Monday, October 6, 2014

Top Ten Reasons to be a Pharmacist... Reworked

Recently the American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy published an article entitled: Top Ten Reasons to Become a Pharmacist. The original link is HERE.

I thought that list need the Crazy RxMan touch, so here is the NEW and IMPROVED Top Ten Reasons to Become a Pharmacist:

1. YOU GET TO WEAR A LAB COAT. What isn't cool about that? Every time you see someone important on some medical show, they're wearing a white lab coat. Plus they have all kinds of pockets to hide stuff like your Nexus 7 or iPhone.

TRUE STORY: One time many years ago before I ever thought about pharmacy school I was traveling from Salt Lake City to Phoenix. For whatever reason we ended up just outside of Kanab, Utah, at about 5:30 in the morning. The sun had just come up and we were headed east out of Kanab. There, walking on the side of the road, at 5:30 am, was a man in a bright white lab coat carrying a briefcase... out in the MIDDLE of NOWHERE. Now how cool is that? Obviously this man was of some importance. To this day I still don't know what he was doing out there so early in the morning on a highway road with a lab coat and briefcase, but I'm certain it has something to do with a secret government facility. So what's the point of all this? LAB COATS and COOL! I knew I had to do something in my life where I could wear a lab coat. 

Be a pharmacist! You'll get to wear a lab coat!

2. There's that whole "Ph" = "F" sound. No, it's NOT the word Farmacist. Oh no, no, no... It is PHARMACIST. Oh sure, word people will tell you it has Latin and Greek origins, but that's NOT really why it is spelled that way. It is actually because it looks cool to write an "F" sound with a "PH." Admit it, you know it is just Phabulous!

3. Most people study to be a pharmacist purely for the debt involved. The average debt from going to pharmacy school ranges from $100,000 to $150,000. I knew one lady who was repeating a couple of years and maxed out her government loans at about $200,000. Yep, that's why we do it. Not many people can say that owe more in school debt than they do their first house, so it's all about exclusivity. To be that much in debt is a huge driving force and why we have almost twice as many pharmacy schools as ten years ago.

4. To be a pharmacist means you can say all the drug names. To those uneducated in saying drug names, pharmacists seem like gods. Hydrochlorothizide... Carisoprodol... or even that nutty OTC med where they can make 10 million boxes out of one duck liver... Oscillococcinum. These are words that flow freely from the mouth of your local pharmacist like creamy butter on a fresh baked loaf of bread. Ah, now that's a reason to be a pharmacist!

5. You can have the coolest license plate in town AND you can afford it! DRUG DUDE, RX MAN, PHARMD2B (before graduating), MED MAN, DRUG DLR, COUNTER, PILL MAN, PILL GIRL, MED GUY, you name it! 

TRUE STORY: After graduating from pharmacy school, and the only time in my life that I ever considered getting a personalized license plate, I decided to go for it! I did the online registration and sent off to have my plate changed to RX DUDE. Weeks later I had still not received my new plate, so I called the local motor vehicle division to find out why. They said I needed a reason why I would want that plate because someone might think I was a drug dealer. I told them I was a pharmacist! They said, ok, sure, prove it! So I mailed them a copy of my license. And sure enough, I still didn't get the plate. 

6. You can have people ask you medical questions all day long! Why not?! After all, when you become of Doctor of Pharmacy, people will only see the "Dr." part on your name tag and ask you question after question about medical things you have absolutely NO IDEA about! I've been asked to look at every lesion, bump, bruise, mole, or calamity you can imagine and then drilled for medical advice!

7. You LOVE the sound of phones ringing endlessly! You're in love with the telephone. You're so in love with it you want it to sing to you all day long every day. That constant ring... ring.... ring... well, you just can't get enough of that, so become a PHARMACIST and the phone WILL NEVER STOP RINGING!

8. You would rather work all day without a lunch! Doctors, bankers, air traffic controllers, teachers, cab drivers... you name it, they all get to take a break for lunch! But not the pharmacist! You have no need for that pitiful weak human need because YOU'RE a PHARMACIST! Become a pharmacist and you'll suddenly have no need for lunch... mostly because you won't have time for it!

9.  Become a pharmacist for the fun patient interactions! You'll enjoy the thrill of being expected to do work which requires any normal person 20 minutes in five minutes or less! Moreover, you'll also enjoy the fun of being treated like a pill counter, label slapper, and check out clerk all for the salary of a medical professional! Become a pharmacist and you too can enjoy nasty comments like "Is it ready yet?" or "How long does it take to count 30 tablets?"

10. You love STUPID questions that have nothing to do with pharmacy. Become a pharmacist and INSTANTLY you're an expert with everything! You'll suddenly be expected to answer questions such as "Where is the peanut butter?" or "How much is a postage stamp?" or "What's this rash look like to you?"

Sadly, no list like this is complete without the mention of the biggest reason people once became pharmacists. I'm of course talking about the free pens. At one time, dear reader, we pharmacists became pharmacists because drug representatives would bring us free pens, notepads, flashlights, key chains, and all manner of worthless knick knacks. These freebies are gone now but it deserved mentioning because so many people became pharmacists just for the free stuff.


bcmigal said...

I can add only "Amen!"

iratecanadianpharmacist said...

you forgot the fact that you get to be a walking, talking contradiction. A doctor, who gets not respect. A trusted health professional, who's job is to make your insurance work and an accessible professional, to point you to the milk aisle.

Sherry said...

All so true! I really miss the free pens from the drug reps. I have to buy my own now. And I would LOVE to have "Dr" on my name tag! My retail chain treats us the same as the cashiers up front.

Anonymous said...

We ourselves allowed us to be in the position we're in. No one else

Anonymous said...

No one said you couldn't make the pens from goofmart disappear into that legion of pockets on that labcoat. much like throwing a bottle with a note into the ocean, i have dispersed pens from work in an effort to see how far they go.

Anonymous said...

Not every doctor or healthcare provider gets a lunch break. Get off your jump to conclusions mat.