Have a Big Idea? Look to the Pharmacists Who Made a Difference


Do not let the naysayers discourage you from pursuing your dreams.

Have you ever had an idea, thought, or dream to make a big difference? This could be in your own life, in your career, or the way you interact with other people as a way to affect their lives.

If you have, and approached it with a “thinking big” mentality, you have probably either been told or thought to yourself that it is impossible or cannot be done. Creating a niche was something I faced when I was a P2 in my second professional year of pharmacy school. I was looking to integrate nutrition consulting with medication therapy management and a health and wellness plan but was unable to find a mentor who had already created a successful strategy to build this practice. So, I met with the dean of my pharmacy school to see if there were any mentors I could approach. Her response was a crucial point in my career. She said, "I am unaware of anyone focusing on specifically what you are looking for, but that does not mean that you cannot create it."

What a task. Rather than focus on the how, I decided to focus on the why: What are my driving reasons for striving to making this happen? Once I created a clear list of reasons and believed in it with unwavering faith based on my purpose, I was able to create enough momentum to build what has become The Fit Pharmacist. My work has blessed me with attracting other like-minded pharmacists and students in the profession on a similar mission, and the momentum, impact, and relationships we have generated as a result have been tremendously rewarding.

Before this started, however, there was a time when I had no real support or camaraderie, as this was an entirely new concept. So, what did I do? I looked to history. I sought out information on other people who had big dreams to make a big impact, to learn from their journey. I then came to a realization about something that all these people and their dreams had in common: All big ideas at the beginning sounded crazy before they came to fruition.

Here are some examples:

1. Coca-Cola

In the late 1800s, pharmacist John Pemberton came up with a beverage that would eventually become an American icon: Coca-Cola. In 1886, Coca-Cola sold an average of 9 drinks each day. That number is now 1.9 billion a day.

2. Political leader

As pharmacists, we lead our patients and our team to deliver the best possible care to those we serve. So, why not help lead the best country in the world? That is exactly what Hubert Humphrey did in 1965 when he became vice president under President Lyndon B. Johnson. Early in his career, Humphrey helped run his father's pharmacy in Minnesota.

3. Accidents happen

Accidental discoveries can completely revolutionize not only the practice of pharmacy but health care in general. This is what happened when pharmacist Alexander Fleming stumbled upon the drug penicillin in 1928. Prior to this, he was a very skilled professional in medical and chemical research but by accidentally leaving a Petri dish in the right place at the right time, the wonder drug was discovered.

What is the point of these stories? Those with big dreams or goals to disrupt the status quo and challenge how things have always been done as a means to make people’s lives easier, more enjoyable, and better heard things to dissuade them. They will be told that their ideas are impossible.

The challenge is to gain hope and inspiration from the feedback. The key is to tell ourselves that our ideas are possible and to not get discouraged. Learn more about mastering your mindset at thefitpharmacist.com


Coca-Cola. About us, Coca-Cola history. orldofcoca-cola.com/about-us/coca-cola-history/. Accessed January 25, 201

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