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Is a Pharmacist a Doctor?

Is a Pharmacist a Doctor?

To answer this simply, yes and no. Pharmacists are required by law to hold a doctoral degree in the field of pharmacy. This means they are not the same thing as what you would normally think of when you think of the word 'doctor'. They have many differences legally and professionally.

So the answer is, technically, yes. But they are not the same type of doctor as what I’m assuming you’re googling this question for. But don’t worry, we’ll be covering everything you need to know about the differences between pharmacists and doctors in this blog post. You won’t need to head to Reddit and ask if pharmacists are doctors.

When did Pharmacists become Doctors?

As of January 1st, 2003 all pharmacy students were required to earn a Pharm. D. degree and that still stands today. Before 2003, pharmacists upon graduation owned the title of “Registered Pharmacists or RPh” after their name. So now you know when pharmacists started requiring a phd. Which is a long and arduous journey to obtain.

What is the proper title for a pharmacist?

A degree which is a doctorate in pharmacy would make them Doctors of Pharmacy. They may become professors and their proper title would be Dr. The current pharmacy degree in the U.S. is a Pharm. D. or Pharmacy Doctor degree (a 6 year degree), these individuals call themselves and each other doctor.

How to address a pharmacist?

This ties closely with the proper title for a pharmacist.

Doctor of Pharmacy, Pharmacist

Envelope or address block on an email:

(Full Name), (Academic Title)


An Example:

Sean Rush, PharmD

HealthcareConsultant Pharmacy

4321 Example Rd

Farmington, MI 11111

Depending on the degree, if they were working prior to 2003 as mentioned above, you may refer to them as:

Dear Mr/Ms. (Surname)


Dear Dr. (Surname)

Are Pharmacists Doctors in Canada?

In some cases, yes. Here is what you need to become a licensed pharmacist in Canada:

  1. A bachelor’s degree or doctor of pharmacy degree from one of 10 Canadian universities
  2. To complete a national board examination through the Pharmacy Examining Board of Canada (PEBC) (except Quebec)
  3. Practical experience through an apprenticeship or internship program
  4. Fluency in English or French or both

The profession of pharmacy is regulated on a provincial and territorial level. The regulatory authorities are directly responsible for granting pharmacist licenses, assessing the competency of pharmacists and ensuring public safety. For more specific information regarding pharmacists per province, please click here to visit the National Association of Pharmacy Regulatory Authorities (NAPRA). Make sure you follow these laws.

Pharmacists vs. Doctors Knowledge Comparison

Doctors have a medical degree and a medical license. They are also required to fulfill the requirements of residency for their license. They examine patients, diagnose them with medical conditions, and determine their plan for treatment. This may or may not involve prescribing medication.


Pharmacists, on the other hand, have a doctoral degree in pharmacy and a pharmacist license. They may also have to complete a residency. On occasion, pharmacists may perform basic medical procedures, such as giving patients fly shots, they can’t prescribe medication or perform complex medical procedures of any kind. A pharmacists’ primary duty is to ensure patients have the correct medicine and know how to use it.

What do Pharmacists study?

Students who have completed college or at least two years of undergraduate study can apply to a PharmD program. PharmD programs expect you to have completed certain classes, including biology, general and organic chemistry, physics, math, statistics, English, history, and economics. The Pharmacy College Application Service (PharmCAS) maintains a list of PharmD schools and their required classes.

Many PharmD programs require applicants to take the PCAT, a pharmacy school entrance exam. PharmD programs also consider college GPAs when deciding whether to admit applicants. Admissions requirements vary considerably among schools and colleges of pharmacy. Most programs require applicants to use PharmCAS, an online application accepted by most PharmD programs.

You’ll then need to be licensed. All states require pharmacists to be licensed. Licenses are typically transferable from state-to-state.

The Salary for a Doctor of Pharmacy


According to PayScale, a Doctor of Pharmacy (PharmD) Degree will pay you an average of $121,539 annually.

Being a Pharmacist will bring you in $116,000 annually.

A Clinical Pharmacist will bring in $118,000 annually.

A Pharmacy Manager makes around $135,000 annually.

Pharmacy Director makes around $145,000 annually.

Clinical Pharmacy Specialist’s make around $121,000 annually.

Staff Pharmacists make around $114,000 on an annual basis.

Pharmacists in Charge bring in around $125,000 annually.

So as you see, your salary can fluctuate depending on what specific pharmacist role you end up taking. Now you know what pharmacists make.

Are Pharmacists rich?

According to WorldData, the United States average income is $65,850 per year. Meaning, if a pharmacist makes $121,539 on average annually, they bring in almost double.

To conclude, becoming a pharmacist is an incredibly wise career choice. You have a good balance of worklife and professional life and the income you bring in will be plenty for the United States. Remember what you learned today about if pharmacists are doctors or not. It’ll be a good tid bit to share with your friends at your next gathering. If you work in the healthcare field, don’t forget to check out our niche healthcare job board, Healthcare Consultant.