Empowering Women in Pharmacy as Leaders and Owners

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Shahida Choudhry, PharmD, shares her journey in pharmacy ownership.

Shahida Choudhry, PharmD, owner of Palms Pharmacy in Tampa, Florida, shares her journey in pharmacy ownership and navigating a rewarding career in pharmacy at the 2024 McKesson ideaShare conference.

Female pharmacist working in chemist shop or pharmacy. Pharmacist using the computer at the pharmacy. Portrait of young female pharmacist holding medication while using computer at pharmacy counter - Image credit: Dragana Gordic | stock.adobe.com

Image credit: Dragana Gordic | stock.adobe.com

Choudhry sat down with Kacey Glinka, Vice President of the Northeast region, RxOwnership at McKesson, as part of the Women in Rx program—a community of women that aims to help other women grow and exceed expectations in pharmacy.

Outside of her role as a pharmacist and pharmacy owner, Choudhry can be found traveling with her family or attending electric dance music (EDM) shows—highlighting her many passions outside of the pharmacy space.

However, she noted that finding work life balance can be difficult, but it’s something she is trying to prioritize in her career.

“I learned a couple new words. One is called delegate—I'm learning that one. I have a great executive team and staff that I've learned to delegate to, and it's really empowered them. Another new word I learned is to say no. I really spread myself thin, and I have to say no. So that's what I've learned—to say no,” said Choudhry.

Aligned with managing a proper work life balance, Choudhry said that she is also focusing on self-care and her mental health, as they are essential in both her career and personal life.

“We'll check in a year and then you'll find out how I'm doing,” Choudhry said on finding that balance.

Throughout her career in pharmacy, Choudhry noted that there have been many mentors and sponsors that have become influential leaders in her life.

Choudhry said that Amina Abubakar, PharmD, AAHIVP, CEO and owner of Avant Pharmacy & Wellness Center in Charlotte, North Carolina, and Kelley Babcock, founder and creator of the Leadership Growth Formula, have influenced the way she runs her business and how she continues to live her life. Following their unexpected meeting, she was surprised that the women were familiar with her and equally as excited to greet her.

“We are so guilty of that—especially as women where we have this imposter syndrome where we feel like we don't have that seat at the table, or we don't belong there yet, or there's more boxes that we need to check, when in reality I think that just speaks to how far you have already come and being able to have that belief in yourself too,” said Glinka.

A piece of advice Choudhry shares for women in pharmacy that are seeking their own business is to do research in the market and in financial assistance to get to know your numbers, which can benefit in the future.

“I wish someone gave me advice when I opened. Because when I opened, I just thought everybody's going to walk through the door—and no one did. We played UNO for 6 months because no one really walks through that door,” Choudhry said.

Reference
Choudhry S. Glinka K. Women in Rx: Empowering Conversations with a Health Mart Pharmacy Owner. Presented At: McKesson ideaShare; June 23-June 26, 2024; New Orleans, Louisiana.
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