Geriatric Pharmacist

Job Description

Geriatric pharmacists handle dispensing medicines to older patients and counseling these people on their use.

Due to chronic health problems, older people often take multiple medicines simultaneously, for arthritis, diabetes, Alzheimer's, pain, and other ailments caused by age, raising the hazard of drug interaction.

Geriatric pharmacists need to exercise professionalism and detailed knowledge to avoid these interactions, since medication errors cause up to 100,000 unnecessary deaths every year in the U.S..




Geriatric pharmacists fill prescriptions by physicians, labeling and dispensing medicines. Also called consultant pharmacists, these specialists provide their older patients with detailed information on when to take medicines, blood sugar and blood pressure testing, recommendations for generic medicines, and information on possible side effects, among other tasks.

A geriatric pharmacist also changes dosages or suggests alternate medicines when side effects occur.

They answer the questions older patients have about their medicines, and examine the full range of prescribed and over-the-counter medications these people are taking to avoid adverse reactions – one of their most important jobs.

They also investigate claims of side effects and advise patients to keep taking their medicine if the problem is unlikely to come from the drug (such as sleepiness or insomnia).





Must effectively communicate with your co-workers to ensure the best care and the proper procedures. Must be able to communicate in high-stress environments.

Active Listening

Offering your full attention to an individual person or group in order to fully understand problems and their nature.

Critical Thinking

Must use logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.

Judgment and Decision Making

Needs to be able to act autonomously and make difficult decisions that would benefit the patient or make corrections. Must consider all benefits and repercussions of potential actions and choose the appropriate one. 

Complex Problem Solving

Must be able to identify complex problems and develop and evaluate corrective options and implement solutions. 

Stress Management

Must be able to endure intense situations and handle pressure that comes with extreme situations you may encounter.


Must be trustworthy because you have people's lives in your hands and what you do could help or hurt them. They are entrusted with a great responsibility and must live up to it. 


Gauging how people react and read their body language to decipher their feelings and predict their actions. They must be able to determine if people could be a risk to themselves or others and to distinguish truths from lies.


Working Conditions


Geriatric pharmacists work in various health care facilities, ranging from hospitals to assisted living centers and long-term care locations.

Some even work at housing communities with a high percentage of elderly residents. Depending on where they work, these pharmacists typically have a regular work schedule, but may be called on sometimes to work on weekends, holidays, or after hours like other medical personnel.

Other geriatric pharmacists find employment in a pharmacy setting, either inside a larger medical facility or in a separate retail pharmacy location.

Consulting with patients, reading medical charts, and discussing cases with doctors remain among their duties regardless of the exact location they work at.



Salary Outlook