Magazine article Drug Topics

Reality: Have It Your Way

Magazine article Drug Topics

Reality: Have It Your Way

Article excerpt

Guest editorial

As part of our ongoing initiative to encourage dialogue between pharmacists working in different environments, each month Drug Topics will present an editorial by a guest columnist writing on a subject of his or her choice. Send us your feedback; we look forward to sharing it in an upcoming issue.

I read David Stanley's column in the January issue of Drug Topics ["You talkin' for me?"]. I was struck not so much by his remarks about professional organizations as by the comments of Mr. Stanley and others about "their reality" as it relates to the practice of community pharmacy. As I thought about this, I wondered about the concept of a "oeflective reality." Is there such a thing?

In my opinion, there is no collective reality. Our lives are unique and based on our own experiences, choices, and perceptions. As individuals, we are responsible for all that we create.

Part of the "reality" that Mr. Stanley mentions is our fault as a profession. People said yes to things they shouldn't have said yes to, such as "AWP - 100% plus $0.05" and the raising of pharmacist-tech ratios. These kinds of changes are intended (at least on the surface) to allow pharmacists time to spend with patients. But guess what? There's no money in patient care. So we've ended up creating a world where computer screens alert us if we aren't going fast enough and lunch breaks are legislated.

But the rest of the responsibility lies with each of us. When we graduate from pharmacy school, we all have choices to make. As pharmacists, we are blessed with many career options. Some of us see big dollar signs and head straight to the nearest pharmacy chain. Some of us choose to do residencies. Others go into the pharmaceutical industry. Each choice is a conscious decision. We are not forced to work anywhere. Equally conscious is the decision to stay in a situation that feels "de-professionalized" and makes us miserable. We make decisions and create results. Ifs that simple. And what we do with those results determines our satisfaction with our profession and our lives.

Our personal choices and those of our employers and governing bodies may add up to a stressful environment, no matter where we practice. It's what we do when we find ourselves in that stressful place that can make a difference. …

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