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Advocating For Our Profession

By Caroline Beaulieu posted 09-28-2014 14:49


A few weeks ago, I had the opportunity to hear one of the Kentucky Board of Pharmacy members speak about “how to be passionate about our profession”. Mr. Joel Thornbury brought up some important points that made me reflect on the future of pharmacy practice. He highlighted a few critical issues surrounding our profession that quite frankly, concerned me.

Here is how Mr. Thornbury began his speech: “the profession of pharmacy is in trouble.” As many of us are aware, the number of students who graduate from pharmacy school every year outweighs the number of jobs available. However, this isn’t a simple supply and demand issue. As Mr. Thornbury pointed out, some hospitals are seeking to reduce the number of positions for pharmacists. We are one of the better-compensated health care professionals but one of the very few who have yet to achieve provider status.

Pharmacists need to move away from their dispensing role. Other health care professionals need us on the health care team to optimize patient outcomes. They do not need us for our distributive role but for the clinical judgments we can make and the clinical preventative services we can offer. However, in order to establish our role as an indispensable part of the team, we must be politically active. We must come together as a group to promote what we can offer and prove that we can help significantly improve patient outcomes.

Last week, I had the opportunity to participate in ASHP’s legislative day with the Kentucky delegation. I was able to meet with congressional staff to speak about the education that we receive as students and how it qualifies us to offer a broader range of clinical services upon graduation. This experience was an incredible eye-opener. It made me realize part of what we can do as students to help expand the role of pharmacists and have the services we provide recognized under Medicare Part B. The profession needs us to be politically active both throughout pharmacy school and beyond graduation. I highly encourage all students to support political efforts and help advance the practice of pharmacy.

#PharmacyStudents #NewPractitioners #ClinicalSpecialistsandScientists #Leadership #AmbulatoryCarePractitioners #PharmacyPracticeManagers #MedicationSafetyOfficers #Professionalism #HealthCareReform #InpatientCarePractitioner #Resident #Advocacy #ResidencyProgramDirector #Careers
1 comment



10-11-2014 15:54

First of all I want to thank you for going above and beyond for our profession and attending ASHP Legislation Day. I also attended as I have learned how important advocacy for our profession has become. Student pharmacists across the country bring some of the best energy and passion to advocacy. Pharmacy leaders that I have interacted with at multiple advocacy events have expressed their gratitude towards students that are willing to stand by their side to promote our profession.
Beyond the amazing interactions and lessons learned from current leaders in our profession, the conversations with my Senators and Congressmen are invaluable. Taking the time to get to know your state representatives and build a relationship so that they don't just hear about our profession but truly understand the benefits we provide to our patients is what advocacy is all about. It is up to each of us to be ready for January and get H.R. 4190 in front of our representatives.