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Posts Tagged ‘#SXSW17’

Imitation is NOT the Most Sincere Form of Flattery

Monday, June 5th, 2017
Screen Shot 2017-06-05 at 9.46.52 PM

My cat, Jack, the original thinker.

Someone allegedly once said (Colton?) that ‘imitation is the most sincere form of flattery.’

Both I, along with my cat Jack, respectfully disagree.

Cats kind of do their own thing, and that is probably one of the biggest reasons why I’m a cat person over a dog person. (Although, nothing against dogs, I just grew up with cats; I’m an equal opportunity pet lover.) But my preference isn’t the point.

The point is, I appreciate that cats are original.

‘Copycat,’ on the other hand, is a term with unclear origins, but there’s one thing I do know: the term is not a flattering one. It basically means “imitation of another,” and originally was associated with crime.

Lately, it seems there’s a lot of similarities among several pharmacists who write and publish with very similar topics to each other, which is rather incestuous, in my mind. Nearing 290,000 pharmacists in the US, along with hundreds of different types of practice settings available, one would think there’s less similarities. I’ll also come out and say it – some of my own work has been copied recently and not so recently, and while I’ve never read any of it beyond the titles, it’s not a sincere form of flattery; it’s just a copy of something that’s already been done. You’re frankly not doing anyone in the universe a service by regurgitating others’ work…we need you to be solving original problems–ESPECIALLY in healthcare!

On the other hand, everything has probably already been done before, and while I understand that counter argument–that’s not an excuse to pump out second rate stuff and imitate others incessantly. That energy should go toward making progress instead of wasting it.

So, I wanted to write a quick post with some gentle suggestions I personally use to be original. These below are steps I employ to try and do innovative work that is not copycat. I’m going to go ahead and ironically imitate myself here, because most of what I’m about to write I’ve already written in other places…

