Coral Springs, FL
$120,000 - $140,000
Skills required: Communication, patience, ability to multitask.
Education required: Degree from school of pharmacy- state certification.
In deciding my future, getting an undergraduate degree in Biology without a further education seemed an untenable situation so I decided I would like to be a Dentist. Part of getting into Dental school required DSAT exams. I failed a required chalk carving (no longer required), so I had to consider alternatives. My very first job in high school was working in my uncle’s drug store. I also worked in pharmacies in college. Many people in my family were successful pharmacists and owners of their own stores. I had 4 uncles, 2 first cousins on my my mothers side, 3 first cousins on my fathers side, a brother-in- law and his brother all practicing Pharmacists. One may say I fell into the family profession. After graduation, I served in the army as a pharmacy technician. Only officers were considered professionals. I had been drafted during the height of the Vietnam conflict and would not consider serving longer than necessary. I came to Florida where I worked for independent pharmacies for 7 years along with MBA studies. Very shortly after getting married an opportunity arose for me to own a pharmacy with a “drug store”. After three years, I moved my location into its own store. I owned my pharmacy for twenty- four years. For many years it was fun to run and rewarding. Like many other professions, pharmacy profit was attacked by the insurance companies who ferociously, even today, continue to manipulate their control to benefit their own bottom dollar. The affordable care act is on the horizon and i anticipate the control will pervade (after all they helped write the bill) by cutting allowable services. time will tell.
In a typical day I do patient marketing, fill prescriptions, verify subordinates work, verify prescription information, communicate with doctors and patients, handle other retail sales and obligations. I currently am winding down my service to the community by working for a large drug store chain. I do not have the same enthusiasm working for someone else and and constantly multi-tasking while inundated by policy to increase service and reduce costs. Cost-wise this is inverse relationship as time relationships are not considered. for example, I have a responsibility for assuring the validity of all prescriptions i dispense. I am also responsible for immunization service giving out flu shots. The chain encourages immunizations because as a time factor they are receiving a higher remuneration for this service.
The hardest parts are helping patients understand their treatments who are not native to the US.
The best part is knowing my contribution has made a difference in my patients’ medical treatment.
Think twice! Pharmacy has been pretty good to me but when I entered the field pharmacists were in short supply. Today however there is an over abundance of pharmacists because of the large number of graduate programs. My employer, for example, now hires fewer new graduates than previously and also hires them for only a 32 hour work week. My profession has adapted very very slowly to change and like so many others in the health profession, insurance dominates our lives. Also other health professions now compete for our clientele. Pharmacy must expand to compete for the limited health dollars available. My profession faces serious challenges and those thinking of pharmacy as a career should carefully examine the outlooks.
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