Pharmacists provide a much-needed service in the healthcare industry. They are responsible for the storage, distribution and mixing of medications. They also play an important role in patient education. To celebrate National Pharmacy Week, we caught up with our pharmacist, Mark Carlson. In this interview, we discussed his career at Tri-County Health Care.
Q: Why did you become a pharmacist?
A: I wanted to become a pharmacist after working in a pharmacy as a technician. I saw the diverse career paths in the profession with many options ranging from retail to research.
I liked where the pharmacy profession was heading from a patient experience perspective. It is very rewarding to educate patients on medications and the nuances of how the medication works for their condition. I find drug-to-drug interactions, adherence and medication safety to be fascinating.
Q: What was your education like?
A: I went to Augsburg College for my Bachelors of Arts in Biology and then obtained my Doctorate of Pharmacy at the University of Minnesota. I was in the second class coming out of the Duluth campus. This program focused on pharmacy in rural Minnesota.
Q: What is your favorite part of the job?
A: I enjoy the variety. My day involves the clinical side of pharmacy, like knowing medication information and helping develop treatment options. Additionally, there is a lot of administrative work as well. I am very blessed to have a tremendous pharmacy team. They are very skilled and often go above and beyond.
Q: How has COVID-19 affected your work?
A: I have been able to integrate with other departments more during the pandemic. It has been a great experience to work with so many talented individuals. The vaccine and monoclonal team have done an excellent job. The pandemic has added to the daily challenge. but our collective effort is really making a difference.
Q: What is it like being a pharmacist at Tri-County Health Care?
A: Being a pharmacist at TCHC has been an excellent opportunity to expand my knowledge and skills. Everyone over the past five years has been great to work with. I was allowed to learn and develop on the job. Before coming here, I didn’t have as much hospital pharmacy experience. Tri-County Health Care places a high value on professional growth.
Q: What career achievement are you most proud of?
A: Being a part of the COVID-19 pandemic response team. Our mission is to help improve the health of the communities we serve and I firmly believe we are doing that, even during these challenging circumstances.