7 Steps to Be an Original (And Less of a Copycat):

  1. Hang out with people not like you - There’s a joke in pharmacy (and I’m sure several other professions) that it is small and somewhat incestuous, in that you always see and hear from the same people over and over at pharmacy meetings every year. Pharmacy also has one of the highest rates of marriage in the same profession, in that both spouses are much more likely to both be pharmacists (according to a calculator produced in the NY Times a couple of years ago). It really is a small world. So, remedy this if your profession is small too and - get out and hang out in other worlds! Hang with people not like you. Some of my most creative friends have absolutely nothing to do with healthcare and pharmacy, and I LOVE working with them, because they force me to get out of the pharmacy and healthcare boxes and think differently. You can do this virtually by following people online too – just DO NOT COPY them! You can also study what their big gnarly problems are and how they are solving them. Could those solutions apply to your industry?
  2. Read books outside of your comfort zone - After 4-7 years of undergrad/pharmacy school, most pharmacy students are burned out on reading and studying pharmacology, med chem and pharmacy administration. If you’ve been cramming for your professional credentials, and you’ve earned them, do yourself a favor and take a break from them on occasion. Read a thriller, or a trashy novel, or try to read a book on the topic you never had the chance to study in undergrad that you were fascinated by. I’m always trying to learn more about quantum physics. (Although, much of it still blows my mind–I wonder how healthcare works in the other parallel universes?) I love art. I’m reading about ethical decision making in big data right now. READ stuff that isn’t in your normal profession. Same idea as #1 – it will force your brain to work in different ways.
  3. Listen to podcasts that are different - Same reasons as 1 & 2, and they’re free and perfect for you if you commute and/or work out regularly.
  4. Attend at least one meeting outside of your profession once a year - This year, I went to HIMSS17. I’m going to #BlogHer17. I spoke at SXSW. These are 3 meetings I’ve never been part of or attended before…ever. I’m speaking at Indy Big Data and Social Media Dames (#SMDames17) this year, on topics that have very little or nothing to do with pharmacy. While I admit that I’m very lucky to have the time and resources to attend and participate in all these meetings, you may need to make some tough choices and only attend one meeting outside your profession due to time or financial constraints. If this means cutting back on your first profession’s meetings, it still might be worth it for you, IF you’re constantly trying to find new ideas, rather than recycling everybody else’s stuff inside your profession.
  5. Focus on your own stuff - Comparison really is the thief of joy. Both of these aforementioned statements I did not originate – to be clear, but I do practice these to stay original. As I stated above, I pay attention to what’s going on out there in my profession, but if I see copycat articles, I really don’t read past the headlines. I’m focused on what I’m going to do NEXT. What’s still missing? What’s an unmet need? Frankly, healthcare needs more innovation anyway – so I’m going to focus on fixing more problems over here, rather than wasting my time on critiquing copycats over there. If you’ve actually been lucky enough to find something that has never been tried or done before–run with it*–you just received a fabulous gift from the universe! (*As long as it’s not going to hurt you or someone else.)
  6. Travel - Get out of your daily ‘to-do.’ While travel sounds expensive, it doesn’t have to be…hop on a bus or in your car and drive to a city an hour away for dinner. Take a road trip on your weekend off. Go see how other people live! Get out of your routine. The weirder and the more remote the travel, the better. When I went to Beijing for a month, I appreciated small things, like being able to drink tap water, and ICE when I got home. I don’t take cold drinks and potable tap water for granted anymore! Travel makes you appreciate different ways of living, but most of all, makes you appreciate the small things that we really take for granted every day in our lives, and again forces you to adapt and flexibly think about your approach to the universe.
  7. Thank people who help you - The world owes each of us absolutely nothing. Kick entitlement to the curb immediately. When people help you out, call them out on it and celebrate! Catch them doing something good, and share it with the world. Send them a thank you note. Ask them how you can help them in return. Never skip over the gratitude part and just start copying them, either. That’s a big middle finger to them helping you, actually.  You’re already in the social capital hole with them in the first place, and then to turn around and copy them is just digging yourself into a deeper hole, which eventually will come back to bite you in the dupa via karmic retribution. (If I catch people doing this once with me, they don’t get a second chance to do it again.  And yes, I have a clear list in my mind of the guilty here, and while I won’t name names, I’ll never, ever forget who made this naughty list. I digress.) Gratitude can become a spiral upward prophecy, because if you start thanking people around you, they in turn return the favor and pay it forward. Sometimes people aren’t even aware of the impact that they have on us for original ideas, and so when we find that eureka moment and it was due to a chat we had with someone, we need to recognize and foster that behavior by promoting gratitude. It also can help us attract more innovators and creatives into our lives. Most of all, people are helping you with their most precious resource of all – their time. And time you never get back, so be sure you’re approaching your gratitude with enthusiasm, because you got lucky that others helped you – they didn’t have to!

There. I wanted to share this on this very crazy Monday with you, as these seven steps really help me be more creative in the work that I do and deliver to the universe. Let’s keep it as original as we can out there – the universe needs us to stop wasting time being copycats and start being original problem solvers!

___

Erin Albert is a writer, podcaster, pharmacist, curator, lawyer and original thinker–the last bit of which she shares in common with her cat, Jack.

 

2016 & 2017 Podcasts on Pharmacy Career Development – An Update

Monday, May 22nd, 2017

This is about to be a long post, but I wanted to put, in one place, all the 2016 & 2017 Pharmacy Podcast Shows for the fab 13, AND for your listening pleasure! And I moved it up, since it was starting to get buried in the blog.

If you’re a pharmacist or leader in healthcare, IT, pharmacy practice and/or elsewhere, the following episodes will be of benefit to you.  And to all the guests during the year on the podcast, a SINCERE THANKS for helping us reach over 63,000 listeners and for sharing the pharmacy healthcare love!

The First and Annual Women’s Leadership in Pharmacy Panel at #RBC2017 from Cardinal Health

NABP and the .pharmacy Initiative: Deterring Rogue Online #FakePharmacies

Part 3 of our Conversation with Former DEA – Joseph T. Rannazzisi

Breaking Into the Pharmaceutical Industry: PharmDs – A Chat on the BCMAS Certification

DEA Part 2: Our Chat with Joseph T. Rannazzisi, cont.

