For more than a quarter century, I have been associated with Pharmacy Times (PT), and I currently serve as editor-in-chief. My work with PT is challenging and fulfilling. I have the freedom to write a monthly commentary about something in the profession of concern to me. This is the fulfilling part. Having to come up with a monthly commentary is the challenging part. However, I keep running into colleagues at professional meetings who share how much they enjoy reading these commentaries, adding to my sense of fulfillment.
PT has been expanding its Web presence and the use of newer technologies, enabling PT to reach more people more frequently. I have been blogging under “The Reinvented Pharmacist” on PharmacyTimes.com, giving me even more opportunities to raise questions, offer observations, and challenge my colleagues. I feel blessed to have this professional opportunity.
When I started practicing pharmacy and attending pharmacy meetings, especially the annual meeting of the American Pharmaceutical Association, which is now called the American Pharmacists Association, I became acquainted with pharmacist Irving Rubin, who was editor of American Professional Pharmacist, which ultimately became PT. To a young practitioner, Irving Rubin seemed almost larger than life. In a tribute to him on his retirement from PT in 1988, a colleague said, “Rubin had the remarkable capacity to make friends in all facets of pharmacy, and as an editor, he unceasingly led the fight for public recognition of the profession he loved.” That I had the opportunity to follow in his footsteps is a dream come true for me.
I titled this commentary “Thank You!” because I am thankful to all PT readers for their support. In the publishing world, readership surveys are key in measuring the success of a publication. In a recent news release, we announced that PT is the most-read publication among pharmacists, according to the recently released 2014 Kantar Media Pharmacy Readership Survey. PT was also the top choice among readers in key groups, including pharmacists who spend a significant amount of time each day counseling patients and pharmacists who work in highvolume practices. Our publisher, Ashley Hennessy Talamo, stated, “We are constantly working to improve the editorial package, and these survey results prove that we’ve got our finger on the pulse of modern pharmacy practice.” Yes, our editorial staff works hard to keep our content current, easy to read, and pertinent to pharmacists taking care of patients. The results of the survey suggest we are delivering what you want and need. That is why I want to thank our readers for this honor. Again, I feel blessed to be associated with this publication.
After I joined the pharmacy publication industry, I learned about an important educational role that the advertising and publishing staff plays on behalf of the pharmacy profession. In order to sell advertising, the staff spends time educating potential advertisers on the value of pharmacists so that advertisers will invest in pharmacists. Being the most-read pharmacy publication makes advertisers more willing to invest, but they have to appreciate the value of pharmacists first. The PT staff sells our profession very well. I need to thank them, too, for this effort on behalf of our profession.
Finally, I want to thank my entire publishing staff for their desire to share the changing roles of pharmacists with our readers. One example of this is the Directions in Pharmacy supplement that we publish. PT was willing to go ahead with this series because it is important for the profession.
I work with a great team. I am blessed.
Mr. Eckel is a professor emeritus at the Eshelman School of Pharmacy, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He is emeritus executive director of the North Carolina Association of Pharmacists. A lifelong advocate for the profession of pharmacy, Mr. Eckel has lectured on pharmacy issues and trends in all 50 states and has traveled to 6 continents to promote, and educate audiences on, the role of the pharmacist.