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Best Kept Secret – Pharmacists Earn Doctorates Just Like Medical Doctors

Author cupharmacy | Publish Date March 5, 2015

Experts in medications, doctors of pharmacy are on the frontlines of health care administering 20 percent of adult vaccinations, filling 3.7 billion prescriptions annually, and counseling millions of people on a weekly basis.

With over 250 million people walking into pharmacies every week, it’s no wonder pharmacists rank as the second most trusted profession in the country. Consistently recognized as one of the best paying careers, pharmacists are considered one of the most trusted and ethical professions. In a recent Gallup poll, pharmacists ranked second – only to nurses – for honesty. In fact, in some rural communities pharmacists are the only healthcare professionals available for hundreds of miles.

 Despite these facts, pharmacists are underutilized.

Pharmacists undergo rigorous coursework to earn doctorates. Why not tap into their expertise allowing them provider status and prescriptive authority? We as pharmacists need to get active and advocate for our profession. We do great work. Let’s tell the world. Here at the University of Colorado Skaggs School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences we’re preparing the world’s future pharmacists and pharmaceutical scientists through innovative learning and teaching. Recognized as the best in the nation, our students, graduates and faculty are making health care safer.

As the director of admissions for CU’s Skaggs School of Pharmacy I encounter students who are unaware of the role pharmacists do and can play. That’s why I encourage them to shadow me while I wear my other hat as a clinical pharmacist at North Suburban Medical Center. Students are able to see my interactions, not only with my patients, but with other healthcare providers to provide the best possible care. Both roles allow me to see how my fellow pharmacists are having an impact on the profession.

As experts in medicines and their therapeutic use, we’re caring for patients, helping them live longer and better with chronic illnesses such as heart disease and diabetes, and reducing side effects of prolonged medication use.

We’re compounding medications to fit the needs of patients, tailoring medications to an individual’s DNA and targeting treatments to maximize their effectiveness while minimizing side effects. We’re screening thousands of compounds at one time to bring cures to patients more rapidly.

In addition to vaccinating millions every year against influenza and pneumonia – still some of the biggest killers in the world today – we are discovering new ways to deliver and transport vaccines to developing nations.

We’re reducing hospital readmissions by 90 percent by harnessing the power of students and faculty to conduct house calls on patients recently released from hospitals.

Most importantly, we make the world healthier by providing patients access to care – conveniently located where they shop.

From my experience, pharmacists are one of the best kept secrets in healthcare.


Candido Chacon, PharmD, 2011
Director of Admissions | Senior Instructor
University of Colorado Skaggs School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences