Here's a Fun Way to Find Out What Pharmacists Really Do

Contributing Editor
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Did you know that pharmacists can help you sort out potential drug-drug interactions? And that, when pharmacists are able to provide clinical services, more people are likely to get chronic conditions like high blood pressure and diabetes under control?

Want to see a cartoon illustrating all that?

For those who may suspect that pharmacists do little more with their days than count pills, WhatPharmacistsDo.org provides a wake-up call that's colorful, dynamic and evidence-based.

The site's single page is an infographic featuring cartoons and reader-friendly blurbs that explain pharmacists' vital role in keeping communities healthy, reducing hospital trips and saving taxpayer dollars. But don't think that just because WhatPharmacistsDo.org takes a comical approach to sharing information its creator doesn't mean business. Designed by Henry Liang, a pharmacy student at the University of British Columbia, the site can serve as a tool for advocacy as well as community education.

"A lot of pharmacists cannot really articulate an answer to the question, 'What do pharmacists even do?'" said Liang in a recent email, "but they know internally through daily experience that without pharmacists the health care system would be an absolute nightmare and emergency rooms would be flooded." Results of large research studies support this claim -- and are the inspiration for the vibrant visual elements on WhatPharmacistsDo.org.

Once you're done viewing the site (take your time scrolling, so you can see the dynamic illustrations in action), you'll be well aware of the many ways that a pharmacist can help tailor care and treatment just for you in place of a doctor's office visit -- or a consult with the notoriously unreliable "Doctor Internet."

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"Pharmacy as a profession and an industry is facing a lot of hostility in the current climate," concludes Liang, "so we need to have a strong voice." And a few fun, friendly graphics can't hurt, either.