7 New Year's Resolutions for Pharmacists


What New Year's resolutions are you considering?

Developing New Year’s resolutions is a tradition in which we commit ourselves to self-improvement.

If you are anything like me, you wait until the week of New Year’s Day to start thinking about making resolutions. Well, this year, I am taking a page out of the smoking cessation handbook and treating New Year’s Day like a quit date, and I’m inviting you all to do the same.

This will give us some time to pick the resolutions that are right for us and plan the best way to achieve our goals.

The following are New Year’s resolutions for pharmacists to consider:

1. Work on being more empathetic.

This can apply to patients, colleagues, employees, or others. Empathy is an important characteristic for pharmacists, and there is always room for improvement

2. Fill knowledge gaps.

As more and more drugs come to the market, keeping up with everything can be a real challenge. Choosing 3 disease states or drug classes to learn about can be one way to help fill existing knowledge gaps. In particular, pick drugs or topics that you encounter on the job.

3. Make new connections.

This could be connecting with patients, others within the pharmacy profession, or even local providers for whom you fill prescriptions. Establishing new relationships can serve to assist us in better serving our patients and may also help to increase professional satisfaction. Becoming a preceptor to pharmacy students at the local pharmacy school may be something to consider.

4. Commit to showing appreciation.

This could apply to patients, co-workers, mentors, or others whom you interact with. It is important for people to know that they are appreciated. Too frequently, we do not take the time to express our gratitude.

5. Put your skills to work outside of work.

Engaging in volunteer work with local organizations via screening events or other activities is a great way to provide service to your community.

6. Learn a new language.

Many pharmacies provide services to people who speak a variety of languages. Data suggests that bilingualism (even when acquired later in life) can have a positive impact on cognition.1 Maybe now is the time to learn Spanish, French, or Russian.

7. Work on yourself.

Being a happy person is also part of being a pharmacist, and that means taking care of yourself. Whether it’s eating a healthier diet, getting more exercise, or just getting out of the house more often, it’s important to take the time to treat yourself right.

Good luck with your 2016 resolutions!

The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the position or policy of the Department of Veterans Affairs or the United States government.


Bak TH, et al. Does bilingualism influence cognitive aging? Annals of Neurology. 2014;75(6):959-63.

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