I spent a little time with a pharmacist at a local Shoppers Drug Mart. Basically pharmacists fill prescriptions, tell patients how to take medication, inform patients on any side effects, and make sure the medication is prepared properly. One customer came into the pharmacy with a case of bronchitis. The customer was clearly uncomfortable, and the doctor prescribed an antibiotic. The pharmacist processed the prescription, searched the customer’s medical history in her computer, and gave the customer a wireless buzzer so the customer could stay in the store while she put together the medication. After 10 minutes, she called the customer back and explained how to take the medication and the possible side effects.

One thing the pharmacist stressed is that if you become a pharmacist, you have to be prepared to spend long periods of time on your feet. I spent a few hours with her and she didn’t stop. She said that after a day of work she notices how tiring it can be. Also, you can’t get tired out because you have be alert answering the phone, talking to patients, and filling orders. 

I also asked the pharmacist how new scientific discoveries and new drugs affect their job. She said that if you become a pharmacist, you have to commit to learning throughout your whole life and keep up to date on medical procedures. She also said that, since the baby boomers are now becoming seniors, pharmacists should stay busy in the future.  

A Typical Day

On a regular day a pharmacist working in a pharmacy fills prescriptions and instructs customers on how to take the medication

Top 3 Perks

1) Building relationships with customers 

2) Being in healthcare is rewarding 

3) Good benefits 

Job Culture

Answering phone calls, filling prescriptions, indoors, being on your feet for long periods of time, instructing and informing patients, counting pills.


1) Complete a bachelor’s degree in pharmacy 

2) Complete an internship 

3) Pass the Pharmacy Examining Board of Canada exam 

Skills Needed

Multi-tasking, communication, patience, organization.

The Field

- Less counting and technical work will be done by pharmacists in the future. 

- Pharmacists can also work in hospitals instead of drug stores. 

- Job security is great and you can count on having a job for a long time.