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    What kinds of pharmacists get under your skin?

    The Pharmacy Gadfly has his say

    Dennis MillerDennis MillerI don’t claim to be any better than any other pharmacist. I have my own fair share of idiosyncrasies, eccentricities, peculiarities, and bad habits, none of which I will describe in this commentary.

    Right now, I’m going to describe the types of pharmacists who irritate me.

    Don’t send me an irate e-mail saying that I’m precisely the type of pharmacist you don’t like working with, even though your criticisms are probably valid. This is about you. If you want to criticize me, write your own commentary.

    See also: Our dysfunctional family

    Here are some of the pharmacists who get under my skin:

    Narcissistic young PharmDs

    I don’t like those PharmDs who view BS Pharms as their inferiors. I don’t like working with narcissistic young PharmDs who feel they are God’s gift to pharmacy and our system of healthcare. Their egos have been built up to stratospheric levels first by their parents and later by their pharmacy professors.

    Newly minted pharmacists are sometimes given the position of pharmacist-in-charge (PIC) because none of the older pharmacists wants the position. These young pharmacists tell themselves, “My boss sees what an extraordinary person I am.” In reality, the older pharmacists have no desire to be in charge of the pharmacy department in the sweatshops known as chain drugstores.

    One pharmacist wrote to me, “I am not impressed with the young PharmDs. They are cocky and most of them are lazy. Right now, the kids go into it for the money. Every student [I work with] answers that they applied to pharmacy school because of the salary.”

    Another pharmacist wrote, “The problem I see is that many of the new graduates are not anal enough and do not understand that they need to be on top of their game all the time. But that is our generation’s fault, for telling our kids how great they were when they were growing up.”

    Too slow

    Some pharmacists are just too darned slow. In my experience, very few topics get pharmacists more lathered than slow pharmacists. These slow pharmacists are often self-indulgent and self-absorbed. They don’t seem to realize or care how much chaos is caused by the resultant bottleneck or how much harder the rest of the pharmacy staff has to work to take up the slack.

    Too fast

    Many speedy pharmacists think they’re superior because of their ability to clear a counterful of scripts in no time. These pharmacists evaluate other pharmacists on one criterion only: how fast they fill prescriptions. (Now don’t send me an angry e-mail claiming that I like slow pharmacists. I do not.)

    Do you agree with the observation that the fastest pharmacists make the most errors? Have you noticed that some of those lightning-quick pharmacists who make lots of errors immediately try to blame customers for not asking why the pills look different from the previous refill?

    Many of these pharmacists are only concerned about their own metrics. They don’t care that the rest of the staff has to clean up the mess they leave in their wake.

    Dennis Miller, RPh
    Dennis Miller is a retired chain-store pharmacist living in Delray Beach, Fla. He welcomes feedback at [email protected] His books ...

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    • cudreeti@------.com
      One thing that annoys me the most when interacting with a Pharmacist, is the ones who treat customers like they are all guilty until proven not so. Customers who have scripts for more controlled substances have complained that they feel like a criminal and very embarrassed every month when dropping off, and more than is acceptable have a tough time getting their medication from a Pharmacy.
    • cudreeti@------.com
      One thing that annoys me the most when interacting with a Pharmacist, is the ones who treat customers like they are all guilty until proven not so. Customers who have scripts for more controlled substances have complained that they feel like a criminal and very embarrassed every month when dropping off, and more than is acceptable have a tough time getting their medication from a Pharmacy.
    • Anonymous
      A type of behavior exhibited by other pharmacists (I've observed it with techs as well) that absolutely drives me up the wall is the “thinking out loud” behavior that I have experienced in 25 years of retail (17 years in chains) and also in 12 years of hospital pharmacy. The type of pharmacy practice doesn’t seem to make a difference. Maybe I’ve been sensitized to it over the years, because it just drives me nuts. What I’m referring to is someone that has to verbalize everything they are doing. So, its very difficult to concentrate on the work I’m doing. Then, just about when it gets to the point that I’ve tuned them out…they add to their constant stream of consciousness a question for ME! Then, they expect me to answer right away or they ask me again. It's like…sorry…I haven’t been listening to everything coming out of your mouth so that I know that you are now including me in your endless rambling. I don't know why these coworkers do this, but it definitely involves some type of personality trait. I'll leave it to others to decide that. All I know is....I CAN'T STAND IT!!!
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