October is American Pharmacists Month, and the students at UNC’s Eshelman School of Pharmacy want to spread awareness the ways pharmacists' impact their communities and contribute to health care.
"More than 90 percent of Americans live within five miles of a pharmacist", said Megan Byrne, a second-year doctoral student in pharmacy and president-elect of UNC's chapter of the American Pharmacists Association Academy of Student Pharmacists. "Pharmacists today are arguably the most accessible providers for a lot of patients and are the experts on patients' medication."
When asked about the future of her field, Byrne agreed that the pharmacy profession is changing. "It's a pivotal time for pharmacists across America," Byrne said. "Pharmacists have now taken a more direct role in dealing with patients, rather than just dispensing pills."
According to Byrne, pharmacists in North Carolina especially play a pivotal role in healthcare because of their proximity to patients.
“When you get out to rural North Carolina, that was something that really stood out to me,” she said. “Sometimes a pharmacist is the closest person.”