The Significance of a Single Voice

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Pharmacy Times, January 2017 Oncology, Volume 83, Issue 1

One single person—one single voice—can change the world as we know it.

One child, one teacher, one book, and one pen can change the world.

―Malala Yousafzal

In a crowded world, it’s easy for an individual to feel like his or her voice gets lost in the mix. What’s the significance of a single voice anymore? First, unlike statistics, it represents a real person. Second, someone who speaks up without expecting support often finds that he or she is actually not alone.

To give voice to the next generation of pharmacists, associates in my organization recently conducted a pharmacy student round- table at a nearby university, and the discussion was enlightening. Although hopeful about the future, the students expressed concern that automation in pharmacy may make it difficult for them to find and maintain work. In addition, although they feel prepared to counsel patients, they worry they will be hindered by time constraints and a lack of reimbursement for their services. Do you, as a practicing pharmacist, share these concerns?

The students also expressed hesitation about pursuing careers with retail pharmacy chains, based on what they know about the daily challenges faced by retail pharmacists. What can the retail chains do to attract the best talent from pharmacy schools? How can you reduce bureaucracy and improve efficiency at your organization?

Pharmacy Times® is here to help answer questions like these and serve as a liaison among pharmacists, pharmacy students, and practice leaders. Our new Practice Insights series provides an opportunity for practice leaders to describe how they are meeting the evolving needs of pharmacy practice and patient health care. For example, the online article “Independent Pharmacy Ownership Provides an Attractive Career Choice” describes how choosing to own an independent community-based pharmacy can prove to be rewarding—both financially and professionally—for many students.

What can an individual retail pharmacist do to catalyze positive organizational change? Remember that your voice matters: because your patients value your opinion, you can make a difference in their lives and in your community. (See our recent online article “Pharmacists Remain Among Most Trusted Profession.”) You can also share your insights with, and learn from, your peers on Facebook (facebook.com/PharmacyTimes) and Twitter (@Pharmacy_Times).

With this first Pharmacy Times® Oncology issue, we recognize that retail pharmacists can contribute significantly to the care of patients with cancer. See the enclosed carefully selected and prepared articles on cancer screening, cancer fatigue, and guidelines for counseling patients with cancer on the use of nutritional supplements. You can make a difference in the lives of these patients.

To begin 2017, the staff of Pharmacy Times® recommits itself to providing you with the highest quality information you require to excel in all your professional endeavors. We also wish you and your families a happy and healthy new year.