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How To Choose A Pharmacist - Articles Surfing
Choosing a qualified pharmacist is every bit as important as deciding which doctor or other health care worker you are going to have look after your health and well being. While many people worry about the competence of their doctor, the qualifications of the person dispensing their prescription drugs is often overlooked.
Historically, herbalists, chemists and apothecaries filled the role of pharmacist. As the volume of medical lore grew pharmacy became a specialized medical tradition of its own. In some ancient cultures like medieval Japan, the pharmacist was accorded a status even higher than the doctors, acupuncturists and other health related professionals.
The pharmacist is also a trained professional who has passed through extensive medical training and learned how drugs work on the body and the potential interactions of different medicines. They must be familiar with at least basic diagnosis of diseases, their therapeutic effects and the art of prescribed medicines and what forms are best for a doctor's patient.
While your pharmacist is traditionally known to be the dispenser of the drugs your doctor prescribes, his function is much greater. They also work with your doctor in disease state management to monitor treatments and their effects. The pharmacist will provide information to clinics and health care workers about medicine reactions and other information necessary to the betterment of the entire medical field.
Pharmacists may be either independent businessmen or they may ply their trade in a clinic or hospital. The pharmacist is often an important source of information and advice on whether a symptom is a precursor to needing a doctor's care or if the problem is a localized effect that can be taken care of through over the counter methods. They will often work as an intermediary between you and a doctor in checking for more information about treatment of diseases.
The professional pharmacist must be trained in a wide range of medical knowledge, as he is often the first person many people talk to about new ailments. The pharmacist plays a great role in assessing the potential for undiagnosed medical conditions and provides recommendations for the direction of treatment a person should take.
Since the pharmacist is often the first point of contact with the medical profession, the pharmacist must be knowledgeable of the symptoms of many medical conditions and diseases. Various polls have demonstrated that a large number of people will trust their pharmacist more than they do their primary health care provider, especially if they are part of a program where they are treated by a group of doctors rather than a family general practitioner.
Pharmacists in the United States must be board certified to dispense medications. Depending on his specialty the Board of Pharmaceutical Specialties qualify pharmacists in five areas including psychiatric, oncology, cardiology, infectious diseases, nutrition and nuclear pharmacy. A geriatrics certification must come through the Commission for Certification in Geriatric Pharmacy. The certification in the specialized field of toxicology for medical doctors, forensic scientists as well as pharmacist must be obtained through the American Board of Applied Toxicology.
While a pharmacist is not board certified to practice medicine in the same way a licensed doctor is, they still are a very important part of the medical field and can be trained well enough to even catch the occasional mistaken prescription an overworked doctor may make.
Copyright © 1995 - Photius Coutsoukis (All Rights Reserved).
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