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Why I No Longer Read Pulse on LinkedIn

April 23rd, 2014

Sorry, dudes and LinkedIn, but I’m no longer your Pulse app and feed anymore.  Why?

Simple.  It’s all guys.

When I look for good reading materials, I look for diversity.  Diversity of thought and people is a good thing.  But, the last couple of times when I checked in at Pulse to read what was going on, it’s nothing but all men giving their opinions.

(Hint: that’s not diverse.)

So, dear LinkedIn and Pulse – if you want me to come back, you’re going to need to get more girl power writing in your app.  I might be available – but I hope so are many other talented women.  Have you asked them to write for you?

Until then, I’m respectfully out.

PSA: 3 Tips for Citing and Writing Good Presentations

April 18th, 2014

I’ve been strongly reminded of this the past week or so as I start to grade semester-end proposals, plans, presentations, Prezis and Powerpoints.  I thought I’d pass it along to the masses, and if for no other reason, for a gentle reminder to myself then next time I pull together a presentation:

1. When you’re doing a presentation or talk, get good, solid references for your bibliography.  While you don’t have to end up using all of them, at least it shows you did your homework.  And yes, while I usually hate the adage of “more is better,” because that isn’t always the case, I think here, more references really are better, because it shows you’ve done your homework.

2. When you are citing references in a slide, use a footnote, then use the citation on the bottom of the slide.  It matters which form you use less (BlueBook if in the legal world, APA in the science world, etc.) it matters more that the reader can quickly get to the source of your quote/citation by eyeballing the slide.  If you have a live link to the actual citation that you can include (even by tinyurl if you have to pare it down) include it.  The more accessible you make the reference, the better.  Nothing drives me crazier than multiple references on a multi-bulleted slide and I can’t tell which reference goes to which bullet.  Make it EASY for the reader to link the cite to the reference.

3.  Acronyms in professions are an abomination.  If you dare to use acronyms, NEVER assume the audience knows what each acronym stands for….so….if you go there, spell it out the first time, and then use the acronym in parenthesis like this:

First time: “The Food and Drug Administration (FDA)”
Second and subsequent times: “FDA”

If I’ve learned anything from being multipational (or studying more than one profession), it’s that acronyms in one profession can mean something totally different in another.  Make sure you’re clear about how you use your acronyms.

That’s it.  If you can follow these 3 simple rules when citing your work, you’ll spare the reader and yourself a lot of grief by making it simple for the reader to follow your train of thought.

5 Things I’m Working on For Summer 2014

April 17th, 2014

I realized that in my email footer, I have the 5 things I’m working on or attending for Spring – guess it’s time to update that, even though Spring has yet to make a strong appearance in my little corner of the world…

1. The Social Media Residency Program at Mayo Clinic.

2.  The ACE Women’s Regional Leadership Forum.

3. The 11th Annual CE for Pharmacists Program at Butler University – June 5-6, 2014.

Screen shot 2014-04-15 at 11.47.19 AM

4. The Social Media Dames Unconference in Ft. Wayne – June 24, 2014: (Tickets go on sale Friday, April 18th!)  If you want to see how awesome the SMDames13 event was last fall, check this out.

Screen shot 2014-04-17 at 9.47.59 AM

5.  Starting my next book – what will the subject matter be?  I’m not completely sure just yet.  I’m working on it…

Memo to Mr. Iger

April 16th, 2014

I’ve decided that the only people who are ever going to make any positive changes around here have to be…ourselves.  So, today I sent a copy of the #STEMPrincess book to Mr. Iger, CEO of Disney. Below is the memo/inscription I included in his copy.

MemotoIgerSTEMPrincess

Feel free to use this post as the inspirational fuel to affect positive change around you.

Unicornian

April 14th, 2014

In an effort to break through a Monday full of administration, rain, and generalized tedium of being a stellarly mediocre Monday in general, I’m going to talk about something a little more (ok, a LOT more) inspiring.

Unicorns.

The font of all knowledge, Wikipedia describes them as mythical creatures with horns coming from their heads.  According to the other font of all knowledge, the Harry Potter Wiki, unicorn blood looks like liquid mercury, but once drunk, creates a “half” immortal life. The term in Urban dictionary has some less than promising definitions (which I’ll let you look up on your own), but frankly, to me, unicorns. Are. Awesome!

