Pharmacist: Dr. Scott Kislak
High school sophomore Scott Kislak wanted to go into broadcasting. There was one problem: a class project on careers revealed a dearth of career opportunities. What good would a job be if he couldn’t get it? When he looked into pharmacy, Mr. Kislak saw something different his future. Growing up in the Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, suburb of West Mifflin, he decided to go to the University of Pittsburgh (Pitt) – close, but not too close, to home and ranked one of the top 10 U.S. pharmacy schools.
More on Pharmacists
Salary: $67,860 - $119,480
Min. Education: Doctorate
Related Careers: Physician, Dentist
After a two-year pre-pharmacy focus with coursework including biology, chemistry, organic chemistry and various other science courses, he won a spot in Pitt’s School of Pharmacy, where he completed challenging courses such as Pharmacotherapy of Infectious Disease and Pulmonology/Rheumatology as well as the school’s professional experience program.
Also at Pitt, a school affiliated with one of the country’s largest health care systems, University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, Mr. Kislak learned there was more to pharmacy than dispensing pills and making money. He discovered other career options that awaited pharmacy school graduates.
Since graduating with his Doctor of Pharmacy degree, Mr. Kislak has gotten married, bought his dream car (a black Hummer) and moved to Virginia Beach, Virginia, where he works at a community Rite Aid pharmacy.
Where did your interest in pharmacy start?
In 10th grade, we had to do a project about careers. At that time I wanted to go into broadcasting but found that there were hardly any jobs available in that field, so I started looking into pharmacy.
What jobs have you had in your career?
I have worked as a pharmacist for Shop ‘n’ Save Pharmacy in Pittsburgh, Rite Aid Pharmacy in Virginia and Pittsburgh, and a small independent pharmacy.
What do you enjoy most about your current position?
The best thing about a career in pharmacy is the excellent pay and stability. There is a huge demand for pharmacists, so jobs are plentiful and pay is high. There is also the day-to-day satisfaction of knowing that you went out of your way to help a patient with their health care needs.