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Honoring National Pharmacists Day with new insights from Head Pharmacist Ali Nouri Khorasani, PharmD, BCMTMS.
Posted: 01/11/2024
Updated: 03/02/2024
By: SuperCare Health
Est Read Time: 7 min

In recognition of National Pharmacists Day on January 12, 2024, we sat down with SuperCare Health’s Director of Clinical Services and Head Pharmacist of more than six years, Ali Khorasani, PharmD, BCMTMS. He shared how pharmacists are shaping the healthcare experience now more than ever and explained the importance of forming trusting relationships with patients. Check out our conversation here.

Q: Why do you love interacting with patients?

  A: There is a unique relationship that forms when a patient walks into a pharmacy, whether it’s their first visit or their hundredth. Whether it’s for a regular flu shot or refills on a lifesaving medication. It’s all about building trust with patients and letting them know they can count on me and my staff to deliver what they need to stay healthy. When we build trust, patients know our advisement is valuable and are more likely to follow their care plans. Earning the trust of my patients is the greatest reward I could ask for. It’s why I’m so dedicated to my work.

 Q: Can you share a special moment in your career where you made a difference in a patient’s life?

A: When I worked in New York, a regular patient came in with a prescription as they often did. But this time, there would have been a dangerous drug interaction if taken as prescribed. I coordinated with their physician to update the prescription and helped the patient with a care plan that was safe and easy to follow.  The patient ended up being a popular celebrity, and I served them for years until my last day working in New York. When they found out I was relocating, they brought me a very heartfelt gift. I still think about how special it was to help that patient. 

Q: Many people only see pharmacists as the face behind a retail counter. What do you want patients to know about the work you do every day?

A: At our core, the most important part of a pharmacist’s role is ensuring medication is dispensed safely. It’s not just about reading what a doctor writes and following that direction, though that’s part of it. So much goes on behind the scenes to verify drug interactions, allergies, sensitivities, and even a patient’s ability to take their medications as directed. We look into all aspects of the patient’s history and current condition to make sure nothing was missed in the ER, hospital, or busy clinic. Whatever a physician has ordered, the pharmacist must complete that cycle and clearly communicate the next steps to patients.   

Q: What has changed the most in your field since you began your career nearly two decades ago?

A: I think the greatest changes have affected how pharmacists do business and serve patients. We’re no longer a field of medicine based mainly on brick-and-mortar retail shops. There are now more specialized practices within the field. Pharmacists are now required to receive and maintain degrees and licenses on par with MDs. Changes like these are centered around integrating pharmacists into the healthcare experience and asking them to play an active role in their patients’ care. This enables us to take on many of the responsibilities that come with managing care plans, which widens the scope of our practice and allows us to do so much more to help our community. Pharmacists are now able to be boots on the ground in hospitals, clinics, and schools, increasing access to care where patients need our support the most. All of these positive changes have a direct influence on improving patient outcomes.

Q: How has the advancement of medical technology affected your everyday practice?  

A: One of my biggest passions is figuring out how I can make it easier for my patients to access their medications and healthcare plans. Technology has really expanded that access in ways we never anticipated 20-30 years ago. Rather than the conventional way of picking up the phone, waiting on hold for ages, and figuring it out, we can now help people much more efficiently with well-managed online systems. It reduces errors, minimizes wait times, and provides more accessible information to patients. In short, patients can get everything they need faster. And that makes everyone happy.

Q: Why did you choose a career in pharmacy?

A: Coming from a family of physicians and dentists, we all shared a passion for helping people get the care they need. I especially wanted a career where I could practice medicine while supporting the growth of a business and providing access to care in different communities. I wanted the chance to interact with people, make a difference close to home, and help as many people as possible. Pharmacists are usually one of the first providers a patient talks to when beginning treatment for a condition, and we’re often the most accessible person on their care team. A patient can walk into any pharmacy, and a lot of times, the first face they really feel like they can trust is the pharmacist. That’s exactly where I wanted to take my work.

Q: Who helped guide your studies and early career?

A: From the time I began pharmacy school, every instructor and preceptor had such an impact on me. On each rotation, I had a new person come into my life and teach me something valuable. It was so interesting to observe the varying ways that different people would deliver care and run their businesses. I was a willing learner and wanted to soak up every ounce of advice I was given, so I savored opportunities to learn from everyone everywhere I went. Now that I’m more seasoned in my career, I completely understand the choices everyone made and why they taught me what they did.   

Q: What advice do you have for pharmacy students today considering pharmacy as their specialty?

  A: Many people only understand pharmacy as a typical retail store in their community. But there’s so much more to this field. I want students to understand that within pharmacy, there are many different options for what our day-to-day can look like. You might work in a hospital, a clinic, an office, or behind a desk. Being a pharmacist can go way beyond dispensing medications and counseling patients at the counter. We have the potential to impact all aspects of our patients’ lives. We get to be the first trusted face to many patients who need help taking their next steps towards healing. We get to help coordinate care so patients receive the comprehensive support they need. Pharmacists are often on the frontlines of improving medication management and driving better patient outcomes. It truly is the flexible and fulfilling career most people want when they go into medicine. 

Thank you for joining SuperCare Health in celebration of National Pharmacists Day. We hope you enjoyed this behind-the-scenes look at one of the most dynamic specialties in the field of medicine. To become a patient of our online pharmacy, sign up today by clicking here. You can also submit a script for new medications and quick refills here. To get in touch with our pharmacists, click here.  

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