Allegedly, according to Urban Dictionary, unicorn tears taste like Framboise Lambic.*

You can purchase unicorn excrement cookies here.  (They are rainbow-colored.)

As for other unicorn secretions, there is much debate about what an actual unicorn would in fact excrete from his or her horn, as well as, erhm, the other bits.  Here’s one that secretes lemonade and fire from the horn–called the Katy Perry Unicorn?

There’s unicorn references o’plenty over at Pinterest – like this, this, and thisHere’s a cool coffee mug on unicorns.  Here’s the ultimate in unicorian desk awesomeness, which I definitely need to get in order to hold down my glitter for cards.

I know what you’re thinking at this point: “Hey, Albert, what’s the point here?!?” Honestly, I don’t know.  Other than I’m fighting off my Monday and yours by giving you something magical to believe in.  Unicorns aren’t administrative, lame, boring or rainy.  They’re cool, mystical, fun and colorful.  Even if it’s raining, gloomy, Monday and full of administration–unicorns rule.  Believe, people, in something better than Monday.  Believe, my people, in the awesome.  Believe…in the unicorn.

*Drink responsibly, peeps.

Bad…but Really, Good

April 12th, 2014

OK, folks, I know.  I’m a slacker.

But, I’ve been off writing other things in lieu of blog posts.  Really I have.

Here’s what I learned this week while doing my ‘thang’:

1. I used to think the song, “The Unforgettable Fire” by U2 was about Bono’s heroin addiction.  I was wrong.  The correct answer, and song off of the album The Unforgettable Fire that references heroin addiction is “Bad.”

2.  I learned that while I have a lot of jobs, I’m probably never going to have as many jobs as my pal Abdul- Hakim Shabazz.  I caught up with the hardest working radio politician this week when he interviewed yours truly about women/girls and STEM ed.  Thanks, duder!

3.  The 1980s as a decade had the best music ever.  Even those who read this blog and disagree with me, respectfully, you’re wrong.  I’ll be proving it soon too with a mix CD.

4. ALDI is rapidly becoming my favorite grocery store.  Especially after my trip last fall to Germany and Austria.

5.  Policy and advocacy should be part of ANY and ALL professionals’ training. I spent some time this week working on and presenting a P&A presentation to pharmacy students.  You can see a copyright cleared version of the slides here.

6. Last about careers – I had a lengthy conversation with the editor of one of the major national pharmacy magazine publications this week.  Let me just say this to all professionals out there right now: don’t think of your career as all or none, one and one thing only.  Stop that. Instead, think of your career as a pie.

There are going to be slices or corners of your career that you’re going to love.  For me, that’s writing, advocacy, policy and the future of the professions I work in and around.  There are also going to be slices or corners of your career that you despise.  I’ll spare you what those are for me, but suffice it to say that when it comes to your career anymore, don’t be all or none.  It’s way more complicated than that.  My pal Abdul in #2 above is the perfect example of this very notion.  Don’t forget it – and don’t expect one gig to give you everything you need professionally.  It’s YOUR job to do that.

There you go! I really have been working hard out here.  Even though it doesn’t look that way on the blog…

International Children’s Book Day: STEMified

April 2nd, 2014

Who knew April 2 was International Children’s Book Day? Since 1967?

I certainly didn’t.

But the folks at Indiana First did.  In fact, they featured The Amazing Adventures of the Princesses from Planet STEM in honor of the day on their blog today – yay!

Indiana First is all about Robotics, which is a huge area of STEM growth in the future and even now.  We even have a robotics princess in the book–Ruby!

Regardless of STEM, I love that there is a day dedicated to children’s books.  If you are lucky enough to have a kiddo or two in your life, take them to the library today.  Or a bookstore.  Or best of all–read to them.  Hans would love that – and so would I!

5 Things Bugging Me Right Now

April 1st, 2014

1. Is glitter a color? If not, it should be.

2. Why has no one designed a pillbox around a cup or glass?  Why has no one thought of this?  After all, don’t you usually need to take your medication with H2O?  I think you could have daily or multi-times a day mini containers on the outside of the glass, and the glass and the boxes could be clear, so you could actually see which medication you took that day – and didn’t.

3. Is time linear?  I’m starting to think that it is not.  But I didn’t do great in physics.  What if the awake world was really the dream world, and the dream world is our awake world?

