5 Questions for a Pharmacist

By Katelyn Allen on Friday, September 25, 2020

Rett Peek
Rebecca Rae Smith, pharmacist

Rebecca Rae Smith reveals what it’s like to work in pharmacy.

1. What’s one thing you wish people knew about your field?
“Not all pharmacists count pills behind a counter. I am part of a team providing direct patient care every day.”

2. What are your job responsibilities?
“I am responsible for all patients admitted to the trauma surgery, emergency general surgery and neurocritical care teams. I enter, double-check and verify medication orders for my patients. I am a valued member of several multidisciplinary teams and make numerous interventions on rounds each day. I respond to trauma activations in the emergency department and prepare medications needed.”

3. What was your training like?
“Pharmacy school was fun but also contained some of my most challenging academic years. Fourth year is when the magic happens. Everything you’ve learned over the previous 3 years finally starts to come together and make sense clinically, while taking care of real patients. My first and second rotations as a fourth-year student pharmacist were in intensive care units. I loved every minute of those two months.”

4. What advice do you have for students considering pharmacy?
“Go for it! I love my job and have no regrets. If you work hard and set yourself apart during school and residency, you will find a great, rewarding job. I get to help train future pharmacists, surgeons and nurses, and provide excellent evidence-based patient-centered care.”

5. When did you know this was the career path to take?
“I decided on pharmacy during my junior year of college after shadowing clinical pharmacists in northwest Arkansas.”

Rebecca Rae Smith

What I do…

According to Pharmacy Times, Arkansas has the fifth highest demand for pharmacists in the U.S.

Clinical Pharmacist

Where I work…

The University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS)

Where I trained…

The University of Arkansas in Fayetteville (bachelor's degree in biology), University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (Doctor of Pharmacy degree), PGY1 Pharmacy Residency at Regional One Health in Memphis and PGY2 Critical Care Residency at the University of Kentucky in Lexington

Big Money

According to glassdoor.com, the annual salary of a Walmart pharmacist ranges from $100,012 to $176,666. And the mean wage for all pharmacists in Arkansas is $120,020, according bls.gov.