Letter to the Editor:
Do you know what your pharmacist can do for you?
Pharmacists are the medication experts on your health care team and by far the most accessible health care provider to the public. It is our job to ensure that each patient is receiving the best medication care possible. Pharmacists are one of the most highly-trained members of the health care team. After a four year post undergraduate program culminating in the Doctor of Pharmacy degree, many pharmacists receive additional years of pharmacy residency training.
Pharmacists are found in every domain of health care and can specialize in fields such as internal medicine, administration, oncology, pediatrics, family medicine, informatics, critical care, emergency medicine, and many more. In addition to the vast wealth of knowledge a pharmacist can provide to the other professionals on the health care team, we can also provide services to our patients such as immunizations, medication therapy management, chronic disease management, and counseling to make sure each patient is getting the best possible medication care.
Community pharmacists are finding innovative ways to meet the primary care gap by using their clinical knowledge to manage patient's chronic conditions. As pharmacists have the best understanding of medications, we can optimize medication regimens to provide better outcomes for patients, both for their health and for their finances. As both the amount of medication being used and the information behind each drug is increasing, pharmacists are becoming ever more important to decipher the correct drug choice for each patient. It is our responsibility to help choose the best medication for patients, and to ensure that each medication is dispensed safely and accurately. Each new drug added to a patient's regimen is carefully examined for proper indication, dosage and interactions with other medications and medical conditions.
It is our charge to care for patients to the best of our ability, and as community members it is our joy to serve the public. During October, American Pharmacists Month, we invite you to "Know your Medicine, Know your Pharmacist."
Tara T. Feller
American Pharmacists Association-Academy of Student Pharmacists
President University of Iowa College of Pharmacy
Matthew J. Farley
Student Body President
University of Iowa
College of Pharmacy