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Archive for April, 2016

New Pharmacy Podcast: My Career Chat with Dr. Shaun Young, CEO of Ardina

Tuesday, April 26th, 2016

I roll about career this year as a co-host on The Pharmacy Podcast.  This week is undoubtedly one of the most interesting and diverse in terms of career backgrounds – listen to my interview with Dr. Shaun Young, PharmD, MBA, CEO of Ardina – and remember: if you’ve seen one career path of a pharmacist, you’ve seen one career path only!

Stuff I’m Tracking…Just for You…

Sunday, April 24th, 2016

Screen Shot 2016-04-24 at 10.40.42 AM…OK, and me.  I confess!  All on google sheets – just for us:

National Pharmacy Meetings

Who’s at the Helm in Healthcare?

The Know Thyself Kit- good for high school and big kids

Women’s Leadership Training Programs

Pharmacist Certifications…and Healthcare Certifications

Enjoy! And if I missed stuff in any of the above lists and it fits the parameters – let me know!

3 Lessons I Learned from the Artist Known as Prince

Friday, April 22nd, 2016

Screen Shot 2016-04-22 at 8.02.01 AMI am a child of the 80s.  Therefore, any loss of artists from the 1980s reminds me of my own mortality.  Such is the case this week with Prince, who we lost.

While I was grateful for Prince and his music, he reminded us all of a few items through his life and work, some of which I think are the following:

1. You be, and do you – Prince unapologetically was and  did himself.  Remember the symbol, when no one really knew what to call him?  Yeah, perfect example.  He did what he needed to do, and didn’t really ask for permission or whether or not anyone minded.  He just did what he needed to do.  I like that.  We all should be little more like that.

2. Art allows you to evolve - He didn’t get stuck in the 80s rut.  He was constantly reinventing himself.  He did really creative things – music, film, collaboration with other artists, and yes, even my pal failure.  This year he was even writing a memoir and was still touring. He never stopped experimenting, which is fascinating for artists, because a lot find their style and just stop evolving.  He never did stop. (And…we both love the color purple!)

3. He stuck it to the man – He had some famous legal battles over issues of copyright, and right of publicity.  He really didn’t shy away from controversies – artistically or legally.  “There’s a dark side to everything,” he’s quoted as saying. Not going to lie – I like it when authority is questioned, and personally never enjoy the excuse of “that’s the way we’ve always done it.” I get the feeling Prince shared that with me.

There. The world will be a little less bright, sparkly, and purple without him.  Less partying like it’s 1999, and less flashy little red corvettes.  I am not patronizing here–I am merely appreciating his unique brilliance. If we all could pull that out of ourselves a little more, the world would be a truly better place.

But, I was glad so many of us experienced him and his music…we are the richer for it.


Dear FOX,

Wednesday, April 20th, 2016
Screen Shot 2016-04-20 at 9.07.22 PM

The weirdest email I’ve ever received–that was legit, anyway.

Last night, you contacted me through a casting agency to appear possibly on your new TV show taping this summer, Superhuman.

First off, not only was this probably the weirdest legitimate email I’ve ever received, but I’m flattered.  I’m also impressed you found me through Kickstarter and the #STEMPrincess project.  Finding talent through projects that actually matter is commendable, and rare in reality TV shows these days.  Thank you for making my evening!  Truly, I’m humbled.

However, I really don’t have any dazzling, instantly visible talent.  I can’t memorize a line of chess pieces in order, or bend through lasers, or cook.  What I can do probably doesn’t make great TV.

Here’s what I can do, which probably makes terrible TV: I work basically 2 jobs right now (as site based faculty–at a college of pharmacy a couple of days a week, and at a site a couple of days a week), and I run two of my own companies.  I’ve published 11 books – on my own, without a publishing house to back me up or give me fancy advances to write them.  I’m single. I don’t have anyone else to rely on for my income and livelihood, so guess what? I get to hustle on my own. I’m often working late at night or on weekends.  I also read a lot of books, and listen to podcasts.

All this = BAD TV.

While I’m thrilled you’re actually looking for sharp talent these days, I think you might want to consider adding a show about real women out here busting our *&*!s and trying to hustle our way through our careers and lives.  Work is changing. I want to see more women on TV actually busting through the new way of work and getting to success in their own individual ways.  THAT would truly be a Superhuman show I’d want to see.

Thanks for your consideration and offer.  But writing a book or working hard probably isn’t sexy enough.



