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    You can’t put a price on job satisfaction


    If you saw the cover of this issue of Drug Topics on your way to this column, then you know it’s that special time of year when the results of the annual salary survey are in. It’s the time of year when hard-working pharmacists everywhere lament being grossly underpaid or note in a few smug words that they’re at the top of the salary curve.

    The salary survey and me

    Kelly HowardMy own relationship with the venerable salary survey has been up and down over the 15 years or so that I have been reading Drug Topics.

    As a pharmacy student, I used to wistfully thumb through the pages of this issue every year and dream of the time when I could afford to live without roommates.

    Should I stay or should I go?

    As a new graduate in the halcyon days of the pharmacist shortage, I used this issue as a reference point to determine a fair salary.

    A few years later, as a floating nuclear pharmacist, I skimmed this issue with the smug confidence of a person assured of large annual bonuses and guaranteed overtime.

    A few years after that, I found myself trapped in a job where I felt underappreciated. It did my emotional well-being no favors to be reminded on an annual basis that I was also underpaid. Every January it became my spouse’s job to intercept this issue at the mailbox and bury it in the recycle bin before I became aware of its existence.

    Fortunately, those dark days are over, and once again this issue brings comfort to my soul as I look at the satisfaction levels and salaries of my fellow pharmacists and compare them with my own.

    Kelly Howard, BS, PharmD, BCPS
    Kelly Howard is a blogger and freelance pharmacist in Southeastern North Carolina. Contact her at [email protected] or ...


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