This has been on my mind for months now. The further I go along with this program and the more I work retail pharmacy, I realize that pharmacists are at the bottom of the food chain.
We get screwed by:
1. PBMs/Reimbursements (especially if your an independent pharmacy)
2. Board of Pharmacy (they protect the PUBLIC… NOT the pharmacy profession)
3. Corporate chains (staffing, hours, breaks, immunizations, making stupid promises on 15 minute prescriptions)
4. People social stigmas and perceptions (lick n stick and how we “only count pills”… basically we’re viewed as expendable)
We do have organizations like APhA that are supposed to promote the pharmacy career, but lots of pharmacists couldn’t really tell you. Sometimes I wonder… Why aren’t these organizations fighting for better working conditions especially if they’re supposed to promote the pharmacy profession? They probably receive funding from lots of funding from CVS, Walgreens, Walmart, and drug companies. Although I do realized that these organizations need to get funding to stay afloat, their first priority should be fighting for us. As I was googling around, I found a blog comparing APhA to AMA (http://www.iwanttobeapharmacist.com/2011/11/does-apha-really-represent-pharmacists.html). I do agree with the author, but I’m not going to bash these pharmacy organizations. They do some things right, but like the article said, they should consider looking at other organizations like AMA to see what they are doing right.
As much as I could go on about how much we get screwed by everyone, I realize it’s our fault too. Sometimes we get so caught up with making the patient and corporation’s happy, we don’t look out for our well being. What we don’t realize that better working conditions would benefit everyone (less errors/lawsuits, more time to counsel and address patient problems, give immunizations…ACTUALLY BE PHARMACISTS). Right now, I feel we’re just half assing patient care and everyone is getting screwed. Society doesn’t know what we do inside the pharmacy and our role as the “drug experts”. We don’t stand up for our rights. We bitch about our unfair working conditions and how we’re expected to do everything with nothing, but in the end we let everyone run a train on us. To sum it up, we’re equally at fault for not saying anything.
Pharmacy school is not easy, but some how people look at us as if we’re retarded. We deserve to be treated better especially if were “health care professionals”. Our role and how we handle problems needs to change somehow.
The only problem is… I have no clue where to start and THAT brings out my feelings of hopelessness and frustation with this profession.
Seriously. WTF. Rite Aid is dragging our profession down the shitter.