Why I Love Being a Pharmacist and How You Can Too

by Cindy on December 3, 2009

in About Cindy,Motivational

hearts on a vine

I asked my husband several times how can we let our readers know a little more about what I do.  After several attempts he finally came up with the idea of just asking me a couple questions.  So here they are.  I hope you enjoy it and get to know me a little better.

What is it exactly that you do? I am an Independent Contract Pharmacist and co-owner of ‘Pharmacist on Loan’.   I provide relief services for my clients on an ongoing basis.

I love what I do.  Most of my staff members don’t even know I’m a contract pharmacist.  It’s such a different feeling to walk into a pharmacy and knowing this is my client versus being an employee.  I basically do the same thing, but I care a whole lot more.

Why do clients pay you more than they pay their own employees? Having me as a contract pharmacist  actually creates a cost savings for the pharmacy owner.  There are extra expenses the owner does not have to pay because I am not an employee.  Look at Lesson 4 for a little more details.

How did you come up with this idea? I was frustrated and miserable working full time for a chain retail pharmacy.  I just couldn’t imagine doing this for the rest of my career.  I thought about a career change.  I thought about going back to school.

I signed up with a few relief agencies to get some exposure to different pharmacy settings and also to make extra money.  I enjoyed practicing pharmacy at some of the sites the agency wound send me to.

But I had my share of complaints with the relief agencies. They weren’t always direct with me about how much “work” they had for me and I didn’t like being called last minute to show up at places like “Wrong Aid”.

I never knew the clients, I didn’t know who I would be working with, and there were times I was sent to a chain and the technician would call in sick. It would end up being a horrible day because I didn’t know their computer system.

Some of my favorite places the relief agencies sent me to were independent pharmacies.  I started talking to the owners and found out some of their complaints with the relief agencies.

The obvious one being the agency charged too much, and they never knew which pharmacist the agency would send.   And when the owner did like a pharmacist they couldn’t call or hire them directly because of existing contract agreements.

Then one day after an assignment I said to my husband “I wish I could work full time doing relief work without going through an agency”.  We then developed ‘Pharmacist on Loan’.

What is the best part of your job? Definitely my clients.  I work for great Independent Pharmacy Owners.  These owners believe in providing great customer service and being involved in their patients drug therapies. They know their patients by name, and they spend time with their patients by avoiding the typical “Fast Food Pharmacy” approach.

My clients know how to treat their pharmacist well. I always have enough staff to help with the register, insurance, phone calls, and other tasks. Which allows me to practice pharmacy and focus on all the important steps necessary to give the patient the best outcome. The owners care about their business.  I want to keep my clients happy, so I walk into work caring about their business too.

What kind of Preparation is needed to be an Independent Contractor? It’s one of those things that is simple and hard at the same time.  You do need to set up a business foundation and go into this with a business or entrepreneurial mindset.  You also have to think about how to market your services.  I really recommend that you Read the Coaching Series or sign up for our newsletter and receive the series through email.

What’s something people don’t know about you? I like to eat cake frosting straight from the jar and eat spaghetti O’s right out of the can.  I like Sci-fi.  I have different variations of a recurring nightmare that I’m not a pharmacist because I’ve missed one class or somehow I didn’t pass a certain class.

What don’t other pharmacists know about doing this? Most don’t know they can do this.  This is a better and more satisfying way of practicing pharmacy.  You don’t have to quit your primary job.  You can do this part-time, full-time or as a relief basis.  It depends on how you want to structure your business.    This is such a great way to make extra money and you can always quit your main job when your comfortable.

Photo by: String of Hearts by aussiegall

Want to break away from the chain pharmacies? Need help getting started as an Independent Pharmacist? Want an advantage over the competition in your area? Check out our Starter Package!

{ 2 trackbacks }

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{ 10 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Pharmacies Worldwide December 3, 2009 at 3:22 pm

wonderful, I believe that all pharmacists should love their job and believe it makes for better pharmacy care. This statement comes from doing the drive threw type pharmacy and then experiencing independent compounding pharmacies. I must say that the challenge is back, I’m not a prescription drug peddler anymore but a drug specialist with intention to know your name and use my knowledge to help your therapy.
Some of us are built for script filling and day to day dispensing but most of us still believe that we play a vital role in Health Care and can make a difference in a patients success and well being.
I commend all pharmacists who take pride in their work and who strive to see pharmacy as it once was, this relates to all types of pharmacy, wanting to make a difference in patients because we can and really do care. Pharmacist on loan can be the answer for pharmacists to see the other side of the grass, the intention to help someone else is one of the fundamentals of pharmacy and should be part of our daily practice. If you feel that your pharmacist training is going in vain and you would like to use the benefits of your knowledge to help others in their well-being I invite you to explore other options and what better way to do it with than a part time independent contract, maybe you love pharmacy more than you know…

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2 Cindy December 12, 2009 at 1:22 am

Thank you so much for your well thought out and articulated comment.

I hope you continue to find value here and also leave comments.

Please let us know what you think and what you would like to see on this site.

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3 Pharmacy School Admissions Statistics December 26, 2009 at 4:04 pm

I am currently a 1st year pharmacy school student, and I am glad I came across your website. I had a vague understanding of how pharmacists can be ‘independent’, but now I have a clearer understanding.

bookmarked and following you on twitter 😀

Reply

4 Marvin January 4, 2010 at 3:46 pm

Thanks for stopping by, bookmarking and following us on Twitter. I’m glad you have a clearer understanding. Oftentimes, independent is thought to mean, you own your own pharmacy. It’s not always true. A contract pharmacist is also independent.

Also, it’s important to us that you sign up for the email newsletter. That way you’re notified every couple of new posts (so you won’t miss anything) and you’ll get to reference the entire Coaching Series together in a single document for the special low price of zero dollars.

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5 Cindy January 4, 2010 at 3:51 pm

Congratulations on starting your first year at pharmacy school.

Enjoy the next 4 years. It will fly by fast!

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6 Camy January 23, 2011 at 11:14 pm

I enjoyed this article. I have only been praticing for 5 years & am getting burned out. I work in hospital pharmacy. Do you think this is an area where I can contract my services??

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7 Cindy February 13, 2011 at 11:55 am

Sorry Camy for taking awhile to respond to you. Yes, this is an area I think you can contract your services. But I believe in order to contract with a hospital, you need to incorporate your business vs. being a self proprietor. Every hospital is different, you just need to find out the requirements.

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8 Chireen Bradshaw April 6, 2011 at 8:31 pm

I love your site. I think you’re the ONLY place on the web that shares this information. I’m about to start my last 2 years of pharmacy school. Previously I did mortgages for many years, so I fully understand owning a business and marketing myself. But I have several questions I’d like to ask. As soon as I have some time I’ll write them down and send them to you in an email. I know you are so busy with family, so I do appreciate you taking the time to share this information with so many! I have to go study for a Med. Chem. exam right now, but I’m SO excited I found your site! I know it will help me tremendously in the future. Thank you so much!

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9 Marvin April 6, 2011 at 11:29 pm

Thanks Chireen,
We work really hard on getting this information out. Pharmacists don’t realize how easy this is and how much better it is than working for the big chains. I hope you remain a fan for a long time. I should have the series in a PDF format soon so hang tight. Good luck on your exam.

Marvin

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10 Vadosimo October 26, 2012 at 11:21 am

I am a bad pharmacist :)

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