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Friday, February 20, 2015

Schools of Pharmacy

We have too many.
We need to police ourselves.
Pretty soon, Community Colleges will become the Caribbean of Medical Schools. (Sure, some good prescribers have come from schools there.)

When a degree takes nearly a decade to achieve, opening schools now that take years to become accredited will only help us in 10 years. Unfortunately, by most calculations, the profession will be saturated, again, as it was in the early 90's.
We need to stop opening new schools of pharmacy.
Increase enrollment at the best schools to adjust for demand. Decrease enrollment as needed to adjust for demand. Opening new schools? Without a placement system? Without a guarantee of a need?
Senseless. Reactionary. Money-grabbing.

We need quality over quantity.
We don't need to become the lawyers of the healthcare profession where we are a dime a dozen.

What is another problem we can see with too many graduates? Loss of our identity. For some time I have quit using the term "doctors" to describe those medical professionals. Why? I don't want to give credit where it is not due. There are many groups now who can prescribe. Without knowing who is and who is not an actual doctor, I believe the generic terms "practitioner" or "prescriber"are more appropriate. There was a need for more people to take care of sick people in this country. We imported as many as we could but how else could we increase that number? Give more professionals the right to prescribe. It's like the Old Catholic way of thinking about how to increase your flock: If you can't birth them, convert them.

Soon, Pharmacists will have the right to prescribe as well. However limited or broad the scope of these rights, it does not diminish the fact that we can prescribe. What then? Doctors will have to find a new way to have their egos stroked. No longer can they monopolize the "I'm a Doctor!" mantra. Patients will recognize they can go anywhere to receive a prescription.
To them I will say "welcome to being marginalized!".

Unless we do something as a group, as a unified profession to stop the greedy reach of our professional education system, we will continue hurting our beloved profession.
We have too many pharmacists. We continue to train more than we need. New pharmacists need jobs and are cheaper to employ. Older, more experienced pharmacists are at risk of losing their jobs. Eventually, and not too far away, our profession becomes the "you want fries and a flu shot with that?" minimum wage job that Corporate America is longing for it to be.

If your state is considering opening a new pharmacy school, consider petitioning them to stop it. With the number of schools having nearly doubled over the last 25 years, and the number of graduates along with it, the number of available jobs has not kept pace.


We are killing our own profession and no one is going to stop us.

1 comment:

  1. I'm curious to see the direction that pharmacies are going in, and where they will continue to go. I really would like to see what the future holds for these places. It intrigues me greatly. http://www.fitzgeraldrx.com/compounding/