Will McClatchey‎ > ‎

Pharmacist

My process of becoming a pharmacist was unusual or even accidental (see story). After working as an extern then intern in Portland, Oregon, I was licensed in 1989. In addition to typical retail internships, I also completed training in Nuclear Pharmacy through Syncore International and the VA Hospital in Portland. At the time I was licensed there was not a need for more nuclear pharmacists so I accepted a position in retail pharmacy. Given my open personality, I would have enjoyed any sort of pharmacy work, but retail was particularly enjoyable when I had opportunities to interact with patients. I worked as a pharmacist until 1997 when I accepted a faculty position with the University of Hawai`i. Between 1997 and 2015 I did not practice the profession although did conduct research at the edges and worked with pre-pharmacy students.

Returning to Oregon in 2015 has been exciting. One part of this process has been to invest the work to re-activate the pharmacist license. I had to complete all of the continuing education that had been missed since 1998, pay the fees for all of those years, and take the state pharmacy law exam. All of this was completed by the end of October 2015 and the license was granted in early November. 

There are three aspects of pharmacy that I hope to be able to do now: 
  • medication therapy management (MTM) was only an idea in my prior work as a pharmacist but now is a reality. While some pharmacists do not like this process, I am really happy that a lot of hard work has been invested in making this a reality. In the long-term, once bugs are worked out, this will become a very important part of the practice. There are many other aspects of clinical-consulting pharmacy that it is great to see have developed or are being developed.

  • pharmacist dispensing without prescriptions of some regulated drugs is limited to a small set of products, and now in Oregon, birth control. When I worked in Florida I was able to experience the process of using patient charts in the pharmacy for dispensing many sorts of medications, as well as standard protocol that had been developed to assist patients with drugs during emergencies such as hurricanes. There is every reason to expect that formularies will be approved for pharmacists to dispense medications such as antibiotics, based on quick tests, or other drugs that reduce patient loads and costs on over-stressed healthcare systems. The obvious role of pharmacists in rapid community triage is really under-explored, but this will change.

  • pharmacist administration of preventative drugs such as vaccines is likely to increase as stresses on other health care providers create needs that pharmacists are ready to meet. I expect to see more patient interaction and greater responsibility for not only assessment of medication therapies but also decisions about administration/application that will increase the quality of life for patients.