Are Pharmacists Doctors? What Can I do to Become a Doctor 

Are Pharmacists Doctors? If you’re thinking about a career in medicine and want to know if the two professions are the same, you’ve come to the right place.

To help you decide which career path is best for you, we explain the differences between pharmacists and doctors, as well as how to become a doctor.

Additionally, the medical field encompasses a wide range of careers, including pharmacists and doctors. Despite certain similarities, pharmacists and doctors are separate professions.


Doctors are experts that evaluate patients, diagnose their medical illnesses, and advise them on the best treatment options. Pharmacists, on the other hand, confirm whether or not the doctor’s prescription is correct. They are also responsible for showing you how to take your medication so that you can recover as quickly as possible.

Who is a Pharmacist And a Doctor?

Pharmacists are medical personnel that works in hospitals, assisting physicians and medical teams in the use of medications to treat patient symptoms and illnesses. They also work in drugstores and retail settings, where they fill prescriptions and attend to consumer requirements.Moreover, Doctors are the medical specialists in charge of diagnosing and treating patients, as well as writing prescriptions for pharmacists to complete.

Doctors are the medical specialists in charge of diagnosing and treating patients, as well as writing prescriptions for pharmacists to complete.

Another difference between pharmacists and doctors is that doctors work directly with patients, whereas pharmacists work in a laboratory setting, away from patients and clients. However, pharmacists occasionally advise patients and educate customers about prescription and over-the-counter medications in retail environments.Another difference between pharmacists and doc

tors is that doctors work directly with patients, whereas pharmacists work in a laboratory setting, away from patients and clients. However, pharmacists occasionally advise patients and educate customers about prescription and over-the-counter medications in retail environments.

Differences Between Pharmacists and Doctors

Although Pharmacists and Doctors work in the medical field to provide safe and effective treatments. Regardless, there are numerous key distinctions between the two roles. The following points will provide an answer to the question “Are pharmacists doctors?”

#1. Job Duties

The employment focus is one of the most significant distinctions between the two medical professions. While a Doctor works directly with patients to examine, diagnose, and treat disease, illness, and damage.

Pharmacists, on the other hand, research and work with pharmaceuticals and pharmacological therapies to properly prescribe the most appropriate and effective medications to patients. 

#2. Credentials 

To achieve practice norms, doctors must obtain numerous licenses. Thus, students commonly take the first two parts of the United States Medical Licensing Examination (USMLE) while in medical school and obtain licensing after finishing the third part during residency.

To become a pharmacist, you must first take and pass the North American Pharmacist Licensure Examination (NAPLEX). Depending on your local and regional criteria, you may additionally need to seek a license from the state in which you work.

#3. Education and Training

Doctors and pharmacists require different levels of education and training. Generally, pharmacists can receive their Doctor of Pharmacy (PharmD) in as little as six years, beginning with a two-year undergraduate degree and continuing with four years of graduate education.

However, the training to become a doctor takes longer, with some physicians completing their studies and training between 10 and 14 years. Four years of undergraduate studies and four to six years of graduate school are included in this education and training. Following that, doctors must undergo a residency, which can take anywhere from five to eight years depending on their specialty.

#4. Essential Skills

Pharmacists gain skills and knowledge that enable them to comprehend how drugs influence the human body. Unlike doctors, pharmacists are experts in the study, usage, and improvement of drugs.

Doctors, on the other hand, deal directly with patients and are experts in disease examination, diagnosis, and therapy. To provide effective treatment, they monitor patients’ symptoms and measure health outcomes.

See also  Works In Canada: Highest Paying Unskilled Jobs In Canada and Hourly Rate

#5. Work Environment

Both doctors and pharmacists can work at hospitals. However, pharmacists can also operate in retail drug stores and pharmacies, whereas doctors work primarily in clinical settings.

Furthermore, in smaller contexts, pharmacists may collaborate with multiple team members, including pharmacy technicians and assistants. Doctors, on the other hand, may work in healthcare teams comprising nurses, surgeons, medical technicians of various specializations, and other trained healthcare professionals.

Similarities Between Pharmacists And Doctors

Although pharmacists and doctors work in different fields, they have many similarities. The following are some similarities between pharmacists and doctors:

#1. Medical Expertise and Knowledge

During their education and training, doctors study physiology, chemistry, and anatomy. Pharmacists, on the other hand, study these topics as part of their education. In addition, pharmacists and doctors share expertise in directing others to complete specialized tasks.

Similarly, when working with patients, doctors rely on their specialized knowledge to direct and advise medical teams. While pharmacists use their pharmaceutical knowledge to train and advise pharmacy technicians when mixing and filling prescriptions.

