The Importance of Entrepreneurship, Pharmacist Satisfaction in the Workplace

Survey finds pharmacists are mostly content with their compensation, but only moderately happy with their jobs

Each year, Pharmacy Times® conducts a survey to evaluate how pharmacists view their salaries and their overall satisfaction for their jobs. The 2019 Pharmacy Times® Salary and Job Satisfaction Survey discovered that pharmacists are mostly content with their compensation, but only moderately happy with their jobs, with a score of 4.23 on a scale of 1 to 7 when rating their overall job satisfaction.1

Michelle Fritsch, PharmD, BCGP, BCACP, and Sue Paul, RPh, co-founded the group, The Medipreneurs, to help those who “recognize that healthcare is changing and even have some creative ideas to introduce to the world of healthcare” and start their own business. Fritsch and Paul went from being traditional pharmacists to business owners to approach health care holistically with a main focus on the patient, feeling the same as many who responded to the 2019 survey.

In an email to Pharmacy Times®, Fritsch outlined many of the responses she hears from other Medipreneurs about their decision to leave traditional practice, such as:

  • Not being able to provide the more comprehensive care for which pharmacists are trained.
  • The roles and tasks of pharmacists being often dictated by factors that do not promote excellent care, including reimbursement rates and insurance.
  • Pharmacists being denied professional flexibility and continued educational support.

As to why pharmacists may feel this way about their job, Paul feels that the missing piece for pharmacists and health care workers is their relationships not only with patients, but other members of their health care team.

“Building relationships establishes trust. Trust reduces barriers, which increases efficiency. A lack of relationships equals a lack of trust which equals more time needed to counsel, complete [medication therapy management], recommend vaccines, and more,” Paul said in an email to Pharmacy Times®. “It does not benefit patients to be forced to switch from a well-established relationship with a pharmacy/physician to an unknown entity.”

Further, Paul mentioned that not many health care providers went through the training to work on an assembly line of patients, including the amount of paperwork they are dealt with. “I think this is an example of the source for [pharmacy] burnout,” Paul said in an email to Pharmacy Times®. “We did not go to school to push [prescriptions] through the mill.”

Another issue the Medipreneurs have seen in recent years is that newer graduates of pharmacy school are dealing with the escalating costs of education. Many graduates are desperate to find a job to pay off their loans and will settle for what they can get in the current saturated market, according to Paul.

“Seasoned pharmacists are used to the high paychecks and have the ‘golden handcuffs,’ so they take more abuse,” Paul said. “I suspect companies try to get away with overworking the employees, who feel they need to stay because they may not be able to find another position, which leads to burnout.”

Although Fritsch noted a renewed emphasis on resilience and mindfulness in recent pharmacy environments, Paul sees more health care teams playing together and each using their gifts and skills to improve patient outcomes.

“Where I work, we have so many resources and we use them,” Paul said in an email to Pharmacy Times®. “Doctors diagnose, pharmacist helps with medication selection/affordability and adjustments, plus additional disease state education, behavioral health coaches help with mental issues, and [a certified diabetes educator] will address diabetes in a comprehensive review. We all work together as a team.”

The Medipreneurs will be hosting the Medipreneurs Detour 2020 in place of their annual Medipreneurs Summit due to the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. The event is open to any pharmacist who may be interested in entrepreneurship and will teach pharmacists how to create their own business while serving patients at the highest level of care.2

REFERENCES

  • Antrim, Aislinn and Murphy, Jill. Pharmacists are content with their salaries, less so with their jobs, survey shows (part 1). Pharmacy Times. https://www.pharmacytimes.com/news/pharmacists-are-content-with-their-salaries-less-so-with-their-jobs-survey-shows-part-1. Accessed April 29, 2020.
  • Medipreneurs Summit in Cincinnati, Ohio gives pharmacy entrepreneurs the tools to build their business [news release]. Medipreneurs [email]. Accessed April 29, 2020.