alexa Society of Air Force Pharmacists

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Society of Air Force Pharmacists

Pharmacy evolution within the Air Force occurred at generally the same pace as the profession itself. Although the relative pace of change was the same military pharmacy arguably lagged a number of years behind. Early in the AF history, the vast majority of pharmacists served in other roles such as Medical Supply, Medical Administration and Laboratory officers.  As late as 1957, only 25 of the 232 pharmacists in the AF actually worked as a pharmacist. The shift in roles from these other duties to roles specifically for pharmacists occurred when the Biomedical Science Corps reorganized with a Corps Chief and specialty specific Associate Corps Chiefs. The Pharmacy Profession has evolved throughout our history, along with the practice of medicine. As noted above, the move to expand services and provided state-of-the-art inpatient services drove a number of changes in the late 1970s and early 1980s. In August 1980, Gossman and Love highlighted these services in an article published in Military Medicine.  Also, in the 1970s the Air Force sponsored our first post-BS trained Doctor of Pharmacy candidates.  These AF pioneers laid the groundwork for the clinical services pharmacists provide: from the outpatient clinic to the ICU. These services are critical to improved patient outcomes while maintaining current staffing levels. AF Pharmacy continued with significant transition and growth through the 1980s and 1990s with increasing roles in readiness and deployment, to adaptation of rapidly growing technology. Significant among these were the deployment of pharmacists and pharmacy technicians during the first Gulf War. These early deployments were vital for the inclusion of pharmacists and pharmacy technicians in the restructuring of the EMEDS +10 and EMEDS +25 in 2004. Additionally, early adaptors for workflow changes studied the benefits and challenges of satellite operations within the Tactical Air Command (now Air Combat Command) verses the larger pharmacies. As a result, what we see today is splitting of work into two or more sub-pharmacies within the main pharmacy and a mixture of operations at our larger facilities where actual patient flow and parking limitations is factored into the planning process. 

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