State of Retail Pharmacy and What You Can Do About It

This is the hardest year we’ve ever experienced.

Frozen wages and pay cuts. Massive lay-offs and restructuring.

Pharmacist overlap eliminated and corporate targets increasing simultaneously.

Job saturation plagues us, and pharmacy schools remain unsympathetic to the job market.

PBM’s claw back every penny and reduce reimbursements.

Independents and big corporations alike closing shop.

Automation, digital enhancements, verification sharing, numeric waiting bin, and updated phone IVR systems roll out.

All supposed to make our jobs easier, but why does it feel 100 times harder?

What in the world is going on with Retail Pharmacy?
Continue reading “State of Retail Pharmacy and What You Can Do About It”

How To Optimize Your Commute

We spend 30+ hours a year to maintain our Pharmacist licenses and countless more hours to sharpen our clinical skills.

But there is virtually no attention given to our business, leadership, and life skills.

When asked about business acumen, the average pharmacist responds, “That’s outside my pay grade” or “I didn’t go to school for that.”

Even more common, “I don’t work off the clock, and I have no time for that.”

But what if you did have the time?

What if you found a way to maximize your downtime and use it intentionally?

Here’s one path to leveling up as a healthcare professional and leader, written by my fellow Corporate PharmD, Bryan Nguyen:

Continue reading “How To Optimize Your Commute”

What Percent Of Your Day Is Spent Doing Tech Duties?

When I first started working as a Pharmacy Manager, I prided myself in being the best at everything.

I had years of retail experience before pharmacy, so all of the people problems and challenges were nothing to me.

Verbal de-escalation was a breeze.

Customer service was my forte.

I was a beast at filling prescriptions because no one could match my hand speed with the spatula.

I could type 100 words per minute, and my fingers were built for flawless triage and adjudication.

The thrill of productivity and efficiency fueled me.

But I soon found out that I was steadily building a house of cards.

Being a one-man show had dire consequences. Continue reading “What Percent Of Your Day Is Spent Doing Tech Duties?”

A Pharmacist’s 5 Year Anniversary

My job lately has been kind of a roller coaster.

My team has tripled in the last year, and it makes me feel nostalgic.

It took me a few years to get my puny pharmacy under control.

To build a high-performing team and culture that cares about people.

Five years later, I’ve strategically built a pipeline of business owners at the store level.

We’re making a name for ourselves, but that’s not enough for me. Continue reading “A Pharmacist’s 5 Year Anniversary”

How Pharmacists Beat Micromanagement

Your district manager texts, “I emailed you this morning; did you read it?”

The morning was chaos as usual, so no time for electronic pleasantries.

You pick up the next pharmacy call on hold, and it’s your boss.

“Why was I on hold for so long?” The interrogation begins.

“Your promise time metrics aren’t being met, and now I can see why.”

Calling all Pharmacy Managers: we have a DM who is a Class-3 Micromanager. Continue reading “How Pharmacists Beat Micromanagement”

Chained and Whipped: Pavlov’s Pharmacists

You’ll see pharmacists on Reddit using the term “three letter chain,” fearing the wrath of CVS like Harry Potter for Voldemort.

You’ll see pharmacists on Twitter preface their tweets with “all thoughts are my own” as if it protects them for all the terrible things they have to say about their own company.

“Stay away from retail pharmacy if you want to love your job and patients.”

Do you ever wonder why pharmacists are so quick to snap at the limbs when talking about the company they work for?

Continue reading “Chained and Whipped: Pavlov’s Pharmacists”

First Draft Thoughts On Talent

The day started just like any other, an uphill battle against pharmacy budget cuts.

But we’re boasting twenty percent script growth over budget.

Let me say this another way: corporate only gives us enough tech payroll to meet script budget, not exceed it.

As any responsible business owner, I schedule to this budget, knowing I will probably need to flex up.

That’s because no one truly knows what the real time demand will be.

And I know better than to blindly follow a silly paper budget. Continue reading “First Draft Thoughts On Talent”