Professional Specialties

Like many fields in medicine, the field of pharmacy has also splintered into many different specialties or areas of study. Some may require residency or fellowship completion after graduation from a PharmD degree. For others, completion of the program at any one of the many pharmacy schools may be sufficient.

The Board of Pharmacy Specialties recognizes and certifies six pharmacy specialties:

  • Ambulatory Care
  • Pharmacy Nuclear
  • Pharmacy Nutrition
  • Support Pharmacy
  • Oncology Pharmacy
  • Pharmacotherapy
  • Psychiatric Pharmacy

In 1978, the nuclear pharmacy specialty was the first of these to be recognized.

Beyond this list, there are many other areas of practice including:

  • Acute Pharmacist
  • Clinical Pharmacist
  • Floater Pharmacist
  • Pharmacist
  • Hospital Pharmacist
  • Independent
  • Long-Term Care Pharmacist
  • Managed Care Pharmacist
  • Pharmaceutical Sales Pharmacy
  • Director Pharmacy
  • Manager Pharmacist
  • Pharmacy Technician
  • Retail Pharmacist
  • Pharmacy Intern

As in other areas of medicine, specialization in pharmacy allows one to focus on a very specific niche within the field. While receiving a well-rounded pharmacy school education is critical, specialization allows individuals to become expert in their field with focused attention to one particular area of practice. Specialization also allows an individual to work in an area of interest and to avoid work in an area that he or she is ill-suited for.

For someone who is interested in one (or more) of the above areas of practice, pharmacy school will likely introduce the details of some specialties. One may be required to complete a voluntary residency or fellowship to practice in one of these areas.

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