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1. As a physician, how do you interact with pharmacists in the hospital?

a. Do you work with them on a day-to-day basis? ​Yes

b. What kinds of problems do they help you with?


Pharmacists will review every medication order we enter into the computer to
ensure it is an appropriate medication and is the right dose. They catch some
mistakes. They can also answer questions about medication doses and
correct antibiotic choice for various infections.

2. Why does working in the medical field interesting you and how did you get started?
I enjoy working in the medical field because the science behind how the body works,
what can go wrong and how to fix it is fascinating. Learning about how all the organ
systems work together in college was one of the reasons I wanted to pursue
medicine. The other aspect about medicine that is very attractive is the ability to help
people and make people feel more comfortable. I was present for a lot of the care my
great grandmother received and looked up to the physicians taking care of her.

3. Do you find working in the hospital exciting or boring?


Working in the hospital is generally very exciting. There can be a few days that are
more relaxed but in general, the patient’s in the hospital are sick and require active
care. This is especially true in the intensive care unit.

4. What sorts of changes are occuring in your field?


The medical field is always changing. As new evidence and research comes out, the
practice of medicine everyday. Things that we do in the hospital today are very
different to things we did in the hospital 20 years ago. There are always
advancements with new medications and technology to increase the quantity and
quality of patient’s lives.

5. How did you get to where you are and what are your long term goals?
Getting to where I am today took a lot of hard work and sacrifice. Long hours of
studying and passing out on fun opportunities are sometimes necessary to
accomplish everything you need to do. Fortunately, I also have a very supportive
family and social network who are always there for me. My long term goals are to be
an anesthesiologist practicing in the state of North Carolina. I have not yet decided if
I want to subspecialize or work in academics vs private practice.
6. What kinds of experience, paid or unpaid, would you encourage for anybody
pursuing a career in the medical field?
There are plenty of ways to get experience in the medical field. A common way that
people use is shadowing, where you follow a healthcare provider as they perform
their job, ask questions and take everything in. Hospitals also have volunteer
programs where you can go make a difference while being exposed to the healthcare
field. In terms of paid experiences, you can become a nurse assistant or medical
scribe. Both are jobs which require no previous experience or training but will allow to
have a lot of exposure to the healthcare field. A pharmacy technician is a great job
for those interested in exposure to the world of pharmacy.

7. How would you compare your job as a physician compared to a pharmacist when it
comes to responsibility, workload, stress, quality of life, etc.?
In the medical field, the majority of the responsibility lies with the physician, as the
leader of the medical team. However, pharmacists also have a great deal of
responsibility in checking the work of physicians and providing expert help in certain
areas. Along the same lines, I believe that physicians have a higher workload and
stress when compared to pharmacists. In general, I would say that a pharmacist
would have a slightly higher quality of life, but that question is really up to the
individual. Everyone is different and find different things fulfilling. I believe it is
possible to reach a good work/life balance in both career.

8. Have you had interactions with both a retail and hospital pharmacist?
a. If so, how would you compare them?
I have only rarely interacted with a retail pharmacist, but from what I have
seen they are also very knowledgeable and helpful. I have spent most of my
time working with hospital pharmacists.

9. What courses would you recommend that I take as​ ​someone pursuing a career in the
medical field, specifically pharmacy?
Pharmacy schools generally require 2 semesters of general chemistry, 2 semesters
of organic chemistry, 2 semesters of biology, 1 semester of physiology, 1-2
semesters of physics, 1 semester of microbiology, 1 semester of biochemistry and
various combinations of mathematics, english and other social sciences. I think that
physiology courses are great courses to take in college for anyone pursuing a
medical degree. If you have a solid understanding of how the body works before
pharmacy/medical school, you will be ahead of the game.
10. How is medical school different than pharmacy school when it comes to entrance
exam, acceptance rates, workload, total years required, quality of life, etc.?
Medical schools require the MCAT and pharmacy schools require the PCAT. While I
do not know the specific numbers, it is my understanding that the acceptance rate to
medical school is lower than the acceptance rate to pharmacy school. In school, the
workloads are likely similar. To become an independent practicing physician, you
have to complete an undergraduate degree, 4 years of medical school and 3-7 years
of residency. To become an independent pharmacist, you only have to complete an
undergraduate degree and 4 years of pharmacy school. Some pharmacy graduates
choose to pursue residencies and subspecialize but this is not a requirement for
practice.