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Backtrack: More Things Newly Licensed Pharmacists Should Do

OK, I received a nice email from a fellow pharmacist, Mark, last week before the crazy of the 21 Flavors meeting hit (crazy in a good way, of course) but – I got distracted writing a piece for a national publication on that meeting, which I hope will hit in September, the PR for it (which is here if you’re interested), and another piece for my August post over at SheTaxi.  Anyway, I wanted to go back to Mark’s comments.

He replied to me about my post on 5 things new pharmacists should do.  He also gave me three additional items below that I thought were pretty good to mention as well, and things I didn’t really think of immediately, so I asked if he was cool to share them, and he was – so here they are, verbatim:

3 More Things A Newly Licensed Pharmacist Should Do: (By Mark)

1.) Find a hobby or interest that is totally unrelated to pharmacy and pursue it. Maybe it’s poetry, music, gardening, watercolor, or woodworking, etc. But something that has nothing to do with pharmacy. There will come a time in your career, when you’ll really need an escape from pharmacy. You don’t know it now, but you will. You’ll need some friends or acquaintances who know nothing about pharmacy, or care to know. Don’t talk pharmacy to them. Just be friends on a different level. Someday they will be your savior!

2.) Find an older pharmacist you like, and talk with them about things that bother you. Maybe over a cup of coffee, or on a walk, or anywhere away from the pharmacy.  As a young grad, you will see things about many older pharmacist that will discourage you. You will think to yourself, that you don’t want to be like them, but unless you’re careful you will. The pharmacist who’ve meant the most to me, were not the ones who freely offered advice on every subject, but rather those older, quieter ones, who just did their jobs with a pleasant attitude day after day. Getting to know them took an effort on my part, but I’m so glad I did. The good ones, won’t come to you, you’ll have to seek them out. It’s awkward at first, but so worth it!

3.) Determine that you will always try to help people. I know this sounds simple and obvious, but it’s not easy. Actually it’s very hard at first, especially for young grads.It takes a conscious decision of the mind. There will be times when your customers will ask you to stay late, or deliver something to them, or help them find something unrelated to pharmacy. I work with people who say “that isn’t my job”. They make fun of me for going out of my way to help others. Young grads want to establish themselves as people who are in charge, but doing it the wrong way can ruin your life. Commit to being a servant in your daily practice and it will pay a lifetime of dividends.

The price you pay for a superior attitude is everything you have. You’ll become bitter and entitled. Being around those kinds of people is uncomfortable to me. They treat me as if I’m doing a disservice to our customers by spoiling them. But these customers have written me many notes and cards of thanks, and brought cakes and cookies, and brought their babies by to show them off, etc. Sometimes after helping them on the floor, they want to shake my hand and say “thank you, you were so helpful”. Shaking hands is a dirty habit I don’t like, (I keep hand sanitizer in my pocket) but it’s their way of saying “what you did was right” and I so appreciate it. So determine right from the start that you will lay down your pride and life for those you serve. If you try to hold on to it through arrogance and pride, you’ll lose it. This admonition from the greatest servant who ever lived is so important! Be a pharmacist, but do it with a servant’s heart. It will make all the difference in your career.”

Good advice.  Mark’s right.  So, I guess now there’s 8 things you need to do if you’re a freshly minted pharmacist.
Get to it!

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