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Pharmacist, the panacea
Pharmacist, the panacea

Published on June 4, 2012 | Category Chronic

Jean-Rémi Valiquette, 3rd year Pharm.D.student at the Université de Montréal, submits an opinion letter about his future occupation as a pharmacist. What about you? Do you know the answer to the question: who are you?

From birth, we undertake that eternal quest to understand our actions and what really motivates them; our self-identity. The last few years spent with mentors and colleagues changed me and brought me to think about my own self. I’m looking into defining myself through my past in order to design my future. I cannot say that I’m neither a philosopher nor a soul-searcher. Who am I? I am a pharmacist.

A quick search on the Internet will give us the following definition for a pharmacist: a qualified professional who is licensed to prepare and sell drugs. But is it really me? Is it the goal I want to achieve as a future professional? I consider this vision to be slightly limited; in fact it hasn’t evolved to reflect reality. Times when grocers and apothecaries were pioneers in the business are gradually changing to enable thousands of women and men to take action for the better. I cannot let someone else but I decide what I will become. Why? Because I am a pharmacist.

I will provide pharmaceutical cares. My thirst for knowledge in the drugs field will not be quenched only by the notions I learned in class; it will expand further than the mandatory ongoing training and turn into what pharmaceutical representatives will chose to teach me. And it will definitely not be the critical point of my knowledge. My thirst will in fact remain insatiable. That need for knowledge is infinite and it will keep me on the lookout at all times for new medical techniques designed to help me improve my patients’ health. Who am I? I am a pharmacist.

My practice will follow a moral code, I will abide ethics. I will solve conflicts in a professional way by keeping control over my emotions. Under no circumstances will I put my interests before the ones of the person I’m treating and monetary assets will never be the ultimate purpose in my occupation. Pharmacy is a way to transcend myself. The background I acquired at such a high price will be shared among the healthcare professionals I’ll be working with and my expertise will be rewarded accordingly. Pharmacy is a universe in constant evolution and I will do my best to remain instrumental to the company. I will outsmart any computer that would make an attempt to replace me, the complexity of the intellectual task I’m performing cannot be reproduced whatsoever.

I will make a name for myself within hospitals and communities. I consider my role to be as important as my coworkers’ from other professions. By doing this, I will be respected and I will become instrumental to my job. I am convinced of the positive impact I convey among all the people I work with, therefore I commit myself as much as I can in every meaningful project that I undertake. Why? Because I’m a pharmacist.


I will express my pride at all times, not only when on my shift. I know that my occupation is not just a mere job; it is a way of life. I want to share my passion with everyone. My family and my friends know me and they support me in every step of my life. I shut down detractors who pretend that we are nothing but ‘’pill counters’’. I have a nice range of scientific skills worth a great deal and I can actually use them at their best to serve the community. Who am I? I am a pharmacist.

The motivation pushing us towards our need for fulfillment must be driven by ourselves; it has to come from our guts. In order to do so, one must obtain satisfaction by constantly renewing the pleasure taken when providing pharmaceutical cares, and then everything becomes simple. The easiest job to perform is the one that doesn’t seem to be a job at all. This is when one is ready to reach the next step. When I proudly wear my lab coat, I enjoy myself and I live without restraint. Altruistic actions undertaken are self-sufficient; I did not go on a quest for a reward. At the moment, I only bear one title. I am more than a pharmacist, I am a health professional.

Now you know who I am. I am also a patient and I’d like to remember it each time I perform an act. I do not pretend that the ideal I described is the same for everyone. Some will be tempted to say that this vision is depicted by an idealistic student whose dreams are too big and maybe after a few years my passion will wither. I do not look forward to that moment; I don’t want to become bored of that wonderful profession. That’s why I’d rather have an ambitious goal that forces me to improve myself. I hope that when you read those lines you’ll be able to look inside yourself to find out your own identity, motivations and aspirations. Before helping someone else, one has to take care of himself. I am now returning the question to you; who are you?


I will be the one that I wish to be.


Jean-Rémi Valiquette

Étudiant 3e année, Pharm.D.

Université de Montréal



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