For decades I have referred pharmacists as sheep. Those that I expressed my thoughts I received some disparaging comments in return. But in the end, they all would agree with me. Why do I say this?
It was my early days as a pharmacist working for drug store chain that it dawned on me. What other profession do you work a twelve hour day with no lunch break or a break of any kind? Where else do you have non-medically educated individuals dictate your health decisions? What other health care professional needs to know what time the city bus pulls up in front of the pharmacy, change watch batteries, and teach photography?
I am motivated to write this blog after reading Michael J. Schuh’s article of The Rodney Dangerfields of Healthcare in Drug Topics. Michael poses some great points when he “is astounded that:
- After five or six years of clinical training
- With a background in advanced mathematics, chemistry, biology, physics, therapeutics, pharmacology, and pharmacokinetics
- With maybe more years of education and additional college degrees in other fields
- And with maybe one to two years of residency —
— Some pharmacists think that they need still more training.
Or think that they are not qualified to make simple clinical assessments.
Or think they add nothing to healthcare of sufficient worth to justify charging for their clinical expertise, as any other healthcare professional does.
Or think that they do not provide even as much value as almost anyone else who provides professional services, such as the local barber, plumber, cosmetician, mechanic, or personal trainer.
Help me out here. Can anyone explain these things to me?”
I understand Dr. Schuh’s point completely and wholeheartedly agree. I do not understand the psychology but for some reason, most pharmacists lose their self-esteem, their self-worth, and ultimately their standing amongst their leadership and fellow healthcare team members. It is high time that pharmacists quit bleating like sheep and start to roar like a lion.