A Pharmacist's Journey: Discussing Careers, Well-Being, and Using Social Media to Support Others in the Profession


Emily Griffin discusses her career in pharmacy and in digital content creation.

In an interview with Pharmacy Times, Emily Griffin BPharm(Hons), GradCertPharmPracInt, MClinPharm, AACPA, discusses her life as a pharmacist who has taken on multiple roles including teaching, clinical work, and consulting. Griffin reflects on the impact of a toxic workplace culture she experienced and how finding new roles helped align with her values. She shares how starting a social media page allowed her to connect with others and provide support to pharmacists experiencing burnout or challenges in their career. Griffin also advises others to prioritize workplace culture and take action if needed and considers social media a way to help others feel less alone in their experiences.

Emily Griffin
I have a quite a few pharmacist hats, as you have probably seen on social media. So, let's talk about the education space first, I guess. I work in a university and in the pharmacy school, I am a teaching associate. In that role I work with in the Master of Clinical Pharmacy, which is a postgraduate degree. I work in two different units there. I also work in the undergraduate degree as a skills coach. The idea behind this at the Uni is the development of student’s skills, so things like teamwork, problem solving. This pharmacy school was ranked number 2 in the World QS rankings last year and was ranked number 1 the year before. I've worked with some pretty amazing people there, as you can imagine.

My other role in the university world is as a lecturer with a rural health school. It's not really traditional lecturing. My role is the rural pharmacy liaison officer for Victoria — that's the state that I live in. My role there is to promote and support the rural pharmacy workforce. I'm working on a number of different projects at the moment in that role.

I also work in tertiary hospital in Melbourne. I'm a Clinical Pharmacist there. And I run my pharmacy consultancy business, so I offer home medicines reviews, other consulting and professional services there. I love variety in my role, as you can probably tell, and I'm just working on that balance of trying to juggle things that I love.

Pharmacy Times
What is the most rewarding part of pharmacy for you?

Emily Griffin

Key Takeaways

1. Workplace culture can significantly impact personal well-being and values, so it's important to find a role that aligns with you.
2. Social media can be used positively to connect with others in the profession, provide support, and help pharmacists feel less isolated in their experiences.
3. Prioritizing self-care and addressing challenges like burnout or a toxic work environment is important for pharmacist well-being and retention in the field.

I went into pharmacy, because I like caring for people. I guess that's the underlying, passionate for my role. I look at it as an honor to be able to serve patients in whatever that setting might be. For me, the most rewarding patients setting has been in people's homes. I've done that sort of work in quite a few different roles over time. In my role as senior pharmacists for voluntary assisted dying statewide pharmacy service, in my role as senior pharmacy clinician for the complex care health dependency program, and with my business as well.

There'll be a few things I'm pretty proud of. One would be co building and developing the Australian First Voluntary Assisted Dying Statewide pharmacy service, that's pretty cool. Starting up my own pharmacy consultancy business. Starting my Instagram page that sort of been dreaming of doing for a really long time, and then getting some positive feedback from people. Being nominated for and then being awarded the Early Career Pharmacist of the Year for Victoria Pharmaceutical Society of Australia. Then I guess I'm pretty proud that I can juggle all the things that I want to do in the pharmacy well.

Pharmacy Times
What are you most proud of in your career, as a pharmacist and as a digital creator?

Emily Griffin
Then this was a bit of a different one. But a really significant moment for me, in my career— and it's probably had the biggest impact on me personally, was learning to step away from a workplace culture after realizing its toxicity, and its unwillingness to change. Then I found two incredible work opportunities that I couldn't pass up. That pushed me to really leave that place. I think initially, I might have felt a bit defeated when I had that realization. But when I left and started these new roles, the release of pressure that I felt and the release of stress that I've been hiding away in me, that was huge. The new workplaces were huge contrast to the culture that I had become accustomed to the other workplace. They were really welcoming, they were compassionate, and they were respectful, which was much better aligned to my personal values and how I wanted to deliver patient care as well. And so, I think that would then sort of lean into the biggest advice that I would have for other pharmacists is that a workplace can have a huge impact on you. It's best to find one that aligns with your personal values. And not to be afraid to say goodbye to ones that don't.

Pharmacy Times
How do you balance your digital career on top of being a pharmacist?

Emily Griffin
I don't really know, to be honest. If I said it was easy, then I would be lying. But I probably don't post or engage as much as I would like to on my social media. That's probably a goal of mine for this year is to engage a little bit more. And I think that could have more of an impact, if I did get more engaged. I do have a pretty busy schedule, so I try to keep pretty organized. But the end of the day, everything's about priority. So, I need to make it a higher priority.

Pharmacy Times
Can you discuss "The Encapsuled Pharmacists Journal" and the aim behind the project?

Emily Griffin
I have not actually posted one in a little while, but maybe there will be another one out soon. I first came up with the idea I was sharing the new series "The Encapsuled Pharmacists Journal” I was getting a lot of messages from people and pharmacists at the time telling me they were really burnt out. And I guess that my page was helping them get motivated again in their career, which was really overwhelming and lovely. I felt that then maybe my page was having a little bit of an impact. At that time, I was also having a really tough time at work at one of my workplaces, as you can probably tell from that first journal post. I was in a toxic workplace culture, and I think I was realizing the impact that it was having on me. But I also really loved my job at the time as well, so I was having a bit of an internal battle of values, I suppose. I thought that maybe if I should tell my personal work stories or experiences that it might help other pharmacists, who were maybe experiencing similar, or they would tell me they were having a tough time, that maybe it would make them not feel so alone. Maybe it might help. I don't know, I usually get a few messages after I post one.

Pharmacy Times
What advice would you give other pharmacists that are interested starting in a side project to relieve stressors from solely focusing on pharmacy?

Emily Griffin
Yeah, no, 100% go for it. I don't really know how I fit it in, as I said. But I think it's also a matter of priorities as I said before. Maybe choosing a project or hobby that's completely unrelated to pharmacy or health care would be more stress relieving.

Pharmacy Times
Have you noticed any positive feedback and benefits from individuals that follow your content?

Emily Griffin
Yeah, it's overwhelming, and some of the messages that has been sent me is so lovely. I think that what I'm doing maybe sometimes isn't very much. I don't really know the majority of my followers and it's nice to get a message here and there, maybe makes you feel like you're having some sort of positive impact. Whether it's about educating someone on a health topic, or about the pharmacy profession, or maybe making a pharmacist feel a little bit more valued. Then I guess if I can have a positive impact on just one person, then it's worthwhile. I've had a few posts shared by some different organizations in Australia, so that's pretty cool. Like the National Breast Cancer Foundation in Victoria, Pharmaceutical Society of Australia. I get a few people who reach out — you reached out to me by my page, which was so nice.

Pharmacy Times
Is there anything you would like to add?

Emily Griffin
I'd probably just say that if anyone wants to reach out for a chat, then go for it. In particular, anything about pharmacist extended scope of practice, or workplace options, or rural pharmacy. I am always up for a chat about anything. Thanks so much for having me.

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