The Third Act for Pharmacy

The future of professional practice will depend on the independent practice of the professions. By independent I am notHealthcare Practitioner who has created valuespeaking strictly about the traditional independent drug store. I am speaking about each individual pharmacist or healthcare practitioner learning how to independently generate their own successful career.

During the next 20 years the industry forces have aligned in such a way that it is imperative for long term job security that each and every healthcare practitioner who wants to remain employed understands how value is created and crafts a personal value strategy that will work in the era of globalization and tight budgets. Nothing about our industry is going to remain constant and you should not rely on anyone else to look out for your interests.

The Future of Healthcare is Uncertain

It is tough to be optimistic, but you can’t be afraid of it either. I believe in the power of optimism but I respect the power of fear. Optimism drives energetic effort, fear paralyzes. Each one of us rides the wave of optimism and fear throughout our lives. Fear sucks. It causes chest pains, anger, high cortisol levels and ruins relationships.

When faced with adversity it is easy to withdraw in to fear it is difficult sometimes to maintain your enthusiasm for the future. But all I am asking today is that you give optimism a chance. You can be skeptical just don’t be fearful.

Stop Whining and Take Action to Secure Your Future.

During the 35+ years I have been managing groups of pharmacists my guess is that it is fair to say that we are pretty good at identifying things we don’t like and complaining about it.  We tend to be less vocal when we are optimistic about the future because things appear good. And this make make us seem like whiners in the eyes of some important stakeholders.

And I believe that whining is unprofessional. I define whining as complaining without offering a solution.  Lots of pharmacists whined in the 1960’s when chain drug stores started proliferating, lots of pharmacist whined when Third Party Payers began to dominate in the 1980’s, and lots of pharmacists whined when computers began to change pharmacy, and HIPPA came along and Medicare Part D came along, and oppressive audits began.

The store owners that simply whined are no longer owners. The folks that busted their tails and adapted are doing quite well.

The key to success  is and always has been your reaction to the changing world not the fact that the world changes.

So if you think that the professionals who actually treat the patients have gotten a raw deal, (They Have) or that the industry is stacked against professional providers (It is), then you have a choice to make.

Do I whine about it? Or….Do I do something about it to fix it?

As a reformed whiner I am hear to tell you that I choose to do something about it.

You can make your own choice.  

Our story at its core is very simple. If you want real healthcare, from a real person, who cares about you and your family,  are you mostly likely to get that from a faceless 800 number or from one of your neighbors?

The secret to success is not having a great plan it is simply taking action that moves you in the direction you want to go. Absent action you are just planning to whine.

For those of you who are not currently working in or around Independent Pharmacy I simply ask, be open minded. What I am talking about will work for you regardless of your practice setting.

Check out my post on: What is the PBM answer for this?

Greg L. Alston is an author, educator, pharmacist and entrepreneur with 35+ years of experience as a drugstore operator and owner. He helps pharmacists to develop and implement value strategies that will generate new revenue, cut expenses, increase profits and build equity while making pharmacy enjoyable again.