By Tom Boyer for our 99 Ways to Make a Positive Difference in Your Pharmacy blog series

Lead and Influence the Next Generation!

I’ve had the opportunity to be a guest lecturer at pharmacy schools the past few years and can confidently say the future of the pharmacy practice is in good hands. Aside from their clinical studies, what exposure to retail pharmacy operations do these future leaders – yes, leaders – actually receive? That’s where you come in.

mentor a pharmacy studentToday’s pharmacy students are very patient care-centric and are enamored with technology. Most also have the entrepreneurial spirit – they want to be independent and try new things. As much as they embrace the efficiencies technology can bring they also don’t want to be robo-dispensers. It’s important to them that they remain close to their patients, and what better learning-ground for that than an independent pharmacy, your pharmacy.

Some of you may already be preceptors, where you are formally working with a pharmacy student as a part of their curriculum, but if you aren’t, consider getting involved in other ways. Getting engaged with pharmacy students will be mutually beneficial – you both will learn something new from the experience.

If you can’t become a preceptor, there are other options. One possibility is to offer your real-world advice as a guest speaker at a pharmacy school near you. Another is to invite students to your store for a brown-bag lunch learning session. Field their questions about running their own pharmacy and tell them why independent pharmacy ownership is worth pursuing. Share ideas and have an honest dialogue about what it takes to provide a high level of service while remaining efficient and profitable.

Mentoring pharmacy students will require extra effort and extra hours, but it is worthwhile to make the time investment. Not only is it a way to give back to your profession, but I guarantee you’ll get new ideas, a new sense of commitment, and a new outlook on the field of pharmacy if you do.

Tom BoyerAs Director of National Accounts, Tom manages the business relationships of Hamacher's wholesale distributor clients. In addition, he works with industry partners such as POS vendors, data solutions providers, independent pharmacies, and retail chains, as well as directing new product development opportunities geared to pharmaceutical distribution. He is also an owner of the company and guest lecturer at pharmacy schools.


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