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How Do I Become a Managed Care Pharmacist?

A pharmacist must attend pharmacy school and pass a licensing exam.
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  • Written By: Jennifer Leigh
  • Edited By: Lauren Fritsky
  • Last Modified Date: 17 November 2014
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Become a managed care pharmacist through education, training and, in many cases, licensure. Experience in managed care is also helpful but not always necessary to get a job in the field. Certain characteristics such as being adept at science and mathematics, as well as being able to pay attention to detail, are also important. It is necessary for individuals who wish to become a managed care pharmacist to have a desire to help others and good communication skills. Talking with others working in the managed care field is a good way for individuals to find out if they are a good fit for the job.

Education is a main component necessary in order to become a managed care pharmacist. In the United States, a doctoral in pharmacy (PharmD) degree is required for all pharmacist jobs. This requires an undergraduate degree in a related field, such as science, and four years of pharmacy school. Pharmacy school implements education in both the classroom and practical settings, such as working with licensed pharmacists and in research facilities. Upon graduation, many pharmacists go on to do post-doctoral work in a specific field of pharmacy, such as managed care, or go on to obtain another degree such as a master's in business administration (MBA).

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Talking with those working as managed care pharmacists is a good way to find out if an individual is suited for the position. The work requires attention to detail, being good at mathematics and science, and having good communication skills. Other important aspects include the desire to help many other people while attempting to save a managed care organization as much money as possible. Speaking with an experienced managed care pharmacist provides the opportunity to see what an average work day is like and to find out if an individual has the personality characteristics that are most helpful for the job.

Pharmacists who have completed their PharmD and passed all of the necessary examinations for licensure are eligible to become a managed care pharmacist. Managed care pharmacists make decisions for a large group of people instead of individuals because they work for pharmaceutical and insurance companies rather than individual pharmacies. Post-doctoral work as a managed care pharmacist provides the necessary experience to make these decisions ethically and soundly. These positions can be obtained by applying for them after completing the PharmD degree. Once post-doctoral work has been completed, an individual is ready to begin applying for jobs as a managed care pharmacist in an organization.

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