Why study pharmacy?
The pharmacist is an integral part of a healthcare team, providing services to people in a variety of settings to benefit local communities such as providing medication adherence support, vaccinations, weight loss programmes and much more.
Find out more about the pharmacists featured in this video and their careers.
Amy Chan PhD, RegPharmNZ - Hospital and research pharmacist
“My job is a bit like a detective’s job, learning about the patient, their history, medicines, blood tests and how this all fits into the bigger picture. It’s so satisfying to see patients get better. As the medicines experts, we have a lot to contribute in helping people live longer, healthier lives. I truly think this is a great time to be in pharmacy.”
Sam Martin, Ngāpuhi, RegPharmNZ - Rural pharmacist
“Working closely with my patients, it is great to know that the work we do for them actually makes a difference in their day to day lives. I also enjoy working closely with Māori Health providers to reduce inequalities in our high needs population. Pharmacy is an exciting profession that has changed very rapidly in the last few years.”
Penny Clark, RegPharmNZ (Prescriber) - Clinical pharmacist and pharmacist prescriber in General Practice
“Being present in the medical centre and a core member of the team allows me to be really effective in terms of working directly with patients. As a pharmacist prescriber I can implement changes to medicine regimens myself, write the prescriptions and order any laboratory tests that may be required whilst keeping the GP informed. Being accepted as a valuable member of the clinical team is very humbling. “
Marie Bennett, RegPharmNZ - Community pharmacist
“A day at work is never dull. I love working with patients and the community to provide health services and improve community and patient health. Pharmacy is a great career as you get to make a difference to people's health and well-being. There is also the opportunity for business ownership, part time work and work in hospitals, industry, medical practices, community settings and overseas.”
Arthur Bauld - Ngāti Wai, Ngāpuhi, Te Rarawa, Ngāti Toa me Ngāti Raukawa, RegPharmNZ - Addictions pharmacist/sole charge community pharmacist
“Without a doubt, my favourite aspect of being a pharmacist is just making a difference in people’s lives and having fun with them at the same time. It turns a job into a vocation. It is also extremely fulfilling to see patients respond so well to your efforts and working towards a shared goal, one that is bigger than yourself, is surprisingly rewarding.”
Helen Morton, RegPharmNZ - Mobile Medicines Management Pharmacist
“I generally visit between 6 and 8 patients in a day in their homes. I spend a significant amount of time liaising with GPs to rationalise medications and assisting referred for community-based health care organisations such as Disability Support Link. As mobile pharmacists we are also available to provide support to community pharmacies who are also providing a medicines management service.”
Other careers in pharmacy
As well as the jobs profiled in this video, there is a range of career pathways you can pursue with a pharmacy qualification. Other career possibilities include:
- Pharmaceutical industry - Career opportunities are available both in New Zealand and overseas and include: research and development, formulation development, manufacturing, clinical research, clinical trials, regulatory affairs, quality assurance, product information, sales and marketing.
- Academia - This career path will appeal to those who enjoy pushing back the frontiers of knowledge and working with students. For pharmacists who enjoy teaching and generating new knowledge, a PhD (or equivalent) in a specialist area of pharmacy practice or pharmaceutical science is the entry standard for a full-time academic career. Alternatively, you can remain primarily in pharmacy practice, and contribute to pharmacy education through a teaching role.
- Pharmacy administration and regulatory affairs - Many governmental and professional organisations in health-related areas, as well as the pharmaceutical industry, employ pharmacists as managers and professional advisers. These pharmacists provide professional advice on national medicines policy or the development of new pharmacy services. In the pharmaceutical industry, pharmacists advise on issues concerning the safety, registration and marketing of new medicines. This career path will appeal to pharmacists who enjoy using their skills and knowledge to direct public policy.
- Advisory pharmacist - Advisory pharmacists or pharmacist facilitators work with medical practitioners and other health professionals and provide information on medications and recommend procedures for managing common conditions seen in general practice. They also carry out evaluations, develop strategies for investigations into the use and costs of medicines, and make suggestions for more appropriate and cost-effective use of medicines.