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    It ain't rocket science

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    David Stanley
    I caught up with an old friend from college awhile back and the experience left me a little disoriented. Those of you who've made it a habit to read my column over the last few months may have come away with the impression I have a negative view of the future of our profession.

    In a world of $1.50 dispensing fees, mandates from the corporate mothership to meet this metric or that number OR ELSE, and "taking pharmacy to the next level" translating into "give this many flu shots with no additional resources OR ELSE," I would say it's not a negative view, just simply a realistic one. Which is why I was a little confused when I caught up with my friend.

    He talked of job and professional satisfaction, and also of record sales. This confused me. Like he was speaking some foreign language. I mean, he was a pharmacist, just like me.

    I remember going to the same classes, making fun of the same professors, going to the same parties, and doing many of the stupid things college students will do together. We ended up passing the same boards and getting the same license. So why wasn't he bemoaning his work environment like the rest of us?

    Why on earth was he so...happy?

    Mystery solved

    Six words in one of his emails go a long way to explaining this mystery: "We don't fill commercially available prescriptions." You see, my friend has left behind the world of $4 generics, 15-minute guarantees, forced 14-hour days, and POWER programs. He opened up his own pharmacy and a few years later sold off the commercial prescription part of the business.

    Come to him with an order for a Z-Pak and he'll happily refer you to a place that'll slap a label on one for you. Come to him with a special need for a hospice patient's medication delivery, though, and he'll think outside the box and solve your problem. He partners with doctors to come up with solutions for patients whose needs put them outside the interests of the major pharmaceutical companies. He can even figure out how to get your dog to happily lap up every last drop of his heartworm medication.

    He also loves his job.

    Do you love yours?

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    David Stanley, RPh
    David Stanley is a pharmacy owner, blogger, and professional writer in northern California. Contact him at [email protected]