PS – here are some other TV shows I’d love to watch!

A Few Things I Was Reminded of Today…

Tuesday, April 19th, 2016

Screen Shot 2016-04-19 at 9.58.52 PM1. You’re never going to please everyone – so get over it.

2. The only person you can control – is yourself.

3. Singing in class – probably not the best idea.  Unless, of course the class is voice.

4. Weird stuff will come your way – be open to it, but investigate.

5. All good things must come to an end. Including this post.



The 2016 13th Annual Continuing Education Symposium for Pharmacists at Butler University COPHS, June 2-4, 2016

Monday, April 18th, 2016

Excuse me for a moment while I talk shop.

This week and pretty much from now until the top of June, I’ll be focused at work on delivering a top-shelf annual Continuing Education Program for Pharmacists at my first alma mater, Butler University.

If you’re a Midwest pharmacist, or visiting Indy as a pharmacist during the first week of June, you may want to register.  Here are a few hi-lights:

- Registration form, costs, and agenda.

- Full 3 day conference agenda.

- And of course, it’s included in the national pharmacy meetings list.

Topics this year include: pharmacy law update, new guidelines you may have missed, 2 new drug sessions, diabetes, bugs and drugs, biosimilars, and so much more!

- Hi-lights in audio at Anchor/Twitter: (yes, recall I do have a face for radio!)

Who’s at the Healthcare Helm? An Update

Sunday, April 17th, 2016
Screen Shot 2016-04-16 at 2.27.55 PM

Who’s running the US healthcare system: in a word?  Dudes.

After reading this article by Scott Gilmore courageously standing up as a dude and proclaiming he will no longer speak at all male panels today, and along with it being National Healthcare Decisions Day yesterday, I thought it was time for a little update…in my tracking of leadership in the healthcare arena.

I wanted to check and see if my sisters made any progress in leading the US healthcare system, after doing a study back last fall looking at the heads of US healthcare – from pharmacy chains, PBMs, specialty pharmacies–to healthcare systems, non profits, government and even drug companies.

Back in the fall? Abysmal data. In fact, if aliens landed and met our healthcare leaders, they’d barely know women existed at all, let alone that women:

  • Make up 2/3 of US healthcare workforce (at least in pharmacy)* and
  • Make up to 80% of all healthcare purchasing decisions for themselves and their families in the U.S.

So, after this very depressing analysis in the fall, I wanted to go back and see if there was any good news 6 months later. Well, is there?

There were 3 bright spots.

  • The number of pharmacist association heads is up by women.
  • Also, consulting firm mergers have given more women a shot.
  • Last, I wanted to start tracking women heads of government organizations and they seem to be doing pretty well in the healthcare related entities I’ve started to track.
Screen Shot 2016-04-16 at 2.41.30 PM

Women at the helm in top pharmaceutical companies? Zero.

However, we haven’t had a lot of positive movement in the right direction in most categories. And, we’ve lost some women deans in pharmacy schools too. Some charts, like the top pharmaceutical companies left, is just flat out embarrassing – zero women.

Because these numbers are abysmal, I’ve committed to tracking the data now publicly – so here’s my google sheet on the matter. That way, you can call me on it if my tracking is wrong (I never fear failure or being wrong). What I do fear, however, is not having enough women at the helm of one of the largest and wealthiest systems on the entire planet… No women in leadership could lead to really terrible outcomes for all of us.

How do we fix this? 1. We start promoting more women into leadership roles in healthcare. 2. Ladies, if we make purchasing decisions in healthcare, just like anything else – we can vote with our wallets. 3. Stop choosing organizations that don’t care about women, period. That’s it. The more of us who discuss this problem and call it out on the record, the better for all of us moving forward.

A dude over at Linkedin commented on this exact post that we need to get over stereotypes.  What I want to know is that of all the women leaning in out there, how many of us are really leaning in so much that we’re leaned over upon ourselves? How many of us as sisters have volunteered or nominated ourselves for leadership posts, only to be passed over for dudes?  It’s one thing if no women are out there asking to serve.  And it’s entirely a different thing when women are saying yes, but those making the hiring decisions are still saying no to smart, capable women.  That’s the bit I can’t really track, unfortunately.

But I’ll keep tracking what I can until we get to a closer general population % of women at the helm in healthcare.  I think I’ll be tracking for a while, unfortunately…

*There are stats out there that state women make up 40% of leadership roles in healthcare.  Based upon the organizations I looked at, that number is way, way high.