4. Working out to Pandora Cardio is harder outside than inside on the treadmill.  Why?

5. What should my next book be about?  I think I have the next book idea, but I’m not 100% sure just yet.  I’m open to what the universe throws at me…

One Key Skill Future Leaders Will Ace: Crowd_____ing

March 28th, 2014

I’ve been thinking about this idea for awhile now, but I think it bubbled up to a post yesterday, while in entrepreneurship class, I had Kevin Hitchen in, one of the founders of Localstake.

Being a futurist, I like to keep an eye on what’s coming.  Here’s one HUGE trend/skill that future leaders will possess in droves – ready?

It’s Crowd___ing.

Why is there a blank there?  Well, I think you can insert “fund” or “source” or “gather” easily into that blank, but the skill still stays the same.  It’s someone who can take something (an idea), and source/fund/gather it into reality.

I’m not the first person to think of this – Storm Cunningham, for example, writes a lot about crowdsourcing.  He’s right.  In these broken times, earned leadership will rule.  Those who can gather the flocks/ideas/resources and turn them into reality will rule.

You were warned…

Policy & Advocacy in Pharmacy

March 25th, 2014

I’m working on a lecture for one of the courses here at BUCOPHS on why policy & advocacy is important to pharmacy practice, and how to get involved in P&A as a pharmacy student or pharmacist.  So, I thought I’d start a list of resources here for those policy and advocacy pharmacy geeks out there like me, who are trying to push the profession forward, on top of the other stuff that we do all day.

And I did discuss this throughout The New Pharmacist: 46 Doses of Advice book I just published, but I need to give an hour presentation on this topic, so I’m trying to go a little deeper here.

Here we go.

First, you can advocate and push policy forward right from your very own desktop or laptop–as a pharmacist, or as any other type of professional or citizen.  You can do any of the following to advocate and move policy forward:

  • Blog – like moi (just make sure your employers are cool with that – check your co.’s policies)
  • Write letters to the editor, or editorial pieces for your local papers or newsletters
  • Write your reps–Senators, Congressmen/women, etc. at the local, state and federal levels–about pending legislation or policy that is under notice and comment.  Even if it is NOT under notice and comment, feel free to put forth your opinions in writing to the powers that can actually vote on pending law.  There’s some crazy statistic I read once that said for every letter a Congressperson receives, a dozen or more others in the same district have the same concerns–yet, no one takes the time to pen a thoughtful letter around an issue.  Don’t let that be you (the ‘no one’ in the sentence above).
  • Get involved in a cause/issue or a political candidate’s run for an office
  • Offer to serve as an adviser on healthcare or pharmacy to a candidate already in office (You’d be shocked to know how little many politicians actually know about health care. Shocked. Appalled.)
  • Join a group and get involved in policy & advocacy – for us in pharmacy, that’s groups like APhA, ASCP, ACCP, ASHP, ASPL, AACP, NACDS, NCPA, or AMCP (and if I missed any, sorry).  There are usually state pharmacy organizations to get involved in as well – in Indiana, for example, we have the Indiana Pharmacists Alliance.
  • Sign petitions.  Better yet, start petitions.  Change.org and Petitions.Whitehouse.gov or dosomething.org are a few places where you can sign and/or start a movement via petition–just make sure the issue isn’t already out there.
  • If you’re hardcore, consider a fellowship in healthcare policy or pharmacy policy–either right out of school, or after your first year of residency.  VCU has one for pharmacy policy.  There are others – like the Robert Wood Johnson Health Policy Fellows Program, or Health and Aging Policy Fellowship, and more than I can possibly list here.
  • If you’re really hardcore, consider law school.  (Although, I caution you right now on this one, law jobs aren’t o’ plenty right now.)  After that, maybe work as a lobbyist (just make sure you believe in what you’re lobbying about…).
  • You could analyze policy at a Think Tank (<-and yes, this links to Wikipedia’s list of Think Tanks).
  • If you’re absolutely at the top of hardcore policy and healthcare development, consider running for office.  There are local and national programs you can go through to get training on how to do that.  My recent favorite was the Women’s Campaign School at Yale–but there are others.  The LA Times just did an article on more physicians running for political office – why not pharmacists too?

What have I missed?  While I’ve never lived in D.C., nor did a fellowship, residency or ran for office (yet, anyway), I’m certain there are others out there with more knowledge than me on this subject. From them I ask–what did I miss?