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Sunday, September 27, 2009

Our Role

I recently had a drunken conversation with another pharmacy student about the role we will play once we are pharmacists. My friends know not to bring up pharmacy when I'm drunk, because I can go on, and on, and on about anything pharmacy. I was baffled by my fellow student's stance on what we will be once we obtain our PharmD. He maintained throughout the entire conversation that what the doctor says is what is best for the patient, and that if a patient wants to put something in their body it isn't any of our business. He literally said "We are just the middle man. We just count the pills."

Wow. Just... wow. I can honestly say I would never think a single pharmacist or pharmacy student, or anyone who's worked in a pharmacy would ever, ever, think that. These are fighting words, and I'm never one to back down from a fight, especially when I'm drunk.

Our role as pharmacists is to make sure the patient is getting the best care possible. We provide a service that takes at least 6 years of schooling to be able to do, and we are considered doctors when we are done. It is our responsibility to know everything about every drug. It is our responsibility to not give a patient a drug that will harm them. I asked him if he would give a patient Imdur and Viagra because "the patient wanted to take both, and he's just the middle man." Of course, he failed his Top 200 test so I had to tell him that Imdur was isosorbide mononitrate. I then had to tell him that taking Viagra and nitrates is a BAD IDEA. I wonder if his total lack of knowledge towards drugs is why he thinks pharmacists are middle men.

We are NOT middle men. We are professionals. We have the knowledge to help people, we have the knowledge to kill people.

He somehow related his entire argument to the Bible, and Jesus. Once religion popped up I stopped listening to him entirely. Religion has no place in pharmacy. I don't dispense pills because Jesus loves me. I argued with him for an hour and a half and he threw away his entire argument when he mentioned Jesus.

Oh, and his wife is a recovering drug addict. I can't figure out exactly how ironic it is that he thinks he should dispense anything the patient wants when he's seen what drugs can do to a person. I'm going with "groin-grabbingly ironic."

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