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Benefits of Becoming a Per Diem Pharmacist

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Since I began writing on this blog, I’ve found much more to talk about with my local pharmacist. We discuss a variety of pharmacy topics when I go in to refill prescriptions several times a month. Before, it was the usual “how are you doing” kind of conversation, and now I use him as a source of inspiration and information. Recently, I was telling him about some of the blog posts I’d been writing and mentioned temporary nursing positions. I asked him if he knew about them, and he did. Then we started discussing about how the same type of arrangement is also available for pharmacists. He said it had never interested him much, because he likes where he lives, but that he’d known several people who enjoyed the variety. He had similar things to say about becoming a per diem pharmacist, and mentioned that their pharmacy employed them from time to time when someone was sick or was scheduled for vacation.


Oddly, I had never noticed if someone different was busily filling my prescriptions, but then again, I hadn’t really started having conversations with my pharmacist every visit until recently. I usually deal with the pharmacy technician or cashier unless I have a specific question about the medications. I must admit I was intrigued. I asked if he could tell me why people were interested in becoming a per diem pharmacist. Some of the answers reminded me of what nurses I know have to say and others seemed more specific to the world of pharmaceuticals.


Most people don’t associate travel as a benefit inherent in the pharmacy profession, and typically it isn’t. However, as a per diem pharmacist one is able to visit any area of the country. It’s a great way to visit a wide range of places with very little cost to oneself.


Many of the per diem pharmacists that have visited my local pharmacy have apparently retired from other full time positions. They are able to keep active without having to work any times that are inconvenient for them.


Some of the younger pharmacists that have visited my pharmacy cited boredom as their primary reason for leaving a permanent position. The very specific nature of the job makes it mentally exhausting and, at times, tedious. Routinely being in a different environment helped ease that boredom and allowed them to experience pharmacies in areas such as clinics, hospitals, and a variety of other settings.

Regional Differences

While I certainly never realized this, apparently different regions of the countries tend to prefer different medications. Not something I’m overly interested in, but it’s apparently pretty interesting stuff for a pharmacist. The antibiotics, pain relievers, anxiety medications, and a host of other medications often show specific regional favorites. These trends can be quite interesting to watch.

After talking to my pharmacist, I realized flexibility and freedom can be a powerful draw as well as observing the subtle differences from one type of pharmacy to another and even from one region to another.  Which of these, or other, reasons sound appealing to you?

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