Pharmacists dispense drugs prescribed by physicians and other health practitioners and provide information to patients about medications and their use. They advise physicians and other health practitioners on the selection, dosages, interactions, and side effects of medications. Pharmacists must understand the use; clinical effects; and composition of drugs, including their chemical, biological, and physical properties. Compounding--the actual mixing of ingredients to form powders, tablets, capsules, ointments, and solutions--is only a small part of a
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To obtain a license, one must serve an internship under a licensed pharmacist, graduate from an accredited college of pharmacy, and pass a State examination. All States, except California and Florida, currently grant a license without extensive re-examination to qualified pharmacists already licensed by another State; one should check with State boards of pharmacy for details. Many pharmacists are licensed to practice in more than one State. States may require continuing education for license renewal.