#2. Contribution to Research

Both doctors and pharmacists have the option of pursuing research in their respective specialties. Through new developments in healthcare and medical science, research typically aids in the improvement of pharmaceutical and medical procedures.

Pharmacists who contribute to research may investigate and test pharmaceutical therapies, new medicines, and novel approaches to public health issues. Physicians’ research can cover a wide range of topics, including evaluation methods, patient care techniques, and strategies for improving public health outcomes.

#3. Patient Care and Counseling

Pharmacists may not interact with patients directly, but they do provide information about drugs, dosages, and side effects as well as help patients select over-the-counter treatments. Doctors also offer advice and treatment for their patients, and many of them are willing to meet with patients for consultation meetings.

Pharmacists and doctors protect patient confidentiality to provide patients with a safe and secure environment to learn about and take care of their health.

What are the Skills Needed as a Doctor?

Doctors are highly skilled medical professionals with a range of specialties. Depending on their area of training, doctors may require different soft and hard skills for their professions. Here are some of the most important skills required to be a doctor

#1. Technical Skill

Technical skills are some of the most foundational skills a doctor will need to succeed. Hence, as doctors continue to specialize in their respective fields, they will need to hone these skills.

A doctor should prioritize technical skills such as; evaluating patients’ symptoms, diagnosing illnesses, giving follow-up care, remaining current with medical research, and interpreting test results, among others.

#2. Communication Skills

Communication is a very vital skill for doctors to have because they spend the bulk of their time interacting with patients and colleagues. Thus, strong communication skills such as active listening, verbal and written communication, and the ability to prefer feedback will assist doctors in understanding and communicating with colleagues and patients, as well as carrying out their duties effectively.

#3. Attention to Details

Medicine is a highly detail-oriented field where seemingly minor details can make or break a proper diagnosis. So, from studying the patient’s history to diagnosing and prescribing medication, doctors must pay close attention to detail throughout all stages of patient therapy. Effective medical professionals are meticulous in their job, making sure to maintain the necessary level of organization to thoroughly investigate the symptoms of their patient’s reports.

#4. Critical Thinking and Problem-Solving Skills

A doctor cannot be separated from the ability to solve problems and think critically. These skills help doctors evaluate symptoms, identify diseases, and create treatment plans for the patients they are responsible for.  

#5. Interpersonal Skills

Interpersonal skills are emotional abilities that assist doctors in establishing rapport with their patients and colleagues. They will also enable doctors to communicate with patients in a friendly, responsible, and empathetic manner. As a result, doctors must employ emotional intelligence to ensure that their patients feel supported and validated while undergoing treatment. 

See also  Apply For Kotzen Scholars Program 2023-2024

#6. Professionalism

To ensure that patients feel safe and secure, doctors must adhere to particular professional standards. Doctors must maintain composure, dignity, and respect at all times throughout the treatment cycle. Because dealing with ill patients might result in their being frequently anxious or upset. Therefore, doctors must be able to uphold necessary skills like a constructive outlook, morality, self-control, and cultural awareness.

What Can I Do to Become a Doctor?

Now that we’ve answered the question of “are pharmacists doctors” you can now decide which professional route you want to choose. Because becoming a doctor is more complicated than becoming a pharmacist, hence, we’ve summarized the steps and requirements to become a doctor.

#1. Participate in Meaningful Extracurricular Activities

A pre-med student who excels in his or her studies but does nothing else is unlikely to be admitted to top medical schools. As a result, experts advise prospective medical students to participate in extracurricular activities. Because they make a candidate appear well-rounded and suggest that he or she is a fascinating individual.

#2. Earn Your Bachelor’s Degree

The next step in becoming a doctor is earning a bachelor’s degree. Medical schools do not often require students to declare a major, but they do have necessary prerequisite courses that must be completed before admission. Therefore, earning a degree in biological science or chemistry as part of your undergraduate degree program can help you achieve these requirements.

#3. Pass the Medical College Admission Test (MCAT) Exam

You can take the Medical College Admission Test during your third year of undergraduate study (MCAT). This exam consists of multiple-choice questions that assess your problem-solving and language skills. Thus, it is aimed at assessing your readiness for medical school, and your result may affect whether you’ll be admitted. However, score requirements differ for each university. 

#4. Enroll in Medical School 

You can use the American Medical College Application Service (AMCAS) to apply for medical school. The typical length of a medical school curriculum is four years from the time you enroll. Also, you can learn about several medical specializations by participating in the curriculum’s two sections: classroom instruction and on-site clinical work with doctors. You may study classes in pathology, anatomy, biochemistry, medicine, chemistry, organic chemistry, statistics, and calculus while in medical school.