A Chat with Co-Founder of GoodRx, Doug Hirsch

Career Development: Working for DEA

For the Class of 2017: Congratulations!

Manbassadors: Sponsors for Women in Healthcare

57 Cool Jobs for Pharmacists

SXSW 2017 – A Recap

InfoSAGE: Healthcare Informatics Leader Dr. Charles Safran

5 Steps to Manage Through a Career Crisis

HIMSS 17 Post Show

HIMSS 17 Pre Show

A Valentine for Women, Gender Parity and Leadership in Healthcare:

The Future of Work in Pharmacy & Healthcare Part I – With Special Guest, Jacob Morgan:

The Future of Pharmacy Work – Part II

Certifications for Pharmacists – Another Way to Enhance Your Pharmacy Career:

What is a Medical Science Liaison?:

7 Steps to a Super 2017:

“Men”toring Women – Why it is critical for Men to Mentor Women

Merry Midyear – 4 part miniseries coming to the podcast with Dr. Lauren Steinbach hi-jacking the mic:

5 Roads into Loving your retail pharmacy career – 5 part series:

The American Society for Pharmacy Law – an Intro with Aaron Moore:

5 Part series on the 5 Roads out of Retail Pharmacy:

Pharmacy as a Third Space – Tisane Pharmacy (NYC):

Disruptive Women in HIT – Mandi Bishop:

How to get more Leadership in Pharmacy – Alan Spies:

BU Well: A Student-Driven Multimedia Publication – Anne Leighty:

Unusual Career Paths in Pharmacy – Shaun Young of Ardina:

Feeling the Burn…Out – How to manage burnout in pharmacy:

Writing to Enhance Your Pharmacy Career – Dr. Elaine Voci

Maximizing Medical and Pharmacy Meetings – Kristin Eilenberg of Lodestone Insights:

SXSW Recap

Tuesday, April 4th, 2017

Here it is – SXSW recap after attending and speaking my first year – enjoy!

2016 & 2017 Pharmacy Podcast Shows on YOUR Career Development!

Friday, November 4th, 2016

This is about to be a long post, but I wanted to put, in one place, all the 2016 & 2017 Pharmacy Podcast Shows for the fab 13, AND for your listening pleasure!

If you’re a pharmacist or leader in healthcare, IT, pharmacy practice and/or elsewhere, the following episodes will be of benefit to you.  And to all the guests during the year on the podcast, a SINCERE THANKS for helping us reach 60,000 listeners and for sharing the pharmacy healthcare love!

For the Class of 2017: Congratulations!

Manbassadors: Sponsors for Women in Healthcare

57 Cool Jobs for Pharmacists

SXSW 2017 – A Recap

InfoSAGE: Healthcare Informatics Leader Dr. Charles Safran

5 Steps to Manage Through a Career Crisis

HIMSS 17 Post Show

HIMSS 17 Pre Show

A Valentine for Women, Gender Parity and Leadership in Healthcare:

The Future of Work in Pharmacy & Healthcare Part I – With Special Guest, Jacob Morgan:

The Future of Pharmacy Work – Part II

Certifications for Pharmacists – Another Way to Enhance Your Pharmacy Career:

What is a Medical Science Liaison?:

7 Steps to a Super 2017:

“Men”toring Women – Why it is critical for Men to Mentor Women

Merry Midyear – 4 part miniseries coming to the podcast with Dr. Lauren Steinbach hi-jacking the mic:

5 Roads into Loving your retail pharmacy career – 5 part series:

The American Society for Pharmacy Law – an Intro with Aaron Moore:

5 Part series on the 5 Roads out of Retail Pharmacy:

Pharmacy as a Third Space – Tisane Pharmacy (NYC):

Disruptive Women in HIT – Mandi Bishop:

How to get more Leadership in Pharmacy – Alan Spies:

BU Well: A Student-Driven Multimedia Publication – Anne Leighty:

Unusual Career Paths in Pharmacy – Shaun Young of Ardina:

Feeling the Burn…Out – How to manage burnout in pharmacy:

Writing to Enhance Your Pharmacy Career – Dr. Elaine Voci

Maximizing Medical and Pharmacy Meetings – Kristin Eilenberg of Lodestone Insights:

Et Tu, SXSW?

