programs Match the Promise

Treating Patients, Filling Prescriptions

Emily | future pharmacist

My career of choice is a pharmacist, more specifically, a clinical pharmacist. I am interested in this job because I want to use my skills to service and support the community. Now that the community is aging and there are many scientific advances, there will be more of a need for pharmacists in the medical field.

As a pharmacist I would dispense and oversee prescription medication, offer my expertise to patients, provide immunizations, conduct health and wellness screenings, etc. According to, the median annual salary for a pharmacist in 2012 was $116,670. Pharmacists must have certain skills such as being detail oriented, having good management and analytical skills, and working well with others. These are all qualities that I have and will be able to incorporate.

In order to become a pharmacist you must have a Doctor of Pharmacy Degree (Pharm.D.), which is a 3-4 year program. Most school pharmacy programs require you to take the Pharmacy College Admissions Test (PCAT). According to, the fourth year of this course is mostly advanced pharmacy practice experiences (AAPE), such as internships in pharmacies or hospitals. After your required education is completed you can continue with a 1-2 year residency if you are interested in advanced positions in a certain area.

In order to become a licensed professional you must pass the NAPLEX exam and, depending on your state, the MSPJE exam as well. The NAPLEX exam focuses on pharmacy skills and knowledge while the MSPJE exam focuses on pharmacy law. You must have a state-issued licensed to practice in any state across the nation.

Being a pharmacist would benefit not only me, but those around me. Whether I am directly treating patients, or behind a counter filling prescriptions, I know that I will be making a difference.

Emily's essay appears here as written, to preserve the young author’s unique voice and individual writing style. However, we have deleted personally identifiable information to protect the student’s privacy.