Have you ever thought about what the profession of pharmacy needs to help ensure a bright future for all of us? What exactly is needed to help direct our profession in the right direction? The answer starts with one word- leadership.
It’s so easy to get caught up in your own world if you are a pharmacist. The tendency is to focus on your own career as well as your individual goals. The thought of being an ambassador for the profession can be the furthest thing from our minds.
Maybe though it’s time to step back a bit and look at the big picture for a change? Is it time for all of us to ask ourselves what more we could be doing for the profession instead of the other way around? I think the answer is a resounding yes.
Instead of focusing on your own job, try to take a little time to ask yourself how you can become a little more involved. I’ve tried to do this myself and coming up with answers to a personal challenge like this can be difficult. And the excuses you can manufacture to avoid taking personal responsibility for the direction of the profession is limitless.
It isn’t difficult to brainstorm and list out the problems we now face. It’s just as easy to list other individuals or groups of pharmacists who you expect to step up and fight for the profession on your behalf.
What is much more difficult is to own up to the challenge of finding ways you personally can make a difference. How does a busy professional balance their work life with their home life and still find time to contribute to the positive advancement of a healthcare profession?
While that is a valid concern, it shouldn’t be a gateway to the excuses you can come up with to not get involved. We are entering such a critical time in the history of pharmacy that all of us should be anxious to somehow find a way to do more.
But the job market is tight, personal and family demands are great, and stress alone may cause the average pharmacist to be too tired or busy to want to try and make a difference. But haven’t we come to the point where we can’t sit on the sidelines anymore?
The tendency of pharmacists is to assume that some national or state organization will have energetic and active people who will pick up the slack and fight for them. But why should we all sit back attempting to rely on the efforts of others?
Lots of changes are coming for pharmacists in all practice settings. Some of them will be positive and some of them quite negative. That is without question. But what is debatable is whether the profession of pharmacy is ready for change and if so who will be the leaders?
I’d like to challenge all of us to become more involved in some capacity as individual pharmacists. Read the news, become active in organizations, or maybe contact your state board about an issue of importance. Our future is too important to ignore the pressing issue we now face.
It’s crunch time for the profession of pharmacy. We’ve reached a point where we all need to do more, even if it is baby steps.
Think of the profession of pharmacy as one big organization. And the sign out front right now should read: leaders needed- apply inside.
The Redheaded Pharmacist