Having superb knowledge of pharmacy, pharmaceuticals and biologics, disease states, and applying this knowledge to patient care was a unanimous characteristic among all four survey groups (pharmacists, physicians, nurses, and patients).

When pharmacists use their knowledge in all three domains (dispensing, discovery, and counseling), they are more than likely taking responsibility for the patient. The difference between a “good pharmacist” and other pharmacists is the way they see their role. The “good pharmacist” respects patients and sees her or his role as helping patients make the best use of their medication, while other pharmacists see their role as dispensing medication without much need to interact with patients.

However, when patients speak of the “good pharmacist,” they are not talking about the pharmacist’s knowledge and technical expertise. They are thinking about the virtues of caring and friendliness, the characteristic of good communication, and the habit of being attentive.