Higher Standard Holds True Outside the Pharmacy


Up until his passing, my father remembered his childhood pharmacist's name.

Up until his passing, my father remembered his childhood pharmacist’s name.

Emil Notari had a pharmacy in the Tripp Park section of Scranton, Pennsylvania. He sounded like a really cool guy whenever my dad talked about him.

It was my dad who had the idea of me becoming a pharmacist, and I have Emil to thank for it.

Since I landed my current pharmacy gig 15 years ago, I have watched infants go to high school and teenagers get married. To my knowledge, none of them have children. But, if parents do choose me to be their child’s pharmacist, I take the commitment seriously because I want to be remembered as Emil was by my father.

Recently, I worked at my parish festival and had a blast making pizza fritta and enjoying a few cold ones while working over 375-degree oil. As I went to the beer stand to buy a pitcher for my crew, my friend Bill Burke, who is highly involved in Lackawanna County in a way that is beneficial to the community, was speaking with Democratic County Commissioner hopeful Jerry Notarianni and Pennsylvania State Assemblyman Mike Carroll, who represents my district.

When Bill introduced me, the first thing he mentioned, with some gusto, was that I was a pharmacist. It then dawned on me that pharmacists hold an absolute rank in social classes, and a high one at that. And so, I must be held to a higher standard.

Most of us in retail are owned by corporate, but we are still public servants. Many people recognized me at the picnic simply because of what I do for a living. Shouldn’t all pharmacists want to be remembered as fondly as Emil Notari?

Even though pharmacists should be able to live their lives outside of the job, our patients watch us there, too. I admit that I enjoy certain beverages, but I’m not going behind the bar and dancing. I’ll laugh and probably get loud, but that’s about it.

Image is important, and accountability is everything. To whom much is given, much will be required.

For those I have had the privilege of caring for, it has been an honor. For those I haven’t, it would be an honor to do so.

Caring is my business, and business is good.

Jay Sochoka, RPh, thanks Emil Notari profusely.

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