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After earning his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the University of Arkansas, Nicholas Tinsley, 29, found himself at a crossroads and knew it was time to make a decision about his future. After talking with a friend at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, he realized that his love of medicine and people made pharmacy school the right choice. After graduating from the UAMS College of Pharmacy in May 2010, Nicholas began his first year as a pharmacist resident in June.

What are your daily responsibilities during your residency? The specific daily duties will depend on what practice site I’m at, but in general I look at a patient’s medical regime and figure out what would be the best outcome for the patient. I also look at the best options as far as price for the medicine and any possible side effects that could occur.

What advice do you have for people who might want to go into your field? Make sure to keep your options open. I know a lot of people that think they don’t like or want to be involved in clinical pharmacy, but they don’t really take the time to see what it is really like. You should also make good contacts at your university and take every opportunity to learn as much as you can.

What is the best part of your job? The best part of my job would definitely have to be the people. I love how you get to see how you are making an impact. Through health screenings and your work with the patients, you can sometimes instantly see what their outcome will be.

WHAT’S THE PAY: First-year pharmacy residents will usually receive a stipend of around $40,000 with full benefits and paid vacation time. The stipend or salary amount will vary with location and what area of the health care industry you chose to work in.

TRY MAJORING IN: Biology, chemistry, biochemistry or pre-pharmacy.

WHY IT’S HOT: An increase in the elderly population, the number of new medicines in the market and the number of prescriptions filled each year make jobs in the pharmacy field in high demand.