Ayoub: Which is better —doctor or pharmacist?

Samar Ayoub, IC Columnist

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Parents only want the best for their children.

They want to see them grow up, succeed, get married and, maybe, have a couple kids of their own. All parents want their kids to have the best life, not to fall victim to the same mistakes they made and to be the best kind of person.

No one wishes anything less for their children. Perhaps that’s why we have all been told by our parents at least once in our lives to go into the medical field. Yup, this definitely brings back some childhood memories.

Oftentimes when we think of the medical field, doctors are the first thing that pop into our minds. What most people don’t think about is that pharmacists are doctors too. In fact, doctors and pharmacists work together daily.

Being an aspiring medical doctor that works in a pharmacy, I know this this for a fact. But which job is better? Which job will help people the most? There are many conflicting opinions regarding the importance of pharmacists versus medical doctors. As someone who’s had a taste of both, I feel I can give some strong points of either profession.

Going to medical school has always been my dream, and I can’t imagine doing anything else. Doctors treat and diagnose patients, whether they are working in the hospital or on vacation with friends.

A person doesn’t have to walk through office doors to be helped. Doctors can help anyone, anywhere, regardless of whether they have their white coat on or not.

They also have the power to write prescriptions, a feat that many pharmacists argue that they should have the right to do as well.

Pharmacists learn about drug interactions and their effects on the body for four years of schooling, whilst doctors go through a semester or two of pharmacology.

Though this may be true, pharmacists do not go through nearly enough schooling to know how to diagnose patients. Nevertheless, they are more accessible than doctors. If you have a question for your doctor, you can’t just call him up and ask. You must make an appointment, have him see you for five minutes, prescribe you a medication, and pay $100 for the office visit.

On the other hand, you could visit your pharmacist, tell him your problem, and he oftentimes is able to suggest something you could take over the counter, all free of charge. I think it’s pretty obvious which is the preferred choice here.

I have worked in the pharmacy for almost two years, and I’ve loved every second of it. Not only have I learned medication names, but I’ve learned how much doctors and pharmacists rely on each other, and how their jobs often go hand in hand.

In the end, which is better? In my opinion, they both are. Whether working in a hospital or at a retail pharmacy, you still have the reward of aiding sick patients. And that’s all us medical majors really want to do: help people.

Samar Ayoub is a second-year student in pre-med concentration.

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Ayoub: Which is better —doctor or pharmacist?