Monday, October 17th, 2016

screen-shot-2016-10-17-at-6-26-26-pmToday, I was rejected for the second time by SXSW2017.  Both panel pickers (the other rejection came a while ago for SXSWedu) were a big fat NO from the organizers for next spring’s big shin dig in Austin.  Considering thousands of panelpickers were submitted for consideration and only hundreds were selected, the panels were kind of running against crazy odds in the first place–but for me, this was a bucket-list item.

But that’s not why I’m writing this post–to share yet another of my fails in a big and ever-growing pile (trust me, there are many, MANY to choose from!)

I’m writing this post to ask you–when was the last time you failed? Like massive, epic, public, defcon-level-1 failure?  My fails this year have been big in scale and proportion.  These 2 are tiny compared to other whoppers I’ve made this year–some I’ve shared, some I have not. (Yet.)

My point: if you’re aren’t failing big, you’re not taking enough risk in your life.  You’re not growing, and you’re not pushing yourself enough.  Those who ultimately achieve big great hairy audacious things keep pushing, moving forward, failing, experimenting more, and trying again.  I know in the realms where I was professionally educated–law and pharmacy–we’re trained that failure is something to be shunned and avoided at all costs, because failure in these realms can mean big, bad things like death and/or incarceration.

On the other hand, if you keep succeeding and never face failure, what are you going to do when it DOES finally arrive? (Oh, and it will. Guaranteed.)

I’m not afraid of failure.  What I am afraid of is not trying…and most worrisome of all: regret.

So, celebrate that next big fat fail!  If you’re failing, you’re trying and pushing yourself.  Go on with your bad self, you rockstar, you!

_____

P.S. If you were kind enough to vote, share and tweet about this and the other panel picker over at SXSWedu earlier this year, THANK YOU for your support during our panelpicker voting!  We could not have gotten this far without your support!!!!

It’s About to Get Obnoxious Up in Here…

Friday, August 5th, 2016

Screen Shot 2016-08-05 at 8.32.19 AM…she’s on her STEM princess bandwagon again….(not that she ever stepped off).

But my friends, I’m about to get obnoxious with my asks this coming month, but I’m also going to  need YOUR help from 8/8-9/2.  I’m trying to get the #STEMPrincess project in to SXSWedu in 2017.

SX, if you are not familiar, is the holy grail of cool meetings.  Apps are usually kicked off there.  Authors give away advanced copies of their NEXT book projects at this event.  It’s the FUTURE, TODAY – which you all know I LOVE to be in the middle of!

So, in order to weave through the morass of 4600 other panels submitted for talks at SXSW, I’m going to call on you, my Fab 14 friends, to help me VOTE and spread the word on the Panel Picker for SXSW with the STEM Princess project!

Help Erin Get the STEM Princesses to SXSW17:

Step one: You have to register with SXSW in order to be able to vote.  Here’s where to register.

Second: I’ll send links to the 2 panel pickers I’ve submitted and put them in this post when I have them. Here they are:

http://panelpicker.sxsw.com/vote/60048

and

http://panelpicker.sxsw.com/vote/59975

Third: VOTE. Voting my the crew counts for 30% of the final decision on getting selected.  So I’m really, REALLY going to need your help in stepping up here.

Fourth: SPREAD THE WORD.  If you vote, then I’m going to ask you to pass it on to 3 other friends to have them vote.  The only way we’re going to get girls talking STEM at SX is to create the only presence NOW.

That’s it for now.  But I’ll go ahead and apologize in advance for the posts/tweets and groveling between 8/8-9/2.  Remember–I’m doing it for the NEXT generation of girls to turn into STEM rockstars.  Even though the bandwagon may be loud and squeaky, YOU CAN BE WHAT YOU CAN SEE!