The Young Seem to Know

Pharmacists hate that they are still viewed by many medical professionals as "pill pushers." The Pharm D. degree has been the appellation that has been awarded to students who satisfactorily complete a six-year curriculum.

In the 21st century, pharmacists hate that they are still viewed by many medical professionals as “pill pushers.” This shows ignorance because “pill pusher” is an early 20th Century perception. The Pharm D. degree has been the appellation that has been awarded to students who satisfactorily complete a six-year curriculum. Pharm D. has been the only degree for about 15 years. A modern pharmacy education prepares pharmacists to do more to help the prescriber than they can possibly imagine, unless they are young prescribers. The young seem to know.

The Medical College of Ohio and the University of Toledo, College of Pharmacy, in Toledo, Ohio, will be sharing a building from now on. They will share the same hallways, the same coffee machines, the same lounges, the same lecture halls. They are being educated together with some spill over because they are expected to be partners for their careers.

It doesn’t matter what we think about it. It is the way it is. Everyone will be watched and you can expect this to be the way it is in the future. How much of medical care is drug therapy? It has to be a high percentage. What do physicians, ARNPs or PAs do without drugs? Surgery? The laying on of hands? How about softly playing your flute? Would the chiropractor be king? I’d vote for the osteopath to be queen.

Modern pharmacists are ready to prescribe. All the physician has to do is the diagnosis and order the tests. The term for the Doctor of Pharmacy ordering drugs is supplementary prescribing. I don’t know why they call it that. Pharmacists will be ordering point-of-care testing and they will be adjusting doses accordingly. Pharmacists will be managing conditions such as diabetes and hypertension.

Modern Doctors of Pharmacy are very capable of making safe, effective therapeutic interventions on behalf of patients without physician involvement. Now relax about this. The medical pyramid just keeps getting flatter. You are busy enough. You don’t need another turf war. If you wanted to keep the control, you shoulda been a dentist. (They are the ones who have all the ocean-front condos these days) If we concede that drug therapy is involved in the great majority of medical care, the partnering of the pharmacist and the physician is logical. It makes sense to put the two schools together. It is always best, you see, to ride the horse in the direction it is going.