Pharmacists With a Side Hustle, Part 2

MARCH 08, 2018
Hopefully you enjoyed reading part 1 of the series about pharmacists with a side hustle. I have had so much feedback—many pharmacists who have side hustles, and many other pharmacists who want to start a side hustle. This does not surprise me, as pharmacists are a motivated bunch!

Here, we will focus on 8 more pharmacists with some amazing side hustles.

Lisa King, RPh: Ms. King recently coauthored a book with her sister, Lauren Daniels, who is a life coach and breast cancer survivor. The two sisters wanted to join forces and share what they have learned in their combined 45 years of health and healing. Their book, Tiny Life Changes, went to number 1 on Amazon on its launch date of January 9. Ms. King and Ms. Daniels do speaking engagements together and are putting together a coaching and accountability package for women who want to change their lives. They believe that taking it one day and one step at a time will lead to big results in achieving goals and dreams. Their website is

Ms King explained that the two biggest take aways from the book are:
  • Only keep the thoughts that make you stronger.
  • Always give yourself permission for a redo, and keep moving forward towards your goals and dreams.

Chara Reid, PharmD: Dr. Reid, a specialty pharmacist, did not start out looking for a side job. She started getting faxes looking for specialty pharmacists to complete surveys. After the first one, she received a $200 check in the mail. Soon after, she was contacted via LinkedIn about oncology surveys. Those surveys paid about $300 per hour. Dr. Reid enjoyed them because they were interesting, and she also got to see what would be coming out on the market. Dr. Reid also participates in advisory boards, which pay about $200-400 per hour. In advisory boards, a drug company will pay for your insight. She described these as easy and fun, and in doing these has been able to add about $4000 to her annual salary. For these advisory boards, there is no preparation, you just go in and give your input. Her best advisory board experience was through Pfizer, where she was flown to Denver (free flight and hotel) and made $1800 for 4 hours of work!

Philip King, PharmD: Dr. King has been creating pens for about 6 years, and he is a Director of Pharmacy at the local hospital. When the hospital was bought in 2005 by Community Health Systems, the Regional Health Manager gave Dr. King a handmade pen on his first visit. At the time, Dr. King had never heard of a handmade pen, and he was very impressed with it. In 2012, he built a shop behind his house in preparation for retirement, in order to make pens by hand. Dr. King bought a lathe, drill press, saws, etc., and read everything he could find on turning pens. For several years, he made pens on his days off and learned from his mistakes. About 2 years ago, he stepped down as director and works part-time, which gives him more time to devote to pens. Now, Dr. King compounds acrylics, adding dyes to get his desired colors, and he stabilizes his own wood to make it suitable for turning. He says that is the pharmacist part of him, that loves compounding acrylics and stabilizing wood. Living on a farm, Dr. King has access to many different types of wood—his favorite is old barn wood.

About a year ago, his wife was diagnosed with breast cancer and he started making pink Breast Cancer Survivor pens to give away to any survivor that wanted 1. He is also thinking of doing something along these lines for first responders and veterans. He has a King Pen Facebook page that shows additional designs.

In addition to turning pens, Dr. King has started beekeeping. He took beekeeping classes and set up hives. Currently, his hives are thriving, and he hopes to harvest and sell honey this year. He is thinking of ways to combine his two passions—beekeeping and pens. 

Rebeca Calderon Myer, PharmD: Dr. Myer, owner of Blooming Loops, creates beautiful and unique handmade rompers, bonnets, and headbands for newborns. She has always loved to create things; since she was a child she loved all kinds of arts and crafts. For practical reasons, she chose pharmacy as a career. However, she still wanted to give her creative inspirations an outlet. Her grandmother taught her a little bit about sewing, and the rest Dr. Myer taught herself with a crochet hook and yarn, while pregnant with her third child. A year ago, she received a sewing machine for her birthday. She realized there was a large demand for adorable and 1-of-a-kind outfits by newborn photographers and her niche was created.

