Mr. Roberts is executive vice president and chief executive officer of the National Community Pharmacists Association (NCPA).
When exploring career options, pharmacy students should include pharmacy ownership as a worthwhile career choice. The rewards are many—you can practice the way you want; you determine the work environment; and you decide the patient care services you want to offer. In addition, many owners find greater personal flexibility working for themselves. All these benefits, plus the potential for higher earnings, make ownership professionally and financially rewarding.
If you are still reluctant due to your financial situation, you can become a junior partner at a community pharmacy, putting you on the path to eventually become the owner. You get valuable work experience, while gradually increasing your monetary stake in your future. NCPA can help you pursue that option. We also have carefully crafted programs that can assist you in becoming a successful owner.
NCPA has established a robust Student Affairs Outreach Program. Its main objective is to expand entrepreneurial learning opportunities by having active NCPA student chapters at pharmacy schools. For example, the annual NCPA Pruitt-Schutte Student Business Plan Competition provides students with firsthand experience in how to establish their own business. We also created the Ownership Academy, which comprehensively covers aspects such as how to purchase or open a pharmacy; how to implement the best business practices; and how to eventually sell a pharmacy. It is the proverbial road map with all the signs you need to find your destination: a fulfilling career in ownership. The academy includes Ownership Workshops—a continuing education program that gives aspiring owners the information they need to establish a topflight pharmacy.
To become an NCPA member and ex plore the wonderful world of serving patients by owning your own health care business, go to www.ncpanet.org, and click on “join.” It is a small investment in what can be a very profitable and exciting future.