As a clinical pharmacist at the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs (VA), James Papadatos is in steady contact with colleagues from across the healthcare system. Papadatos and his team regularly consult primary care physicians and specialists on the best medications to prescribe Veterans and how to avoid dangerous side effects.
“We get to work with very talented people at the highest level of our profession and work with different disciplinary teams: doctors, nurses, physician assistants and nurse practitioners as well,” Papadatos said in a video.
Choose to serve on a dynamic team
The collaboration and dynamism inherent in VA’s team care approach make Papadatos’s work as a pharmacist different every day, and it’s why he chose a pharmacy career at VA.
Papadatos is among the more than 8,000 pharmacists employed at VA, which operates the nation’s largest program for advanced clinical pharmacy training, with a variety of practice settings throughout VA. (Learn more at VA’s Pharmacy Benefits Management Services.)
VA pharmacists like Papadatos serve on every Veteran’s Patient Aligned Care Team (PACT) alongside a primary care physician, nurse practitioner, nurse case manager, medical support staff and administrative support staff. He uses his pharmaceutical expertise to help design the best overall healthcare plan for Veterans under his care.
This pharmacist-primary care consultation is critical because Veterans may have multiple health conditions that can require many different medications administered at several times throughout the day. The PACT team monitors new prescriptions issued to Veterans in the course of care (e.g., during an emergency room visit or hospitalization) to make sure medicines are tracked and interact well together.
The collaborative relationship works both ways. Papadatos often asks his PACT colleagues — such as primary care physician Dr. Sarah Candler — for advice on the best therapies for particular patients.
“What’s special about Dr. Candler is that she’s so approachable,” he said. “Any time I have a question or any issue with patient care, she has an open-door policy.”
Choose VA today
Papadatos chose VA for his pharmacy career because of the collaborative and cutting-edge environment.
See if a VA career in pharmacy is the right choice for you too.