Career Report Essay, Research Paper
Over the past few weeks I have been researching my interests, values, and goals. Throughout this research a lot of things that were already evident to me, were proven for a fact. My interests included researching different aspects of science and data analysis. Analysis has always been a big part of my life because I analyze everything. My values have been proven to be centered toward helping people and being around people. These interests and values are almost equivalent with what my goals in life have been over the past years. For the past few years I have wanted to become some type of pharmacist or physician. In this paper, I have researched what being a pharmacist and physician involves.
Pharmacists have a very tedious job because it requires a lot of attention to detail. Pharmacists dispense drugs and provide information to the patients about medication. Not only do they provide information to patients about side effects, but also they inform physicians of the ever-changing selection of drugs and dosage. Weighing, measuring, mixing drugs, finding the identity and purity, and strength of medications is also an important part of the job. Pharmacists must be sure not to dispense drugs that will have a negative reaction to the other medications that the patient may already be taking. Pharmacists work in clean, well-lighted, and well-ventilated areas. They work with dangerous materials and sterile pharmaceutical products, which require them to wear gloves and masks. Many full time, salaried pharmacists work at least about forty hours per week. Community pharmacists research and dispense information and help for diabetes, asthma, smoking cessation, and high blood pressure. They may work long hours, possibly around the clock. Hospital or clinical pharmacists make the medical staff aware of which drugs are used most often, and which ones are being dispensed in the hospital are imperative aspects of their job. They counsel patients on the use of medication, upon a patients release from the hospital. Retail pharmacists help answer questions about over the counter and prescription drugs. They must ask patients certain health questions in order to make a judgment on which medications to prescribe. Some pharmacists specialize in drugs for psychiatric disorders or intravenous nutrition.
There is an extensive amount of training one must go through in order to become a pharmacist. One or two years of pre-pharmacy with credits in math, chemistry, biology, physics, humanities, and social sciences are required. A minimum of five years is required to graduate from a program qualified by the American Council on Pharmaceutical Education. If pursuing a Doctor of Pharmacy degree it could take six or seven years. After graduating most pharmacists go on to do residencies or fellowships. Residencies are an organized, post graduation-training program. Fellowships are directed, individualized programs, which help prepare participants for lab work. Some students go on to advance in the field and be an intern or pharmacy assistant, pharmacy manager, or possibly the owner of a pharmacy.
Pharmacists have a lot of qualifications they must meet in order to obtain a job. Many hospitals require a Doctor of Pharmacy degree. A Bachelors Degree is accepted for most community pharmacies. A Masters Degree or Doctor of Pharmacy degree is needed to do research and an additional residency or fellowship training is required. Computer use, accuracy, being attentive to detail, following step-by-step procedures, and knowledge of the slightest difference in color, size, and shape are a few things that one also must posses in the business of pharmacy. Most pharmacists have an outstanding knowledge of science and a lively conscientiousness concerning pharmaceutical practice. They must have good communication skills and a willingness to help others when working with the ill public.
Between 199 and 1996, pharmacists held between 163,000 and 172,000, jobs in the work force. About one fourth of all pharmacists were employed in hospitals. Three out of five were employed in community pharmacies, privately owned or part of a chain. More pharmaceutical jobs are shifting toward ambulatory and homecare. Scientific advances will make more drug products available and the need for pharmacists will then rise. New ways to administer medication, more use of drug therapy, and patient consultation offers more jobs for pharmacists in the future. Due to the high use of medication by the elderly and the number of prescriptions written will also make for a growth in pharmacy through the year 2005.
Pharmacy has become a very prosperous career over the past few years. In 1992, the average earnings were $45,000, with the highest being $59,500. Over the next couple of years salary has increased with the average being $54,679. The highest amount of pay in 1998, for the top ten percent was $78,381. Graduates averaged $53,641 in their first year of pharmacy work. Chain drug store pharmacists usually earned $64,439 per year in 1998. The west and east coasts had the highest paid salaries in 1996. Pharmacists usually receive paid vacations, holidays, and sick days, along with life insurance, health insurance, and retirement benefits.
A physician’s work has a lot of involvement with people. Physicians must examine patients, retrieve medical histories, order, perform, and understand diagnostic tests. Diagnosing illnesses, prescribing medication, and giving treatments are a large part of a physician’s job. Counseling patients on diet, hygiene, and preventative health care are also important aspects of their work. Delivering babies, performing surgery, researching to control and cure disease, development and testing of new medical techniques are necessary. Physicians must be able to perform scientific functions, help patients and co-workers, pay attention to detail, and use logical reasoning. Calmness in emergency situations, the ability to work independently or with a team, and making wise decisions with given data are necessary. Private practice physicians maintain regular office hours while other physicians work long irregular hours. Some work sixty hours per week and sometimes more. On call physicians make emergency runs to hospitals and travel between their office and the hospital frequently. Some physicians are supervised by health administrators while others work alone or with nurses. Physicians also supervise interns, residents, and assistants. As they approach retirement they accept fewer new patients and work shorter hours.
In order to become a physician one must go through many years of schooling. At least three years of college is required with credits in physics, biology, inorganic and organic chemistry must be obtained. From there one will go on to a four-year medical school. The first two years of medical school are spent in laboratories and classrooms. Within those two years credits in anatomy, biochemistry, pharmacology, psychology, microbiology, pathology, medical ethics, and laws governing medicine are to be obtained. The last two years of medical school are spent working with patients under supervision in hospitals and clinics. Volunteering or part time work in a clinic or doctors office helps one to gain experience in the medical profession. Part of the training involves doing rotations in internal medicine, family practice, obstetrics, gynecology, pediatrics, psychiatry, and surgery. This enables one to become familiar with different types of illnesses and problems. After graduating medical school there is an exam that must be taken in order to enter residency. After completion of residency there is one final exam that one must pass.
There are a few qualities one must possess in order to succeed in the physicians profession. There must be a desire to serve patients, self-motivation and the ability and stamina to survive the long hours of work and medical education. There must be excellent eye and finger coordination, to perform surgery. Emotional stability is a quality that one must possess in the stressful, emergency situations a physician faces.
Physicians make up many of the jobs held in the work force today. Between 1992 and 1996, the availability of jobs increased from 556,000 to 560,000. Two out of three physician’s jobs were in an office practice. One fifth were employed in hospitals. Today more physicians are becoming partners and salaried employees of a general practice. Family practices, internal medicine, surgeons, and pediatricians account for the highest number of physicians. Newly trained physicians will experience more competition as they seek and start practices of their own and there is more than average growth expected through the year 2006.
Physicians are among the highest paid professionals of any occupation. A physician’s earnings depend on weather they are salaried or are employed by or own a private practice. Specialty, skill, number of years in practice, and professional reputation will also help to determine earnings. The average income in 1991 was $170,600, with a range from $95,000 to $210,000. In their first year of practice the average salary was $34,613. The highest paid type of physicians, were surgeons with a rate of pay of $225,339 per year. Pediatricians were the next highest paid, with $142,266, making up their earnings, and family practitioners making $137,312 per year. Some benefits that a physician receives are paid vacations, holidays, and sick days. Life insurance, health insurance, retirement benefits are also included as benefits received by physicians. Some may receive paid educational leave.
I have discovered throughout this paper that a career as either a pharmacist or physician would be perfect careers for me, due to the fact that they are equivalent with my interests, values and goals in life are. There is a lot of hard work involved in these professions, but my love for helping people would carry me through the stresses involved in the schooling and work required of a physician or pharmacist.
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