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How Do I Become an Ambulatory Care Pharmacist?

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  • Written By: Jennifer Leigh
  • Edited By: Lauren Fritsky
  • Last Modified Date: 15 November 2016
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An individual who wishes to become an ambulatory care pharmacist needs to have a combination of education, training and the desire to work with people. Obtaining a doctoral degree in pharmacy is a requirement to become an ambulatory care pharmacist. Ambulatory care pharmacists service the needs of individuals who do not have transportation in a variety of settings, so flexibility is necessary to become an ambulatory care pharmacist. A strong motivation and aptitude for science and mathematics is also needed.

An undergraduate degree in pre-pharmacy or a related field is required to be admitted into graduate school in pharmacy. Majors can be found in the sciences, mathematics or humanities, but you must first fulfill certain prerequisites, including science and mathematics courses. After receiving an undergraduate degree, an individual can apply to pharmacy school by sending in paperwork, which usually includes transcripts, letters of recommendation, a personal statement and an application fee.

Pharmacy school generally takes four years to complete upon acceptance and includes classroom learning and hands-on experiences. After he completes the four-year doctoral degree in pharmacy, an individual can begin to work directly for a pharmacy, clinic or hospital or work as a post-graduate intern at a location that specializes in ambulatory care. This type of internship provides the necessary experience and training to work in the field without any supervision.

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It is important for individuals with the desire to become an ambulatory care pharmacist to have good people skills. Part of the job involves consultations and preventive care, which means talking with people in the community on a regular basis. In order to gain the best information from patients, good listening and communicating skills are important.

Ambulatory care pharmacists work in a variety of environments, so it is important to be flexible about the location of the job. Individuals can become an ambulatory care pharmacist in most geographical locations, but this type of service is often performed in underserved and economically-challenged areas. The desire to help those who have fewer resources is an important component to become an ambulatory care pharmacist.

Those interested in attending pharmacy school to become an ambulatory care pharmacist need to be skilled in math and science. Pharmacists deal with ratios and chemistry throughout their careers. Without having a general grasp of these subjects, pharmacy school would be extremely difficult to complete successfully, so this is a consideration for those wishing to begin this journey.

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