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Becoming a Pharmacist: Personal Qualifications

As you think about your place in pharmacy, you must also think about your qualifications to meet pharmacy's demands for judgment, dependability, and conscientious performance. You must be good at detail and willing to check and double check your own work. As with others on the health care team, your decisions and actions involve human life and well-being. Your need for careful attention to your work, your decisions, and the results of your actions cannot be over-emphasized. Since pharmacists, by law, are entrusted with the proper storage, handling, and dispensing of dangerous and habit-forming drug substances, they must be absolutely scrupulous in handling them. Their ethical standards must be high, and they must use fact and good judgment in answering the questions people ask them. As experts in drugs and chemicals, it follows that, pharmacists need a good education with an emphasis on science and should possess a curiosity and a desire and willingness to learn.

The pharmacist needs background in the principles of management and the ability to maintain the records, legal and otherwise, required for pharmacy practice. Most importantly, pharmacists must enjoy working with people, be comfortable meeting them and be willing to serve them in a variety of circumstances.

†Excerpted from a booklet entitled "Shall I study Pharmacy?" published by the American Association of the Colleges of Pharmacy (AACP).

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