Who Are You, Anyway?

Saturday, April 16th, 2016

If I had a nickel for every time I was asked about the following, I’d be a rich woman.  But, since people keep asking me about it, I’m going to post on this then I’ll have a spot to refer them to. Yippie!

Who are you?  What do you love? What are your strengths, and what do you value? What skills do you have that people will actually pay you to do?  If you don’t know the answers to these questions right now in your life, then read on – I’m going to share with you the best tools I’ve seen thus far to get you at your best life intersection – at least for your work (I can’t really state if this works for your entire life or not…but I know it does work for work!)

Know Thyself from Erin L. Albert, MBA, PharmD, JD
The slide above is how I represent your best career intersection. It lies at a 4 way intersection between: 1. What you love to do, 2. What your values are, 3. What your strengths are, and 4. What someone will actually pay you to do. You’ll be pretty good if you can hit a couple of these at the same time, but I think it’s best to go for all 4 in this life.  After all, life is short and why not enjoy the ride?
1. What do I love? Think back to the last day you had where you never looked at the clock, yet time flew by. You were so entrenched in what you were doing, time really didn’t matter anymore.  WHAT WERE YOU DOING? That is a hint on the stuff by which you love to do.  Another way to look at it – I call it the lottery test.  If you won the lottery tomorrow, what would you do differently about your life?  Would you quit your job(s)?  Would you travel? Would you move?  If you have radical ideas to change your life based upon the lottery test, I’ll go ahead and ask–WHY AREN’T YOU MAKING THOSE CHANGES NOW?  Again, life is short!
The last day I experienced this, I was working on my peeps diorama for a display on innovations in teaching, believe it or not. Maybe I should be building more models out of sugary marshmallow?  I don’t know, but it was fun!
2. What do I value? I never was taught about this one, but it is absolutely CRITICAL to do work that matches your values.  If you choose not to, there’s always going to be this nagging feeling in the background that’s eating at you.  Trust me, I’ve been there, I’ve done that, and it’s not pretty over the long haul.
So, what to do about it?  Go to Google. Type in “values card sort”, and up should pop this card sorter that you can print out, cut out and start sorting.  Rank the values against one another.  What are your top 3-5?  Next, go to your employers’ websites and look up THEIR values.
I value knowledge.  Double check if you can hear that message/value loud and clear at this podcast interview I recently did with the “Is it legal?” podcast.
The big reveal: do any of your top values match those of your employer?  If not, why not?  If not, are you happy with your work? I’ll bet the answer is no.  Maybe if they are radically different, it’s time to start shopping for a new job….? I’ll let you decide.
3. What are my strengths?  Pretty sure 98% of the planet has heard about What Color is Your Parachute? and Strengthsfinder 2.0 by now, but just in case, run out and get these books, take the quizzes in them and figure out what your strengths are.  In the first slide, there’s even a link to a free strengthsfinder-like quiz.  I also really like the new release, The Episodic Career, because it also has a quiz in it that points to certain careers and it nailed mine for me!
For me, my #1 strength as I’ve stated on this tiny blog several times is far and away “futuristic.” I love talking about the future. So, future based projects for me? SIGN ME UP.  But this post isn’t about me, it’s about you. So, what is your #1 strength, and tie it back to your values and that last day you didn’t notice time going by–see any patterns or connections here?
4. What will someone actually pay me to do?  This one is the kicker, because not everyone will pay you to do everything that you love, that you’re good at, and that you value.  If you love something, but no one will pay you to do it, that’s called a HOBBY.  But hey, even hobbies these days pay with sites like Etsy and Ebay!
And, I’m sure there are other things that comprise this best life intersection. I’ve even given you a link in the first slide above in the upper left corner of the slide to all the other tests I’ve used on myself over the years to discover what I should be doing with my life.  Friends, family, travel, other books, podcasts can help you get to your very own best life intersection.  But for now, at least I’ve given you part of the map to get there.  Now it’s just time for you to plug the address in on your personal GPS and get navigating!

7 Circles of Adulting H*ll

Thursday, April 7th, 2016

So, this week, my water heater decided to break down.

Of course, it didn’t pick a convenient time to break, like on a morning during the weekend when I didn’t actually have to be somewhere on time.  Instead, it decides to break down on the. Busiest. Day. Of. 2016. Thus. Far. Literally on the day I needed to find a way to be in 2 places-at-once-busy!

