Magazine article Drug Topics

A Profession for the 'Reliable Man'

Magazine article Drug Topics

A Profession for the 'Reliable Man'

Article excerpt

150 Years of American Pharmacy

Is pharmacy a good business to recommend to young men and women looking for a career? It is a question that pharmacists have been asking themselves for more than 100 years, and it is just as likely to generate a debate today as it did 100 years ago. In 1907, Druggists' Circular, the predecessor of Drug Topics, held its own mini-debate on the question, reprinting articles from major daily newspapers that offered two very stark views of the nature of the retail pharmacy profession a century ago.

R. L. Vandenburg, writing for the now-defunct Chicago Record Hernia, pulled no punches in describing the "dark side of the drug business." From Vandenburg's perspective, there was little reason to recommend pharmacy. "Inadequate pay and long hours are sufficient to keep young men out of the drug business and are driving the brightest drug clerks into the practice of medicine and other professional trades," he warned. The young career seeker, he insisted, needed more than retail pharmacy could offer. "Every man needs more rest and recreation than the proper application of the drug business as presently conducted permits."

H. V. Arny, writing for the Cleveland Plain Dealer, had a decidedly rosier view of the profession, labeling the profession a "safe calling for young men. …

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