribute to solving the multitude of problems the US healthcare system is currently facing. Taking care of our patients is our number one priority, and when we take the oath of a pharmacist we “promise to devote ourselves to a lifetime of service to others through the profession of pharmacy.” I keep that oath in mind every day when I wake up and I strive to fulfill it through every single patient encounter.

Pharmacy school, for me, was no easy task. There were many late nights and early mornings spent learning pharmaceutics, pharmacokinetics, pharmacology and therapeutics. All pharmacy schools in the US today award the PharmD or Doctor of Pharmacy degree. After graduation, we can choose to complete a variety of residency and fellowship programs ranging from 1 to 3 years or more in length. Many pharmacists have also chosen to demonstrate their expertise by becoming board certified in one or more of the many specialties that offer certification exams. Pharmacists are highly trained medical professionals and are generally viewed as the medication experts in the healthcare community. Pharmacy has rapidly evolved over the past 20 years and it is continuing to change at an even faster pace.  

While in pharmacy school I gained exposure to many different specialties within pharmacy; both in the classroom, as well as through networking with practicing pharmacists in the area. During my fourth-year rotations, I was able to obtain valuable insight through hands on learning in critical care, infectious disease, independent community (retail), and ambulatory care.

Life Of A Pharmacy Student, Outside Of Pharmacy School.

I worked as a pharmacy intern all throughout pharmacy school. I had the opportunity to work in hospital pharmacy for 3 years as an intern. During that time, I consistently worked 30 to 40 hours a week; I even worked 6am to 11pm on Saturdays and Sundays for a while. By working so much I was able to learn the ins and outs of hospital pharmacy and determine if it was a good fit for me. During my last 2 years, in addition to working in hospital pharmacy, I also worked as an intern at a retail pharmacy chain. These two jobs and the pharmacists I got to know while working helped me to determine what aspect of pharmacy practice I would most enjoy after graduating.

One of the many things I have grown to love since graduating is precepting pharmacy students. They force me to stay up to date and knowledgeable about everything happening in the pharmacy world. I always tell them to explore as many different fields of pharmacy as possible while in school so they can make a well-informed decision on what career path to pursue upon graduation.

Ultimately, I decided that I wanted to start my career in community (retail) pharmacy. I loved how connected to the community I could be, the opportunity to learn about and run a business, and the significant impact I have the potential to make on my patients. I have set very high goals for myself and my career and I am extremely excited and optimistic about the future. There are many things I hope to accomplish and I really could not imagine a better career, or dare I say calling, for myself than that of a pharmacist.

About the author:

Bryan Mayfield is a Board Certified Geriatric Pharmacist who spends most of his days practicing as a community pharmacist in Dallas, Texas. He received his Doctor of Pharmacy degree from Xavier University of Louisiana in 2013, and he has additional certifications in Medication Therapy Management and Pharmacy-Based Immunization Delivery from the American Pharmacists Association and Community Pharmacy Based Point of Care Testing from the National Association of Chain Drug Stores. Follow Bryan on Instagram and visit his websites at and