What Pharmacy Students Need to Learn about Independent Pharmacies

Jim Springer, Vice President of RxOwnwership South Region, and Chris Cella, RpH, National Vice President of RxOwnership, from Mckesson Corporation discuss how students may struggle to learn the ins and outs of running an independent pharmacy and how pharmacy schools can address this issue.

Transcript: Jim Springer: The real issue, in regards to independent pharmacy, is, and I think the schools of pharmacy are beginning to address this, in their curriculum, and in understanding that they're going to have to bring on some experts from the field to be able to talk to their students about entreprenneurship, and specifically things like the human resources side of it, the performance management side of it. Many of our independent owners, they don't have experience in terms of how to hire, how to fire, how to get the best out of their employees, how to get the best out of the workers, and it's those kinds of things that they really need help on, and we're finding success in working with deans of schools of pharmacy, and coming in and making presentations to their students, prospective entrepreneurs, and talking about specific issues like that is a real need in the marketplace. In addition, one of the other things that I think is really neccessary, is that they're not accountants, that they've never been taught about what a financial statement looks like, about what a profit and loss statement is, what are the key items within that profit and loss statement, and what are the benchmarks to be able to determine, "Am I doing well? Am I not doing well, and then what do I do as a result? What are my next steps in all of this process?" So, I think that we need to pay much greater attention in our schools of pharmacy to those kinds of things that are really weaknesses out there, as spoken very well by the existing independent pharmacy owners.

Chris Cella, RpH: There are other ways of looking at it to, I mean, you can intern at an independent pharmacy owner, or you can actually intern or work at a large chain pharmacy, where they do teach you a lot about payroll, PNL, inventory turns, how to make HR decisions. So, you can do a lot of on the job training, as well as classroom training, for these types of courses.