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Convincing Ways to Answer the Question “Are Pharmacists Doctors?”

Filed in Education by on March 15, 2021

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With the seemingly frequent overlap of duties between doctors and pharmacists, one is often tempted to ponder “are pharmacists doctors?” it is well known that pharmacists and doctors are debatably the two most prominent professionals in the field of medicine.

Convincing ways to Answer the question" Are Pharmacists Doctors?

However, there is still the question, are pharmacist doctors? Therefore, there is a need to rightly draw the line between these two rather interrelated disciplines. Hence, this article aims to give answers to the question; “are pharmacist doctors?”

Are pharmacists doctors? Yes, pharmacists are doctors in technical terms, the same way an educationist is a doctor for acquiring a doctoral degree in education. To become a practicing pharmacist, you must first obtain a doctorate in pharmacy.

However, several degrees confer the title of doctor to a variety of professionals who are not in the medical sector.

Thus, if you would like to attach the doctor’s title to your name and take it with you everywhere you go, you’ll have to follow through our requirements on how to become a doctor.

Arguments Between Pharmacist and Doctor

1. Originally, the word doctor is a derivative of a Ph.D. (Doctor of Philosophy), which is one of the highest attainable academic degrees.

Some people will further clarify to medical school students that their doctorate is still entry-level compared to Ph.D.

However, the doctor/physician is who we want to explain our health issues when we step into the hospital and not a pharmacist.

2. Currently, there’s another argument that the pharmacist knows more drugs than the medical doctor. So, would you want to actually tell a physician your medical challenge or you will rather tell pharmacists who know all medicine?

Differences Between Pharmacist and Doctor

Anyone with a basic knowledge of the medical career will point out with ease that both professionals provide medical services to patients.

However, does this make them both doctors? What actually makes medical doctors distinct from pharmacists? So, we’ll treat their differences in this section

Who is a Doctor?

Doctors are professionals who assess patients, diagnose their medical conditions and determine the suitable course of treatment for them. Doctors, in most cases, are the patient’s first point of contact on entering the hospital, after the receptionists and hospital clerks.

The doctor is the professional to assess your injury. They determine the severity of injuries and illnesses and specify the conditions that’ll ensure fast and proper healing.

Meanwhile, doctors work in a medical clinic or hospital, and their service time includes day, night, and every day of the week.

Differences between Pharmacist and Doctor

Who is a Pharmacist?

Pharmacists, on the other hand, ensure that you get the right prescription you were asked by the doctor to get. They also explain to you how and when to take your medication so that you can recover quickly.

However, in some cases, the pharmacist may also provide some basic medical care like giving flu shots or general health tests. Pharmacists usually work in drug stores or other retail environments. However, you’ll see some in the hospitals.

They may also be open to caring for patients 24 hours a day like a doctor. But the highest they can do is provide general medical advice to the customers they see.

Educational Qualification of a Doctor

You’ll have to go through years of rigorous studying to become a doctor, after which you still proceed to get a Master’s degree for further specialization. Meanwhile, you go for apprenticeship training under senior doctors following your graduation.

So, after your four to six years of earning an undergraduate medical degree, you’ll spend additional years for a Master’s.

You’ll also need to acquire a license. The study duration may differ by country, however, the basic study emphasis remains the same.

Educational Qualification of a Pharmacist

On the other hand, while studying pharmacy may be as rigorous as studying medicine, it doesn’t so long to complete. Maybe just four years. You’ll normally study pharmacology, pharmaceutical chemistry, physiology, etc., to become a pharmacist.

In the process, you’ll learn to look for possible drug interactions. This is because while practicing, you may encounter patients receiving treatments from more than one doctor.

You’ll have to review the list of drugs on the patient’s file then advise them about what possible warning signs to look for from treatments.

Also, you’ll advise doctors when you see that the patient’s drugs may cause them harm. Your training will, therefore, encompass every medication existing.

Accreditation of Pharmacy Vs Doctor:

The main accreditation body for pharmacists is the Center for Pharmacy Practice Accreditation (CPPA). They accredit organizations that provide health care, such as pharmacies, and ensure that their quality is up to standard.

However, for physicians or medical doctors, the main accreditation body is the American Medical Association (AMA).

The body promotes public health by ensuring that physicians and health facilities provide quality healthcare to the public.

Accreditation of Pharmacy Vs Doctor:

Duties of a Doctor

Your job responsibilities as a doctor will involve getting information from your patients about their health and symptoms.

You’ll also have to update their files, refer them for tests or assessments by other specialists as well as give them their diagnosis.

Also, you will have to explain the treatment options available to your patients. One of the requirements to become a good doctor and discharge your role effectively is good cheer. Your expression must convey to your patients that they are okay, even if their condition is bad.

Duties of a Pharmacist

On the other hand, your job responsibility as a pharmacist includes providing general advice about health issues like dieting.

You’ll also have to supervise pharmacy technicians and interns when you work in big organizations that have them. Basically, you’ll be confirming prescriptions and identifying potential complications for the patient’s current prescription.

How Much Does a Pharmacist Earn?

