Entrepreneurship for the Modern Pharmacist: What Need Can You Fill?

DECEMBER 10, 2017
According to Webster’s dictionary, the word “entrepreneur” means “a person who organizes, manages and assumes the risks of a business or enterprise.” Entrepreneurs are people who identify a need and fill that need.
More than 5 years ago, I started my own business. I was 24 years old and I had no idea what I was doing. All I knew was that I wanted to make an impact in the realm of pharmacy. I had always been interested in nutrition and as I was teaching diabetes classes during my residency, I kept hearing a recurring theme amongst my patients. They all wanted to get off of their medication and find a healthy alternative. Over time, I realized how little we learned about nutrition in pharmacy school and how much it was needed in our profession.

I enrolled in the Institute for Integrative Nutrition in the fall of 2012 and completed the year-long course, learning about dietary theory, developing coaching skills and discovering how to structure client sessions. At that time, I did not know many pharmacists who were integrating pharmacy and nutrition, yet I knew then that it was the future of pharmacy.
We are moving away from fee-for-service and toward a value-based payment model. Although pharmacists do not have provider status, we can still play a big role in creating lifestyle action plans for our patients.
I started off doing workshops in Brooklyn, giving free talks at senior centers and learning everything I could about nutrition. As my business grew, I gained confidence in my ability to help my clients adapt positive behaviors. When my fiance Adam and I joined forces, we knew that we wanted to create a movement. We knew we couldn’t do it alone and our Rx4Success Program was born!
We now train pharmacists who want to incorporate nutrition into their practice. Our monthly calls provide step-by-step action steps for pharmacists to build their own nutrition consulting business. Pharmacists graduate the year-long program and feel confident in client acquisition, marketing, enrollment techniques and creating a client experience that will foster future referrals.
What I often ask people who are thinking about the entrepreneur path is this: “What is the problem you are most frustrated with? How would you solve that problem?” For me that problem was the minimal training we have in pharmacy school with counseling on nutrition and lifestyle change. When you can find what you are most passionate about, you will put your heart and soul into it. Entrepreneurship is not for the faint of heart. It requires hard work, dedication, willingness to pivot, and be adaptable and courage. You will be taking risks financially and getting out of your comfort zone.
So I ask you, what is the need you want to fill? What are you frustrated with and would like to see change? Maybe it is in the realm of pharmacy or perhaps it is in another area of your life. When you dedicate yourself to your passion, you will find the greatest fulfillment you’ll ever know!

Dr. Christina Tarantola, PharmD, CHC, CHt
Dr. Christina Tarantola, PharmD, CHC, CHt
Dr. Christina Tarantola, PharmD, CHC is a licensed pharmacist, nutrition consultant and CEO and Founder of Enlightened Wellness Solutions, a transformational coaching company geared to empower and energize people to take charge of their health! Dr. Christina is also a passionate author of two paperback books, Revealing Your Inner Radiance: Healing through the Heart and Reclaim Your Power: A Roadmap to Re-energizing Your Life. For the last 5 years, Dr. Christina has been providing educational health talks in the Pittsburgh area, sharing her expertise on her monthly podcast segment on The Pharmacy Podcast, and creating relevant, informative health articles, YouTube videos and newsletters to empower her clients to live healthy lives!
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