Other Fields in Pharmacy

Pharmacists use their basic educational backgrounds in a host of federal, state, and professional positions.

At the federal level, pharmacists hold staff and supervisory posts in the United States Public Health Service, the Department of Veteran’s Affairs, the Food and Drug Administration, and in all branches of the armed services. Some of these posts provide commissioned officer status; others are under civil service.

At the state level, there are agencies charged with regulating the practice of pharmacy to preserve and protect the public health. These legal boards governing pharmacy practice usually have pharmacists employed as full-time executive officers and inspectors. As more state health agencies consolidate their purchases, a pharmacist is often engaged as a purchaser of medical and pharmaceutical supplies for the entire state. Nearly every state has an active pharmaceutical association that employs a full-time executive officer, usually a graduate of a college of pharmacy.

Several national professional associations are also guided by pharmacists with interest and special talents in organizational work. You may know other pharmacists who are engaged in highly specialized tasks. There are pharmacists in advertising, packaging, technical writing, magazine editing, and science reporting. There are pharmacists with legal training serving as patent lawyers or as experts in pharmaceutical law. There are pharmacists in America’s space laboratories and aboard ships such as the S.S. Hope; others direct large manufacturing firms or specialize in medicinal plant cultivation.

By now, it should be clear to you that the diversity of pharmacy is one of its chief strengths. And, in diversity lies your opportunity. In the United States, the vast majority of pharmacists practice in community or hospital pharmacies, or long-term and ambulatory care facilities. The remainder follows one or another of the special fields you have just reviewed. The opportunity for success in any of these fields is wide open for men and women with ability, education, and imagination.