People pursue corporate retail pharmacy for the wrong reasons:

  1. Less clinical, “easier” work
  2. Higher salaries
  3. No money to open up their own business
  4. Too lazy to pursue residency
  5. Not interested in other fields
  6. Too lazy to apply for the jobs they really want

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It’s easy to see why so many retail pharmacies are breeding grounds for unhappy, stressed out, and cynical pharmacists. Lots of pharmacies are being managed by people who just aren’t passionate about their work.

They show up, clock in, and expect their boss to do everything for them. They expect the dream team to work for them and for an amazing work environment.

That’s why you hear all the complaints and cries of self-pity. “I don’t have enough technician hours.” “The patients are unhappy and complaining all the time.” “The technicians aren’t trained to do more.” Their pharmacy literally becomes a product of all their bitterness and cynicism.

Learn From the Independent Pharmacy Owners

Now, we’re not talking about independently owned retail pharmacies. Most independents do not suffer from victim mindset. They can’t afford to. When you’re $500k in debt, you truly own your own business.

Patients giving me grief and suffering? I’ll turn that frown upside down a thousand times if it means I get to eat something other than ramen tonight. Staffing issues causing operational problems? I.e. I’m paying someone to cause issues and lose money? That will be fixed in a heartbeat.

When you own your business, you have no choice but to be passionate about your work. The alternative is to close shop.

Of course, there are some who genuinely want to work in retail pharmacy. These are truly compassionate, people-loving professionals who love the fast-paced nature of work.

Yet, they refuse to accept that their job code as a corporate professional requires much more than loving their patients and delivering safe and effective healthcare. In turn, they too put on the victim goggles and play pretend that the world is out to get them.

It’s far easier to follow the tweets and rants of the miserable retail pharmacists out there. All the while, they slowly die each day from the inside out.

Corporate Protection and Benefits

To work in a corporate retail pharmacy, you must understand that you’re running a multi-million dollar business. And you get paid to do so without fronting a single dime.

Each year, you make six figures guaranteed, even if patients are unhappy, scripts decrease, or Board of Pharmacy fines you. Even when someone says they want to sue you, you feel safe and confident because you have a team of corporate lawyers ready to protect you.

When you catch the flu, you get to make a phone call, stay home, and get paid while you binge Netflix. In return, you are expected to run a profitable healthcare business for the company that takes care of you.

If you’re looking to work stress-free, make less money, and defer responsibility and liability to someone else, choose another career. As a Corporate Pharmacist, embrace the fact that you are a leader in healthcare and business.

Elevate Our Profession

If you’re tired of “corporate politics” and struggle to speak the language, I recommend to get a translator or a dictionary. Working for someone who speaks a completely different language will frustrate and annoy you.

Navigating different landscapes in healthcare and communicating with different departments will make your life easier and simultaneously will make you more valuable to your company. Someone with enough aptitude to pass a NAPLEX can surely Google a few terms and learn how to communicate more effectively.

Corporate retail pharmacy is meant for pharmacy leaders looking to practice running a business while delivering healthcare. Without an ownership mindset, your pharmacy will suffer from operational inefficiencies, unnecessary stress, and pressure from upper management to get your act together.

Without passionate, proactive, and purpose-driven pharmacists working in corporate retail, patients and other healthcare professionals continue to look down on our profession. They laugh and mock our licenses even though we wear the same white coat.

So take off the victim goggles, put on the suit and tie, and prepare to own your pharmacy.

What else did you sign up for?

Business Tips for The Corporate PharmD

  • Choose your career carefully
  • Take off the victim goggles and take business matters into your own hands
  • Show appreciation for corporate protection and benefits
  • Practice pharmacy passionately in order to elevate the profession