Nathan Hamilton, PharmD: Investing is Dr. Hamilton’s side hustle, which he describes as a hobby, a side hustle, and a way to keep his knowledge base up. He explained that his interest in investing came about the same way as many others—good old fashioned 'fear of missing out.' The adage among many investors was that buying biotech companies in most cases was similar to buying scratch-off tickets. Dr Hamilton, with his pharmacy background, disagreed. While there are high risks and high rewards involved in investing in this space, it does not move by chance. He uses his expertise as a pharmacist to get ahead, and so far, he is beating Wall Street. The S & P 500 has returned about 9% over the past 6 months, and Dr Hamilton is up 14%.

In addition to making money, Dr Hamilton has been keeping his knowledge more than up to date. He explained that most pharmacists probably don’t realize there is currently an oral GLP-1 agonist in Phase 3 trials, and we are on the cusp of being able to edit genes to provide cures to cystic fibrosis patients. We are also getting very close to being able to provide oral therapy for pulmonary artery hypertension that rivals continuous IV therapy. He explained that investing as a hobby has been symbiotic—he has skills to lend it, and it yields knowledge in return. Sounds like Dr Hamilton can teach us all a class on this!
Jessica Howard, PharmD: Dr. Howard teaches classes online for Rasmussen College. She has taught compounding and is currently teaching pharmacy calculations. She was looking for some extra work and saw the job posting on She really enjoys teaching and adding her own experiences to her explanations, and it shows. The students enjoy her class and say that her personal stories add so much to the learning experience.

Dr Howard lives in South Carolina and the college is in Florida; everything is online through Blackboard and WebEx technologies. She develops her own Power Point slides and lecture materials. In addition to a live lecture once a week, Dr Howard has online office hours as well. She finds it rewarding and loves teaching her students.

Katherine Bryant, PharmD: Dr. Bryant creates amazing pet portraits. She has been artistic from a young age; she began painting and drawing at the age of 7. Her parents encouraged her to take classes and always framed her work. In first grade, she won first place in the State Fair for her artwork. In 2013, she started creating pet portraits, and painted her (now) husband’s dog. Her next project was painting her own dog as a puppy and then as an adult.

In 2015, she got married and moved to Wilmington. She did not find a job right away, and with a lot of free time on her hands, opened an Etsy shop. Additionally, she made business cards and painted portraits as presents for family members, and they have been great at helping her spread the word about her work and her website.

Wendy Copeland, PharmD: Dr. Copeland was an EMT-A/Firefighter for the Town of Beloit Fire Department for 4 years. She became interested in doing something else because she was not getting enough stimulation from her retail pharmacist job. After spending so many years in school and feeling passionate about the health care field, she wanted to learn something new.

Growing up, Dr. Copeland always wanted to be a paramedic. However, after landing her first job at the age of 15 as a pharmacy technician, her fate to become a pharmacist was decided. Fast forward to going back to school—she enrolled in the local technical college for EMT-Basic class. Her teacher was the assistant chief for the fire department in her town, and he was so passionate about his job, it made her want to work for his department. The only stipulation was that she had to pass a firefighter class to be offered a job in his department. She enrolled in the firefighter program, got her national certificate, and was hired as an EMT/firefighter. She loved it so much that she pursued her EMT license further, became an Advanced EMT, and went on to take the Motor Pump Operator course for firefighter. The experience was incredible!  

Dr. Copeland never thought she would fall in love with the fire side more than the EMS side, but she explained that once you are first on an engine and you pull up to the scene of a fully engulfed house fire, you can't beat that thrill! As an EMT, she also saw a lot of breathing difficulties, overdoses, seizures, falls, etc. (and some patients she would see later that day or the next day, at the pharmacy picking up their prescriptions). Dr. Copeland stated that it definitely wasn't a job that paid a lot of money, but the experience was worth more than any financial gain.

This was originally going to be a 2-part series, but with so many emails coming in, I have many more stories that I really think you will enjoy, including a pharmacist that makes monocle jewelry, a pharmacist with a home-based bakery, a pharmacist that is opening a brewery, and more! Stay tuned for part 3, coming soon.
If you have a side hustle, feel free to message me and tell me all about it at

Karen Berger, PharmD
Karen Berger, PharmD
Karen Berger, PharmD, graduated from the University of Pittsburgh School of Pharmacy in 2001. She has worked in community pharmacies for over 16 years as a Pharmacist in Charge, staff, and floater pharmacist for a large chain. Currently, she is a pharmacist at an independent pharmacy in Northern NJ. She can be reached at
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