Pharmacists Needed in Executive Roles


Why aren't pharmacists considered clinicians who can take on executive roles?

According to the Harvard Business Review, there are 3 key skills clinicians need to lead hospitals. And by clinicians, the magazine means doctors and nurses.

Why aren’t pharmacists considered clinicians who can take on executive roles? I believe it’s because leadership is not emphasized in pharmacists’ training programs. Pharmacists also play a narrower role in hospitals, so many don’t develop a big-picture view. They like what they do and are too risk aversive to try to move up within the organization.

Throughout my career, I have asked myself, “If I seek to move up in the organization, am I abandoning pharmacy?” I thought I would be, so I never attempted to advance beyond pharmacy director.

In hindsight, more pharmacists becoming health-system CEOs would be better for the profession. Do you agree?

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