Pharmacists, also known as chemists or druggists, are healthcare professionals who practice in pharmacy, the field of health sciences focusing on safe and effective medication use.
The field of health sciences focus on safe and effective medication use. A pharmacist is a member of the health care team directly involved with patient care. Pharmacists undergo university-level education to understand the biochemical mechanisms and actions of drugs, drug uses, therapeutic roles, side effects, potential drug interactions and monitoring parameters. This is mated to anatomy, physiology, and pathophysiology. Pharmacists interpret and communicate this specialized knowledge to patients, physicians and other health care providers.
Among other licensing requirements, different countries require pharmacists to hold either a Bachelor of Pharmacy, Master of Pharmacy, or Doctor of Pharmacy degree.
Pharmacists are educated in pharmacology, pharmacognosy, chemistry, organic chemistry, biochemistry, pharmaceutical chemistry, microbiology, pharmacy practice (including drug interactions, medicine monitoring, medication management), pharmaceutics, pharmacy law, physiology, anatomy, pharmacokinetics, pharmacodynamics, drug delivery, pharmaceutical care, nephrology, hepatology, and compounding of medications. Additional curriculum may cover diagnosis with emphasis on laboratory tests, disease state management, therapeutics and prescribing (selecting the most appropriate medication for a given patient).
On graduation, pharmacists are licensed, either nationally or regionally, to dispense medication of various types in the areas they have trained for. Some may undergo further specialized training, such as in cardiology or oncology.