Updated: Aug 22
Physicians, nurses and pharmacists are the best trained medical professionals in the world. And in the healthcare system,
Doctors are for diagnosis
Pharmacists are for medication & treatment
Nurses are for care
It’s time we stopped placing them against each other. They all must focus on their areas of expertise they are all critically necessary. No one can do it all. They are all part of modern healthcare system.
Pharmacists know much more about medications than most doctors. While responsibilities vary among the different areas of pharmacy practice, the bottom line is that pharmacists help patients get well. Pharmacists practice in nearly all areas and specialties in healthcare sometimes behind the scenes and not obvious to the public eye, but as the medication expert on the healthcare team, pharmacists are necessary in all facets of healthcare.
Pharmacist responsibilities include a range of care for patients, from dispensing medications to monitoring patient health and progress to optimize their response to medication therapies. Pharmacists also educate patients on the use of prescriptions and over-the-counter medications, as well as provide population based care in institutional settings. Pharmacists educate and advise physicians, nurses, and other health professionals on medication therapy decisions. Pharmacists also provide expertise about the composition of drugs, including their chemical, biological, and physical properties and their manufacture and use. They ensure drug purity and strength and make sure that drugs do not interact in a harmful way. Pharmacists are medication experts ultimately concerned about their patients’ health and wellness.
A doctor cannot perform the job of a pharmacist (yes I know in some underdeveloped countries like India and Pakistan, doctors are compounding, prescribing low standard drugs on higher prices for some extra commission and profit but its lawfulness is a question mark). A pharmacist is basically a specialist in their field. Doctors, unless they specialize in one field are kind of a master of none.
Doctors are not an expert in drugs. Surely, they know pretty decent, but that's all. Pharmacist can provide incredible amount of knowledge and expertise, when the doctors do not understand.
Often, pharmacist will correct the doctor’s prescriptions, such as the dosage, or the indications or contra-indications
Pharmacist can actually perform diagnosis, such as asking your symptoms before recommending your medications, etc. Although certainly, not to the extent performed by doctors. And in many countries, when people get sick, they are more likely to come to the pharmacy and ask for medications, as well as consulting the pharmacist. Why? Because it’s cheaper and more efficient.
I wish doctors knew how well educated most pharmacists are. In time, I believe doctors could save themselves a lot of headache by letting the pharmacist select the most appropriate drug therapy based on lab values, diagnosis, drug interactions, insurance approval, and likelihood of patient compliance.
Pharmacists work in a variety of roles in hospitals, government, research, manufacturing, academia, veterinary medicine and community pharmacies. Some are business owners and others work for corporations. Some are managers and others are staff.
The most commonly known and perhaps the most visible pharmacist is the one you see in your local pharmacy dispensing prescriptions. Pharmacists are the most accessible healthcare professionals providing consultations on medications to patients and prescribers with no appointment needed. We advise people on choosing the right cold or allergy medicines, vitamins, first aid products and so much more. We even administer immunizations.
Many community pharmacies are open late at night, weekends, holidays and overnights. We provide many services to patients such as compounding medications, preparing IVs.
Pharmacy technicians work alongside us to help run the pharmacy, answer the phones, manage the inventory and provide customer service. Their help is essential to accomplish all of the daily work that happens every day in a busy pharmacy.
Pharmacists are part of the health care team along with doctors, nurses and others. We all have unique roles in the care of our patients. There are different programs of study in the various health professions. We share a lot of the same knowledge, but each area has a special focus. A team effort is necessary with all parts of the team ultimately focused on serving the needs of patients.
How effective is an antibiotic if it tastes horrible and a person won't take it? I believe most doctors do not know drugs on that sort of level a pharmacist would. Anyone can read all the drugs and what they do, but when that's all pharmacists do. Pharmacists are bound to learn and know things most doctors don't.
Pharmacists study for years learning every drug in every class and individual drug specifics, I think it would be wise for a doctor to utilize a pharmacist resource whenever possible to improve patient care.
In my point of view doctors need to respect pharmacists more.