With a Pharm D or Dr of Pharmacy, you start earning big as a pharmacist. The same goes for the medical doctor. Generally, jobs in the medical line are hot jobs and are always in demand.

With a Dr of Pharmacy, you can earn an average salary of $127,516 annually.

How Much is the Salary of a Doctor?

On the other hand, with a Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery (MBBS) or  Doctor of Medicine (MD) degree, you can earn an average of $201,860 annually.

However, the job outlook for physicians has an estimated growth of 13% and includes family doctors and general practitioners.

Can I be Called a Doctor?

From the differences between Doctor and Pharmacist, you can see that there are more differences than similarities between the pharmacist and the doctor.

Both of them are in direct contact with the patient, as well as provide general health information to the patient. But the physician is the most likely person a patient will run to when they begin to sense some illness symptoms.

The medical doctor also looks good on both the job salary and career outlook. Besides, they are also the ones who can attach the doctor title to their names anywhere without a flinch of doubt.

So, you want to be called a doctor all the time? Definitely, you have to set your Dr of Pharmacy aside and embark on the journey to become a doctor.

Best Steps to Become a Doctor

Best Steps to Become a Doctor

To become a doctor is not an easy journey, there are several requirements you must provide or pass. To make this easier for you, we’ll go through these requirements in a couple of steps. Do well to follow these steps.

Step 1: Earn a Bachelor’s Degree

Like many other careers, the first requirement to become a doctor is to get a bachelor’s degree.  To do this, you’ll have to enroll in a medical school.

However, most medical schools are competitive. They seek applicants who have a broad educational background, a solid foundation in the natural sciences, and some clinical experience.

However, all medical schools require you to complete undergraduate coursework in biology, physics, chemistry, and mathematics.

Step 2: Take the Medical College Admissions Test (MCAT)

Almost all medical schools in the States require you to take the MCAT performance scores. This is the next crucial requirement to become a doctor. For the MCAT, you’ll be assessed on biology, general chemistry, organic chemistry, and physics.

This standardized examination also assesses your problem solving, verbal reasoning, and writing skills. If you plan on making a medical school, you can take the MCAT up to three times a year.

You won’t get into medical school unless you pass the MCAT.

Step 3: Earn a Medical Degree

Oh yes, you’re finally in medical school. The next requirement to become a doctor, however, is to complete medical school. Medical school programs are usually four-year programs.

The first two years will entail classroom and laboratory work, while the last two years will involve hands-on experience. You’ll work directly with patients under the supervision of experienced doctors.

Meanwhile, your coursework in medical school will cover topics in pharmacology, pathology, anatomy, and biochemistry.

You see now how your Dr of Pharmacy puts you at an advantage? Additionally, you’ll study the practice of medicine and legal issues related to healthcare.

This is mainly done in the third year, and it gives you the chance to discover the type of residency you’ll prefer to pursue after graduation.

Step 4: Complete a Residency Program

You get to start a residency program only when you’ve earned a medical degree. After that, completing your residency program is the next requirement to become a doctor.

The residency program gives you the opportunity to work directly with patients in a specialty area of medicine. Some of these specialty areas are internal medicine, pediatrics, emergency medicine, psychiatry, and anesthesiology.

Step 5: Get a License

Getting a license is one of the most important requirements to become a doctor. This is because all states in the US require physicians to acquire a license before practicing medicine.

You’ll need to graduate from an accredited medical school, however, to qualify for licensure. You must also complete your residency training program and pass several other exams.

Licensing may be different from state to state so you’ll have to contact their state’s medical board for specific licensing information.

Step 6: Get Certified to Advance Career

Certification is not a compulsory requirement to become a doctor but it increases your employment chances and boosts your earnings. Acquiring further certification will demonstrate that you are an expert in a specific area of medicine.

Meanwhile, certification by the American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS) involves a thorough process of evaluations and assessments.

When Can Pharmacists Use the Doctor Title?

Are Pharmacists Doctors? Pharmacists can use the doctor’s title when they are at work, immediately identify that they are a pharmacist, and give advice specifically on medications prescribed by a medical doctor.

However, pharmacists should avoid using the doctor title in any interaction with a patient where it might confuse the patient or put the patient’s safety at risk.

Pharmacists cannot use the doctor title when it comes to performing a complicated medical procedure like delivering a baby or diagnosing an illness or medical condition.

Are Pharmacists Doctors: Frequently Asked Questions

1.What is the doctor of pharmacy degree?

Answer: The Pharm.D. Is a professional degree similar to a Doctor of Medicine (MD) or Doctor of Dental Surgery (DDS).  After earning a Doctor of Pharmacy degree and passing licensure examinations, College of Pharmacy graduates can practice pharmacy anywhere in the country.

2. How long does it take to earn a doctor of pharmacy degree?

Answer: It takes about three to four years of undergraduate pre-professional (prerequisite) coursework, followed by four academic years in the professional program.

 Most students need four years to complete their prerequisite courses. Thus, it usually takes eight years of college study to earn a Pharm.D. and become a pharmacist.

In conclusion, what’s your opinion on the question: Are pharmacists doctors?  Share with us in the Comment section.

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