Pharm.D., a Versatile Degree – Non-traditional Pharmacists

When I talk to people who don’t know much about pharmacy practice, they often assume that pharmacists are limited to working in community settings or hospital staff processing physician’s orders. They are often amazed when I talk to them about the different pharmacists that I have talked to that work in areas that no one would expect. I am pretty active in pharmacy organizations, and I am also undergoing the dual degree (Pharm.D./MS Regulatory Science) program at USC. From these experiences, I have met pharmacists that work in a diverse spectrum of positions:

-Clinical Trial Pharmacist – she works for a research lab that conducts clinical trials for pharmaceutical companies.
-Entrepreneur – he also obtained a MBA and runs an international supplement company.
-Pharmacy Lawyer – JD/Pharm.D. who works on the legal department of a large MCO.
-Pharmacy Benefits Manager – I have met several employees of large PBMs who are responsible for formulary management. wiki’s definition of what a PBM does, “developing and maintaining the formulary, contracting with pharmacies, and negotiating discounts and rebates with drug manufacturers. Today, more than 210 million Americans nationwide receive drug benefits administered by PBMs.”
-Regulatory Science – Through my masters program and involvement in industry organizations, I have met several pharmacists with regulatory affairs, whether it is labeling, consultant work, international harmonization (International Conference on Harmonisation of Technical Requirements for Registration of Pharmaceuticals for Human Use), FDA, and many more.
-Independent Pharmacy Owner – His pharmacy offers specialized compounding services such as pet pharmacy/sport pharmacy/etc.
-Drug Procurement Director – He manages a formulary for a very large hospital, meets with pharmaceutical reps to discuss contracts, and researches most recent clinical data on drugs.
-Medical Science Liaison – “A medical science liaison (abbreviated as MSL) is a healthcare consulting professional who is employed by pharmaceutical, biotechnology, medical device, and managed care companies.”
-Pharmacogenetics Researcher – a researcher who studies how genetic differences can create different adverse events and varying clinical outcomes.

The Doctor of Pharmacy Degree (Pharm.D.) can open many career opportunities. Openness to meeting new people and exploring the profession may lead to a rewarding and exciting career as a non-traditional pharmacist.

If you have met any non-traditional pharmacists, please share in the comment section below.

Pharm.D. Student (41 Posts)

USC Pharmacy School Student.


  1. Did you have to take the GRE’s to get into the M.S. Reg Sci program? I’m looking into it too! USC c/o ’14 over here. Maybe I’ll see your anonymous self on campus :)

  2. Nope, if you are a Pharm.D. student, the GRE requirement is waived. You will need to apply after the fall semester. You need to fill out a single page application, a personal statement, and 3 letter of recommendations. My name is John, see you around.

  3. I am planning to do Pharm.D via online..do you think online degree will also open rewarding career?I don’t know much about it but I am contemplating a career in Pharm.D..and was thinking abt online options only

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *