Looking The Part

I remember recently I was walking into work.  I had my belongings with me but I wasn’t wearing my white coat.  It didn’t matter, a customer stopped me anyway.

It was just as I was passing by one of the over the counter sections by the pharmacy.  An elderly woman stopped me in my stride and pulled me to the vitamin section to ask me a couple of questions about calcium products.

After helping her, I started to walk back to the pharmacy.   But after a quick thought I stopped, turned back to the woman I just helped, and asked “how did you know I was a pharmacist?”

She looked up from her cart and quickly replied “you just look the part.”  After she said this, the customer went back to her shopping.

I didn’t think much of it until later in the day.  But after some thought, I wondered what it mean to “look like a pharmacist.”

The stereotypical pharmacist you might see on television is usually an older male with glasses.  I wear contacts and I’d like to think of myself as still a relatively young guy in my upper 30s.

Maybe it was the eye contact?  I’ve been told that you can tell if a person works retail because they make eye contact more with other people in public.  I’m not sure if that is true or not but it is an interesting theory.

I can’t really think of specific traits that would make someone look the part of a pharmacist.  Usually it is the white coats that give us away.

I have to wonder if I’ve been a pharmacist long enough now that I really have picked up whatever stereotypical traits you might associate with pharmacists.  Maybe there are things that separate us from other people?

Whatever it was, that customer singled me out right away as someone who might be able to help her.   I guess it isn’t a bad thing I looked the part that day.  At least she didn’t ask me about her co-pays.

The Redheaded Pharmacist



2 Comments to “Looking The Part”

  1. By Britt, January 25, 2013 @ 7:02 am

    You probably looked capable and competent, like you knew where you were headed and what you were doing.


  2. By PharmD Blogger, January 27, 2013 @ 8:58 pm

    That is funny about the eye contact. I don’t think anyone has said I looked the part of a pharmacist. Probably in about 20 years I will. We probably won’t be in the same setting as we are now. We’ll see.


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