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Home > Health Care > “Your local pharmacist is not who you think they are.”

“Your local pharmacist is not who you think they are.”

Back before my fake freelance writing gig fell through, I tried to maneuver into a niche as a healthcare writer.

One of the articles-for-moms I wrote was about how pharmacists are vastly underutilized as health care providers.  (Tl;dr-Lifehacker edition: If you have a medical question or want a second opinion on meds, you should just go up to the counter at a store pharmacy and ask. Pharmacists have 7 years of medical education and they’re free.)

I found a TedxTalk by a pharmacist that addresses this exact underutilization issue:

Pretty good, although dry to watch if you’re not also a provider.

Pharmacists are important because doctors make mistakes. Doctors make prescribing mistakes at alarmingly high rates. If patients asked more questions and pharmacists spent more time on each individual, it would probably save a lot of lives.

One of the aspects of the profession I noted that the lecturer didn’t address is that the way corporations run retail pharmacies makes the kind of access he idealizes impossible. With immunizations and peripheral paperwork, pharmacists simply don’t have the man-hours to counsel every new patient. Any intern who has done a rotation at a high-volume chain knows this already. But I guess the Talk was already too long to go into a tangent about how for-profit-healthcare is fucking awful.

——–

Footnote on my ventures in my fake freelance writing career:  I was interviewed a few months ago by a health care education group for their company’s blog. They wanted my “expert” opinion on formal education and training for pharmacy technicians.

My answer was, “Don’t go to school because you will be automatically less hireable than precocious college kids willing to work for near-minimum wage.”

They thanked me and then totally did not publish the interview.

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