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Not So Super Pharmacist

October 10, 2018
Posted by: By: Gerald “Pharmacist Jerry” Finken, RPh, MS; Contributor, Martha Morton

Not So Super PharmacistPhoto Credit: Syneos Health Communications

Many young children desire to become a superhero. These children yearn for the abilities beyond themselves, of undeniable strength, agility, and notable good looks. As they grow older they discover that those dreams of being a superhero may not be realistic, but, hopefully, many still have the desire to be a hero – a hero in their eyes to their family, friends, or amongst their coworkers in the profession of their choosing.

October is National Pharmacist Month, the one month of the year where the heroes of pharmacy-fellow pharmacists and I- are nationally recognized.  But what makes us heroes?

I can tell you what doesn’t make us heroic…

  • Getting paid 150k to lick and stick, fill and deal.
  • Staying in our own little world behind the counter of our pharmacy while patients don’t understand why they are getting a medication or how they are supposed to take it.
  • Listening as your technician asks the question, “You don’t want to talk to the pharmacist, do you?”

Like superheroes, our abilities when utilized for the better good are priceless.  Great power comes with great responsibility and we can make a world of difference, if we would just take action – not necessarily “big” actions like our comic book heroes, just a few small ones at the right time, while using ALL of our skills and abilities. Just think about how different the conclusion of all superhero movies would be if the hero did not utilize all of their abilities to save the world:

Clark Kent. He was publicly a reporter and Superman behind the scenes. Though he did have a present voice through his job as a reporter, he needed to up his game and exercise his special abilities in order to fight the bad guys and save the people of Metropolis.

Peter Parker.  He had a day job as a photographer, but undercover was Spider-Man. He also exercised his full array of abilities to repeatedly save the day in New York City.

Barry Allen. He was a forensic scientist by day and is now the Flash. He too worked against evil to save Central City’s inhabitants.

These superheroes, though they did not get to choose their powers, they chose to utilize them to help others. As pharmacists, we were able to choose our occupation based on our abilities. So how, like the aforementioned heroes, can we become super?

Being a super pharmacist requires a lot more than following our defined job descriptions.  It involves working alongside other health professionals to provide the best care for each patient, whatever it takes. We need to continue to be healthcare’s servant leaders, which involves more than being a living, breathing medication vending machine. As pharmacists, we are the medication experts. As the expert it is our duty to provide pertinent information about medications and support each patient as an individual in order to maximize the health of each patient.

What do you think? And who is your favorite super hero – comic book or otherwise?

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