Furthermore, I discovered my broken water heater not by sticking my hand under a warm sink tap.  No, oh no. That would be too easy. Instead, I discover it when I walk. Into. My. Morning. Shower.

Good morning!

I casually shared with my water heater after discovering the pilot light out that I, “ain’t got time for this today!” and stomped away from it.  There. Now who’s boss?!?

Then, on day 2, of course, after shutting off the water heater and draining it, the shower water was not only cold, but also dripping.  Little to no water pressure on top of the icy cold water really was candidly the straw that broke this girl’s back.

Two other items sparked this post: 1. An overheard ladies’ room conversation today about how “adulting sucks,” when someone else had car issues, and 2. This post, by yet another friend over at the faceplace, on how to pull your sh*t together as an adult (or at least make it appear as such…and caution, the language in it, too, is adultish).

I’m not writing this to declare that I currently have a big bowl of lemons in my house, a roast in the oven, nor mineral water in the refrigerator (unless you count the super hard Indiana tap water in the door of my fridge).  But, my point on being an adult is this, especially for the kiddos out there: We all grow up wanting to hurry through our lives to become adults and make our own decisions–we rush through childhood for this ‘golden opportunity’ of growing up.

Then, when we arrive, we realize that being an adult pretty much sucks for a big chunk of time.

On the other hand, sometimes it takes a really epic appliance breakdown to realize that we don’t appreciate what we have when we have it.  Hot water rocks, and it’s a total buuuuummer when you don’t have it.

The bottom line:

Don’t grow up kids…it’s a scam.  Trust Aunt Erin on this one.

My Fantasy Pharmacy Rotations

Saturday, April 2nd, 2016

Knowing what I know now, but also what I don’t know yet, based upon where healthcare is heading, if I could rewind time and go back to pharmacy school again, (and completely ignoring ACPE 2016′s standards on what types of rotations students should have–which, by the way–is it time to rethink these?), here’s where I’d want to go on APPE rotations as a pharmacy student, 4 weeks each, 10 rotations total, during my P4 year:*

1. Calico – Part of the Google family of companies (Alphabet), this one is the health branch, which is also studying aging.  Who WOULDN’T want to work here who has a passion for healthcare?

2. Apple – But I’d want to work on HealthKit, specifically.  I think HealthKit could really revolutionize how we integrate health and wellness into our daily lives and our medical charts.

3. The Doctors or TEDMED – These are probably the biggest platforms I could come up with to have an impact on public health, and all pharmacists should have a desire to assist with public health improvement at the 50,000 ft. level.

4. IMS Health – This shop is probably sitting on top of the richest pools of data in prescription drug information.  Think of all the analyses one could do with this info!

5. Vaynermedia – We are yet still in our infancy when it comes to (legitimate) healthcare education through social media.  While this may seem like an odd choice for a pharmacy student, it’s not.  @Garyvee’s advertising agency focuses on digital and social, and let’s be honest, we need more healthcare professionals sharing their knowledge appropriately through these channels.  I know the healthcare stuff, it’s the digital optimization part I’d want to learn here.

6. Amazon Prime Air - This is an entirely new way of delivering products, and I think it could actually be utilized for pharmacy deliveries.  I’d love to see how Amazon plans to utilize this tech to deliver products to customers, and how it could be used in pharmacy too!

7. Beacon Hill Village - I love this almost co-op model of helping the elderly stay in their homes longer.  I think every city could benefit from this type of business, and would love to understand more on how it operates so I could bring it back to my own community.

8. HIMSS - for my association rotation (this is, of course a fantasy list), I’d want to work at HIMSS.  Particularly around their innovation work and surveys.

9. The Brand Institute – this shop comes up with all those crazy trade names for drugs.  To be a fly on the wall during conversations on naming drugs would be fly! (Get it? Sorry. I digress…)

10. Singularity University – Admittedly, this one is not healthcare focused either, but it is focused on the future of education. And all in healthcare need to realize that once they’ve signed up to be healthcare professionals, they’ve also signed up to become life-long learners.

There. Not super pharmacy-today focused, but definitely focused on the future of healthcare overall.  It’s fun to fantasize, if nothing else!

Where would YOUR fantasy internships/rotations be?

*Here’s my disclaimer back in reality: I don’t know if any of these shops actually take pharmacy students on rotations.  But then again, who cares? This is my fantasy list!