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What is pharmacy?

He aha te mātau taka rongoā?

Clinical pharmacist with patient

Pharmacists are medicine and healthcare experts

As medicine experts, pharmacists are essential members of the healthcare team. They’re trusted by other healthcare professionals to assess prescriptions and recommend the best combination of medicines.

Pharmacists also work directly with patients, helping them understand their medicines, and use their medicines in the most effective way.

But this is just part of their role. As a pharmacist, you can assess and treat some conditions, prescribe medication, and give life-saving vaccinations. This is the future of pharmacy – going beyond the script.

Pharmacist oh the shop floor with a patient and his young son

Pharmacists are the health professionals you see most often

Pharmacists often work in community pharmacies like Antidote, Life Pharmacy, or Unichem; in hospital pharmacies; and in medical clinics.

For these reasons, pharmacists are the health professionals you see most often. They’re truly at the heart of healthy communities.

Pharmacists can also work alongside pharmaceutical scientists to develop new medicines – or with government and research organisations.

Pharmacist with an elderly patient

Pharmacists make a difference in our communities

As a pharmacist, you can make an authentic difference to the lives of your patients, their whānau, and their communities.

Some patients have chronic or ongoing health issues, and rely on regular contact with community pharmacists to help manage their conditions. Other patients have an acute (short-term) condition that can be treated by medication. This might be supplied by community or hospital pharmacists.

Without access to local pharmacies, patients could suffer from dangerous or incorrect medicines use, or unnecessary delays in receiving treatment.

Pharmacy white coat ceremony

Pharmacists have excellent career opportunities

The world needs pharmacists. A career in pharmacy allows you to spend each day helping patients and communities, and collaborating with other healthcare professionals.

You’ll have the opportunity to specialise in many different areas – including clinical pharmacy, which involves actively treating patients and prescribing medications.

And you’ll have the opportunity to run your own business, either as an owner of a community pharmacy store, or as a partner in a larger pharmacy network.

Pharmacy students walking together

Pharmacists have a great work–life balance

Most pharmacies open during regular business hours. This gives you a great work–life balance with no overnight shifts, and no midnight call-outs.

And after five years on the job, you can earn over NZ$100,000 per year – that’s double the average salary in New Zealand.

You’ll have the opportunity to run your own business. You can work normal hours. And most importantly, you’ll make a genuine difference to people’s lives.

Group of recent pharmacy graduates at a graduation function

Pharmacy at Otago: Go beyond the script

Here at New Zealand’s most innovative and passionate pharmacy school, we’re teaching the next generation of full-scope pharmacists. Will you join us?