Thursday, February 24, 2011

Should I have become a REAL doctor?

After hearing the same old line time after time, I start to wonder, should I have become a REAL doctor?   You know the line, "hey I know your not a doctor but...."

       Well check your references, because I technically am a doctor!!

  So why is it that our profession doesn't bear the coveted salutation (unless you are in an academic setting of course)? I mean Lou Holtz is holds the title  Dr. Lou from receiving an honorary doctorate degree in Football.

Are we too nonchalant to request that respect, or did we join the game too late to receive the honor? I guess the dentists joined early enough to insist on being called doctor. I mean it's not really a big deal, in fact when I graduated I didn't think twice about not being called doctor, but after a phone call from my friend I changed my mind. This friend and I haven't spoken in a while, and he was telling me about his mom's health. He said that her blood pressure was really high and the doctor's were having a hard time figuring out the problem.  However, before he told me this, he started the conversation by saying "I know you don't know nothin' because you're not a doctor but...."                               Hmmm.....

Okay, I admit, this is the same friend that tries to get me to tell him how much I make everytime we talk. He is also the same friend that would always want to beat me in everything when we were growing up. Unfortunately he has had some troubles in his life that lead him down the wrong path, and I pray that he makes it through, but you see my point. (Read this LINK at Student Doctor Network)

This just makes me wonder. Are we over trained for what we do, so that we really don't deserve the title? Also, is what we do really just a high paying dead end job? I don't know, I guess time will tell, but it is discouraging to hear about all of the money making opportunities the REAL doctors have (i.e. investigational studies, promotions, TV shows, etc...).  Especially when we are rewarded by being unknowingly ridiculed by those that use our services. Oh well, at least we get to go home at the end of our shift, and aren't married to our job like the other guys.

21 comments:

  1. Explore the managed care field, opportunities for advancement for a strong clinical/business mind are sky high! Career paths throughout managed care/PBMs are very dynamic and the setting you work in is great. As a professional, I enjoy having an office and scheduled mtm appointments with patients and meetings with my peers to discuss clinical agendas, pipeline discussions, literature/guideline reviews, etc.

    I firmly believe managed care is the hidden gem of pharmacy: the work environment, application of clinical knowledge, and respect are great. The MDs within the company all refer to us as the Drug Doctors and we use each others' knowledge basis and strengths to lead the company and patient care forward.

    It is a small competitive niche of pharmacy but very rewarding and growth is very promising. I work hours are also great for family life, I work a 9-5ish schedule with no weekends or holidays. Sure, we bring work home and stay for long hours occasionally but when you love what you do not mind!

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  2. I am a Doctor of Pharmacy! That still means something to me even if I do man a drive-thru window and answer questions about where the milk or bread is at my store. The profession of pharmacy has got to get over our collective inferiority complex and realize we are vaulable members of the healthcare team. Think about all the mistakes you've caught in your career and what would potentially have happened to unwilling patients if you had not done your job.

    Are we overtrained? Perhaps but our function is vital enough that erroring on the side of being a little overtrained might not be a bad thing. Despite all of the other things that can drain away your workday remember we are still doing a job that protects patients and ensures they receive their correct medication.

    We do "know something" because we are the drug experts for medicine. Your friend seems misinformed about our profession and what we bring to the table with our expert drug knowledge. Perhaps the next time you talk with them you should tell them about the kinds of things we do for patients. For many people outside the profession it is a real eye opener when they really get a glimpse of what we do! Maybe that is our biggest problem? We just don't market ourselves well enough!

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  3. lets just put it the proper context. there are doctors of philosophy also..but they aren't trained in diagosing disease any more than we are. You have a doctorate in pharmacy. The patients uses the word DOCTOR to describe a certain kind of medical professional. He/she is not trying to insult you or your intelligence. Ive been listening to "I know your aren't a DR...but" for 23 years. I know what they mean. We may help using our training to make certain kinds of recommendations, but we are not the MD's that the average customer is referring to.

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  4. The more I think about it, the more I agree with you guys. It's the little things that we do for the patient that really make a difference. Checking for appropriateness of drug therapy, recommending OTC's, imparting our knowledge of medications and drug products to help patients make good decisions, as well as save money. I guess I just get a little to frustrated about other people's opinions.

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  5. If you're a doctor, my lawyer is a doctor. I mean both have "doctor" in the name of their degrees, right? Doctors don't work at Walgreen's, they work in hospitals. They can write prescriptions, perform surgery, and the like. I have yet to witness an injury when someone yelled out "is there a pharmacist in the house?"

    Pharmacists know a lot about drugs. True. But "physicians" prescribe them. So they must know about drugs as well, since they are the ones who actually, ya know, write the prescriptions.

    The fact of the matter is that until 2001 a pharmacy degree was a bachelor's, just the same as sociology, engineering, or wildlife studies. Just because the pharmacy community got tired of being the stepchild on medical campuses and decided that all of a sudden they were doctors too doesn't mean anyone should address a pharmacist as a doctor.

    I know some pharmacists are involved in the chemical creation/trials of actual drugs, but most will have a pharmacy tech at CVS fill your prescription (after the computer tells them it's OK) and then sell you a Snickers bar and a two liter Coke.

    Get off your high horse. Yes, you make 100K/year. But that's all you'll make and, at the end of the day, you work at CVS. Now find the coupon on the 2 for 1 deodorant, doctor.

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    1. I love it...I'm a pharmacist....and just want to be that.....and I kept telling my peers everything you put down and they'd all look at me like I was the biggest worthless putz....

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    2. When was the last time someone witnessed an injury and yelled "is there a dentist in the house?" Is there an optometrist in the house?" Is there a podiatrist in the house?" None of those professions are physicians but yet they get to claim their rightful title based on their level of education. You are also incorrect that pharmacists do not prescribe. I am a PharmD working in a physician's office and PharmDs in my state can prescribe. Pharmacists do not want to be physicians. If we did we would've went to med school. What we do want is to be able to care for our patients and to have our level of training and ability to care for patients acknowledged. After 8 years of school and residency, I get tired of hearing people who have no clue how intense pharmacy training is say that pharmacists don't deserve the title of Dr.

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  6. Actually, this is pretty true. Sometimes as a pharmacist you get all worked up, then you realize that you're just a "doorman." (Watch knocked up) This is the reason for writing this post. I was starting high school in 2001, so what did I know about pharmacy then? Nothing. I didn't know anything until I got to pharmacy school. That's where I started Have elevated expectations. That's just the way it is in school. They make it out to be something it isn't. Had I known any of this stuff about pharmacy, I may have made a different decision. However, I feel blessed to have a good job, especially in this economy. By the way, good luck on your next years of med school.

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  7. Are you a guy or a girl?

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  8. Because I think you're a girl. A hot one! Haha.

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  9. To anonymous who posted on August 18th... I am a clinical pharmacist who works in a hospital and also prescribes drugs in clinic. Based on your argument, that would make me a doctor. However, I insist my patients call me by my first name to avoid confusion although the physicians I work with introduce me as Dr. N... You need a far better argument as to why pharmacists should nt use the doctor tittle especially after eight yrs of school and several yrs of residency!

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  11. I also work as a clinical pharmacist that has the legal right to prescribe any medications that are not controlled substances under a scope of practice. My name goes on the bottle and the lab orders, so I guess that makes me a doctor as well. I have my own office, my own panel of patients,and it will be a cold day in hell before I cut coupons or grab soda for anyone. I think that our anonymous friend needs to understand that what he sees at CVS, while dreaming of becoming a DO at a carribean medical school, is not the sum total of our profession.

    Finally, pharmacy has moved from a Bachelors degree to a Doctor of Pharmacy degree, but the pharmacists involved in direct patient care often have at least 6 years invested (same number of years as EVERY physician from India with MBBS), 1-2 years of residency, possibly 2 years of fellowship, and board certification. The pharmacists of which I speak are well respected, often well published, individuals who meaningfully contribute to excellent patients outcomes every day.

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  12. LAAAAANNNNN MERA RESPECTED LAN V NAHI PHARMACIST LORA MERA....NAFRAT AY MENO WORLD PHARMACY TO....

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  13. I am sorry, you are in no way shape or form a doctor. An RN or physician's assistant is more qualified to be called a doctor than a pharmacist is.

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  14. Why are you so mean?

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  15. There's a lot of anonymous idiots that know nothing about a pharmacist's education posting on this board. Sure, there are some pharmacists that just got in the profession and work at a CVS and wouldn't be comfortable or capable of doing more. But, at the same time, there are plenty of pharmacists who are highly intelligent, well-educated individuals with a lucid and useful understanding of pharmacotherapy-- one that is far more thorough and diverse than the average physician's. These pharmacists work in extremely varied practice settings and offer their unique skill set to different areas of practice. As both a community and clinical/health system pharmacist I've caught countless medication errors that would have harmed or killed patients. The doctors have the some "computers that tell everyone what to do" pharmacists have, yet they seem to miss many issues. Just the other day at my outpatient pharmacy I had to reduce a Levaquin dose by half in a kidney transplant patient; her kidney transplant was her only remarkable medical history, yet somehow the rushed/ignorant/whatever ER doc failed to dose the med appropriately and, if it weren't for me, would have probably caused her to lose her kidney. My computer didn't say a damn thing, either, since in the outpatient setting we're not lucky enough to have ready access to a patient's laboratory data; I gleaned it from the patient after discussing the med with her. Do you think pharmacists make 110-140k because they're complete idiots? Didn't think so, chumps-- better yourself instead of denigrating our profession because you're mad you make less money.

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  16. Pharmacy courses in India is opted by many students these days. There are many Top Pharmacy Colleges in Pune that offer the Pharmacy Courses at both undergraduate and postgraduate level..

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  17. look...a pharmacist is always a pharmacist and dr is dr...even if u r a clinical pharmacist/phd/pharm d..any thing...I am a CLINICAL PHARMACIST..but i used to avoid that title..after completion of my post-graduation i searched for jobs..and unfortunately i got a job in a reputed hospital in india..a 1500 bedded big firm..and u know what my job profile was wonderful..fledged with CP Duties,but in reality i worked as a pity dispensing chemist...finally i had gained nothing...in a hospital setup they need money and CP Is not a money vending machine when compared to that of doctors.NO patients will come for CP Consultation..and Clinical pharmacist position is not at all mandatory.secondly doctors will not allow such a position..because prescribing is the ultimate power..and money making source..

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  18. all retail and hospital pharmacists are nothing but professional salesman s...and think one more thing because of u r having a reg certificate/licence...u r on at ur work other wise these people will keep some super market salesmen to sell medicines...actually for selling paracetamol is there a need of licence and 5 years study.....look i had 5 years experience as a hsp pharmacist after pg.....and my experiences with patients /customers..r not at all soo enthusiastic....people wont accept u...they will ask who r u? u just give the medicines written by our dr...ur only a sales man..so now a days i dont care about this dirty society...i hate my job..but loves my profession..

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