At the pharmacy today, I had 3 pharmacists in training to oversee.

I love coaching and mentoring, don’t get me wrong.

But these days bring me so close to the end of my tether.

That’s because it’s a whole different level of resource management when you have to listen to and be part of every single conversation..

On top of verifying and making sure patients don’t die.

Every day, I follow a different teaching theme to help me stay focused and keep my sanity.

Think For Yourself

Today, I found myself saying the same message over and over again like a broken record.

“Quit reading what’s on the screen and think for yourself.”

It took my interns a while to get the message because they’ve been taught efficiency since their birth in Retail Pharmacy.

They’ve worked at stores where they serve the colors on the screen rather than the patients in front of them.

Practitioners everywhere have been conditioned by their company that script volume makes more money than quality care i.e. Profit > Humanity.

They’ve been punished by the Pharmacy Gods if they dare take the time to be genuine, compassionate healthcare providers.

But not today, not on my watch.

Be Human

Through all the stupor and confused looks, I pressed them hard.

These conversations are always uncomfortable.

They probably hated me in these moments:

“If the computer didn’t tell you what to do, how would you provide actual patient care?”

“Is reading off the screen the same thing as practicing pharmacy?”

“What value are you really adding to this patient?”

“How can you humanize this interaction and deliver healthcare at the same time?”

It was a basic concept, but I felt like I was speaking in a different language at times.

But they needed to hear it.

We get so caught up with promise times, meeting targets, doing this song and dance of musical workstations..

That we forget the Oath that we take as Pharmacists.

That we have one overarching priority:

The Welfare of Humanity

It’s a timeless tale.

The humanitarian perspective getting lost every day in the minutiae of Retail Pharmacy.

We sound and act like robots, using blanket statements and reciting company protocol and laws rather than using the purpose behind them to care for our patients.

So we have to fight every day, every hour to do what’s right for our people.

And it’s not for just their sake, but our own.

Without this purpose, we are nothing but dust under our white coats withering away inside.

But not today, not on my watch.

Future generations of pharmacists need to see how important it is to hold onto humanity.

So spread the good word.

We could all use a little more humanness in this age of computers and automation.

When you connect with a patient or colleague on a human level, you feel it.

And it feels good.

Rise up, and keep paying it forward.

-Mr. Corporate Pharmacist