PHARMACISTS WANTING TO DOmore than just fill prescriptions, andwho want to know that the careerpath they have chosen is rich withboth variety and challenges, shouldtake a look at Walgreens.
The nation's largest retail pharmacychain, Walgreens—which filled529 million prescriptions and recordedsales of $48.6 billion in 2006 whileserving an average of 4.7 million customerseach day—is considered aninnovator in drugstore retailing. Infact, many of the modern store andpharmacy features pioneered by Walgreenshave become industry standards,such as computerized pharmacysystems that are connected nationwide,point-of-sale scanning, anddrive-thru pharmacy service.
In 2006, Fortune magazine rankedWalgreens as the top food and drugstorein its list of Most AdmiredCompanies—the eighth consecutiveyear the company earned the top spot—and in its list of Global Most AdmiredCompanies.
"Walgreens is not solely a communitypharmacy, it is a health care company.We have patient services and MTM[medication therapymanagement] servicesthat our pharmacistsuse to help improvethe lives oftheir patients everyday," said AmandaBidlencik, RPh, Walgreens'manager ofpharmacy relations."This allows our pharmaciststo make animpact on the overallhealth care and medicationmanagementof their patients."
With more than5500 stores in 47 statesand Puerto Rico, Walgreenscan offer pharmacistscareer opportunitiesthat are asvaried and diverse asthe company's geographicdistribution.In addition to positionswithin Walgreens'stores, opportunitiesrangingfrom pharmacy benefits managementto clinical services are availableat Walgreens Health Services.
Walgreens is a unique place towork for more reasons than thecareer options it offers, however,according to Bidlencik. It is uniquebecause of the strong pharmacyfocus the company has maintainedsince it was founded in 1901.
"We have been a pharmacy companyfor over 100 years, and during thattime, our leaders have always beenpharmacists. Because of this, pharmacistsworking for Walgreens can beassured that their profession is valuedby the company and that their needsand the needs of their patients comefirst," she said. "Also, the success ofthe company enables tremendousgrowth opportunity. Pharmacistswho come to work for Walgreensknow their opportunity for advancementis limitless."
In fact, added Bidlencik, "the leadersof our company started out aspharmacists, and that same opportunitycontinues at Walgreens."
There are a number of informationresources for pharmacists interested inlearning more about careers with Walgreens,including on-line at www.walgreens.jobs, or through the corporaterecruitment office by calling 866-WORK-4-WAG (866-967-5492).
For students, Walgreens offers avariety of programs to help themgain experience and support in thecommunity setting, including thecompany's internship and EducationalAssistance Program, said Bidlencik.Once on-board as an intern,there are no limits to where a pharmacistcan go.
"We have pharmacists working inall areas of our company, from pharmacyoperations to purchasing toWalgreens Health Services," she said."A typical career path starts as a pharmacyintern, then pharmacist, thenpharmacy manager. From there, theopportunities are endless."
Ms. Roop is a freelance writer based inTampa, Fla.