Many newly graduated pharmacists will pursue a post-graduate residency and go on to a career as a clinical pharmacist.

Others may have the determination and/or good fortune to establish a clinical position in a traditional or niche setting. Although there is little doubt that young pharmacists will receive guidance from multiple mentors, it is also helpful to read about best practices, ideas, and do’s and don’ts when establishing a new practice.

Gupta and Williams describe the pressing need to identify and develop new ambulatory care practice sites, particularly given society’s increasing emphasis toward ambulatory care and in considering the growing number of PharmD programs around the country with mandates for good sites for their practice faculty.1 The authors provide recommendations to help clinical pharmacists determine whether a potential site will be able to provide adequate resources and support to establish a successful practice.

This may be challenging in settings in which clinical pharmacy services have never been used. The paper discusses the preparation required prior to approaching a new practice site, assessing the need for physical requirements, meeting key personnel, marketing your clinical skills, and evaluating the various potentials of that site.

Preparation includes having a clear mission and vision of the pharmacist’s services (possibly including several protocols), ensuring that stakeholders have an understanding of the pharmacy services requiring site support, and resources for the pharmacist, including space, equipment, and access to health information technology and patient records.

Pharmacists must demonstrate value to achieve success when implementing new services and especially when establishing an entirely new practice. Those establishing a new practice are inherently managers in their own right and must begin to think that way even prior to seeing their first patient.

They must demonstrate to those with budgetary authority that what they aim to provide will be carefully planned and implemented—and will cost the organization less than the benefit you will bring to them in return. Talk to people with clinical and entrepreneurial experience and consult the literature.

Additional information about Creating and Managing Value and Business Planning in Pharmacy Operations can be found in Pharmacy Management: Essentials for All Practice Settings, 5e.

Gupta V, Williams E. Establishing a new ambulatory care practice site as a pharmacy practice faculty. Pharmacy. 2018;6: doi: 10.3390/pharmacy6040111

About the Author
Shane P. Desselle, RPh, PhD, FAPhA, is professor of Social/Behavioral Pharmacy at Touro University California.