Marla Ahlgrimm R.Ph.

Marla Ahlgrimm | Retired Pharmacist | Leading Expert in Women's Health

Marla Ahlgrimm | Pharmacist a Career Path Worth Walking

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Marla AhlgrimmMarla Ahlgrimm spent the better part of four decades in the world of medicine. The retired pharmacist says she wouldn’t trade a moment of her long career. Here, Ahlgrimm shares information for young women interested in a career behind the pharmacy counter.

Q: What does a pharmacist do?

Marla Ahlgrimm: A pharmacist is an expert in drug dosage, chemical reactions, and regulation. He or she fills prescriptions given to patients by their primary or special healthcare provider. A pharmacist will consult with individual patients to determine any potential reactions between current medications and their new prescription and may work with their doctor to change their prescriptions based on what they find.

Q: What type of education is required to become a pharmacist?

Marla Ahlgrimm: In order to become a pharmacist, you must have a graduate degree. There are two different paths you can take to fulfill your educational requirements. The first is to complete a separate undergraduate and graduate program. Alternatively, you can complete a combined six or seven year program, which will award you a bachelors and a doctorate of pharmacy.

Q: Is licensure required?

Marla Ahlgrimm: Absolutely. Once you graduate from an accredited pharmacy program, you will be required to complete three separate licensing examinations. These are extensive and require dedication and exhaustive study.

Q: Are there opportunities for pharmacist in medical research?

Marla Ahlgrimm: Yes. Pharmacists are an important part of the medical community and often work solely on medical research, helping other researchers create medicines to treat everything from cancer to seizures and everything in between. When you go into a specialized field, such as research, you may be required to complete a two-year residency program. Regardless, you will also be required to complete continuing education of approximately 15 to 30 hours every two years, or as required by your state of residence.


Author: Marla Ahlgrimm

Pharmacist Marla Ahlgrimm revolutionized the field of women’s health in the 1970s and continues to do so today. After introducing the term “premenstrual syndrome” to the American public in the late 1970s, Marla Ahlgrimm has continued to focus her pharmacy practice over the years to successfully address hormone concerns that affect women as they age. After graduating from the University of Wisconsin in Madison, Marla Ahlgrimm co-founded Madison Pharmacy Associates, and it was there she fine tuned individualized care protocols and prescription medication to optimize a woman’s hormonal health. One of the first hormone issues that Marla tackled was Premenstrual Syndrome, or PMS. At that time, there were no diagnosis or treatment options to address the severe symptoms that many women were reporting. As a result of Marla Ahlgrimm ’s intense attention to women’s health, Madison Pharmacy Associates gained a national reputation as an innovative practice. Founded in 1982, Madison Pharmacy Associates was the first pharmacy to special in women’s health in the nation. Thanks to the expertise of Marla Ahlgrimm, Madison Pharmacy Associates became known for the management of PMS. Over the years, Madison Pharmacy Associates evolved with Marla Ahlgrimm’s careful guidance, providing the national PMS Access newsletter, as well as a toll-free line where patients could obtain referrals to physicians who had the expertise to help them manage their symptoms. Marla Ahlgrimm founded Women’s Health America, Inc. in 1993 to help women by providing individualized hormonal medications to address the complex health issues of women and also to provide practical, helpful women’s health information. Over the years, Marla Ahlgrimm’s vision has grown to include Women’s Health America, Madison Pharmacy Associates, PMS Access and Cyclin Pharmaceuticals. In addition to her accomplishments with these landmark organizations, Marla Ahlgrimm is an author, having published two watershed books, The HRT Solution and Self-Help for Premenstrual Syndrome. Marla Ahlgrimm has also been published in numerous national publications, including serving as a columnist for The American Journal of Natural Medicine. Today, the primary work of Marla Ahlgrimm centers on natural hormone therapy, an important area for the large number of women who are menopausal and postmenopausal. Marla Ahlgrimm ’s work is unique because of her focus on individualized, natural hormone therapy options. According to pharmacist, Marla Ahlgrimm, many health issues facing women today are related to hormone changes. Using an individualized approach to therapy, she reports that many women feel reenergized for the first time in years. In addition to recognition in publications and journals, Marla Ahlgrimm has been recognized with a number awards over the span of her career. Some of Marla Ahlgrimm ’s most notable awards have been the YWCA’s acknowledgment of Marla Ahlgrimm as one of its Women of Distinction and recognition by her alma mater, the University of Wisconsin, as one of its Distinguished Alumni. Above all of the awards and honors, Marla Ahlgrimm finds that helping so many women is the greatest accomplishment of all. In fact, says Marla Ahlgrimm, she still works with some of her very first patients and their doctors. These women once sought the help of Marla Ahlgrimm for PMS, she says, and today she is helping them manage symptoms of menopause and the years that follow.

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