#5. Pass the U.S. Medical Licensing Examination (USMLE)

The United States Medical Licensing Exam (USMLE) is the next step in becoming a doctor. This exam assesses your readiness for a career as a doctor, as well as your fundamental knowledge and grasp of medical norms and practices. The USMLE is divided into three stages, with students taking the first two during medical school. The third section occurs after medical school.

#6. Choose Your Specialty and Begin Your Residency Program

Choosing a specialization during your third or fourth year of medical school is critical so that you can prepare to pursue a residency in that field. A residency is a postgraduate training program that allows you to practice as a doctor while being overseen by an experienced physician or specialty. Consequently, residency programs last three to seven years depending on the practice area.

How to Improve Your Skills as a Doctor?

While medical school, internships, clinical rotations, and residencies can teach you many of the skills needed to become a doctor, you can also improve your skills outside of those programs. Here are a few things you can do to improve your skills:

#1. Find a Mentor

The easiest way to excel in any field is by learning under someone already successful in that field. Therefore, if you’re a medical student or a practicing doctor looking to improve your medical skills, finding a mentor is a no-brainer. Your mentor can provide you with advice and support over time, and you can try to emulate the qualities you find most admirable in them.

See also  Top 15 MySQL Online Courses 2023

#2. Improve Your Interpersonal and Communication Abilities 

Interpersonal skills can have a significant impact on how patients feel throughout treatment. Thus, you should always be actively listening, thinking empathetically, speaking sensitively, and working toward conflict resolution when dealing with patients.

#3. Improve Your Education

Most doctors are hesitant to continue their education while in practice after nearly 12 years of professional schooling. Regardless, taking a course, attending a lecture, and staying up to date on new research are all ways to stay current with every development in your industry. So, always seek opportunities that will make you better at your profession.

How Do I Become a Pharmacist?

The following are the basic steps you can take to become a pharmacist.

#1. Obtain a bachelor’s Degree

Because a pharmacist holds a Doctorate of Pharmacy, aspiring pharmacists must first earn a bachelor’s degree. While there is no required undergraduate degree for pharmacy school, students must take specific courses to meet the prerequisites for their advanced studies. You may be required to take the following courses:

  • General and organic chemistry
  • Molecular and cellular biology
  • Human anatomy and physiology
  • Microbiology
  • Statistics
  • Calculus
  • English

#2. Complete Pharmacy Education

After completing a bachelor’s degree, students must then attend and pass pharmacy school. Although some colleges offer accelerated, three-year degrees, these programs are normally four years long. The scientific basis of medicine, patient management techniques and technological aspects of prescription management are all included in these curricula. 

#3. Obtain Licensure

The license conditions are imposed at the state level, and they may differ from one state to another. To get a license, however, most states need that applicant:

  • Obtain a doctorate from a program certified by the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education.
  • Pass three out of the four license tests for pharmacists 

#4. Consider Post-Doctoral Education

While post-doctoral training isn’t always required to become a pharmacist. If you want to work in a specialized field within the pharmaceutical industry, you’ll almost certainly need to complete a one or two-year residency. The same is true if you intend to conduct research.

FAQs About Are Pharmacists Doctors?

No, despite their similarities, pharmacists and doctors are not the same. Doctors are in charge of analyzing and diagnosing patients’ medical conditions, as well as counseling them on the best treatment options. Pharmacists, on the other hand, confirm if the doctor’s prescription is correct and show you how and when to take your medication for effective results.

Although the salary may vary depending on the region and organization in which they work. However, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average annual wage for pharmacists in 2021 was $128,570.

The honorific, or title, of Dr., usually appears before a pharmacist’s name if they have a Doctor of Pharmacy degree (Pharm.D.) from an approved university.While “Dr.” can be used to refer to medical professionals, nevertheless, it can be used to refer to anyone who has earned a doctorate, including those who hold a Ph.D. or Pharm.D.

The education, training, and experience required for a career as a doctor take many years to obtain. A bachelor’s degree typically takes four years to complete, followed by another four years of medical school. Following graduation from medical school, you begin a residency program. Depending on the specialty, it could take anywhere from three to seven years. To become a doctor, one should budget between 10 and 14 years.


If you’re wondering, “Are Pharmacists Doctors?” we hope this post has helped you understand they’re not the same. In summary, pharmacists provide one form of healthcare service, while doctors are the medical professionals in charge of diagnosing and treating patients, as well as writing prescriptions that pharmacists fill for payment.

Editor’s Recommendations




Leave a Comment