I have a enjoyed a long, interesting career in community practice pharmacy and education. After starting out as an educator, I became a Chain Drug guy, then an Independent store owner, then returned to academia to teach pharmacy students.
Along they way I started and ran a chain of Halloween Shops, a medical Billing Company, an internet based lead generation business, and a property management firm. I also served for Three years on the Board of Directors of Independent Pharmacy Coop in Madison Wisconsin and several other volunteer boards including the Menifee Valley Hospital Foundation Board, the Pharmacist Recovery Network, and the Chamber of Commerce.
By far the most rewarding and successful business I ever ever been involved with has been the Community Drug Store. There is just something special about having a positive impact on people’s lives and practicing pharmacy in the old fashioned, high service, high value mode. Real people love real pharmacists that provide real care.
Here’s a list of a few of the jobs I have had during my career.
My personal Mission is:
To instill the will to be great, the desire to excel, and the ability to create value, in the next generation of Pharmacists and other healthcare professionals.
We all have a “God Given” skill that that makes us unique and personal faults that make us human. Our challenge is to find the uniqueness in each other and overlook the faults.
I have many faults but my singular unique talent is the ability to observe things that others don’t see and to integrate those observations into effective action. This manifests in my being a voracious reader and collector of seemingly unrelated information that becomes the foundation for breakthrough ideas.
The academic press continually pounds the drumbeat of team-based-care. We have been good at advocating to become a member of the team. But we have provided little assistance in learning how to actually make the team work well. That is the role of “my stuff”. I attempt to teach all the specialists how to create value for the stakeholders they serve by learning the basic business skills they need to compete in the new economic climate of healthcare reform.
Most of my academic colleagues have vastly more impressive academic credentials than I do, advanced degrees and lots of letters after their names. After 15 years with Sav-on Drugs, Thrifty Drugs, and Smith’s Food and Drug, in Chain Drug Management roles I spent 17 years owning and operating several businesses including Camelot Drugs and Best Pharmacy. After all of that and board leadership roles for my local hospital, the Pharmacist Recovery Network and the Independent Pharmacy Coop, I was experiencing LETTER envy because I had not acquired any other officially sanctioned initials after my name. Then I had my “AHA” moment. Doctorate degrees are actually public certification of minimal competence to practice your craft. But it takes 10,000 hours according to Malcolm Gladwell to become good at what you do.
What is a G.W.K.S.?
After 30 years in the profession and 100,000 hours of practice in a variety of management roles I returned to academia to teach. And I discovered that while most of my colleagues were very smart and highly proficient clinicians they lacked experience with basic management functions. They frequently sought out my help in solving problems. Then finally one of my new faculty colleagues asked me, “What do you do around here?” My answer was, ” I am not a specialist in anything, I am just the “Guy Who Knows Stuff.” And the stuff that I know is how to get things done that need to be done.
And my new initials were born. I am the first official G.W.K.S.
If you want advanced clinical therapeutics stuff that is not me. If you want to know how to make something work, that is the stuff I do. And what I teach is the stuff you need to know to be successful regardless of your specialty.