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The Area Manager: Simply not good enough

We should all be wary of being described as a 'good pharmacist', says The Area Manager

I’m not sure what the mix of community/hospital/industry employment is among pharmacists these days.

I still imagine that the majority remains within community pharmacy, hence the default position the sector occupies in the minds of many, both inside and outside of the profession.

In the course of my work, this area manager interviews a lot of pharmacists from all three sectors, looking for work within community pharmacy.

Often they present for interview assuming that simply because they are a pharmacist, they could easily be a great community pharmacist. However, in my experience, the reality is somewhat different.

Being a community pharmacist, even within the structured setting of a multiple, is actually more difficult than many people give it credit. Lots of skills around people and business management are critical to succeed and enjoy practising in the sector.

Those without those skills, or reluctant to develop them, are often unhappiest with their lot in the profession – and often the quickest to complain about it. 

It is therefore more important to be a good community pharmacist these days, because the community sector no longer represents the default standard that any pharmacist can easily achieve.

I’ve worked with a number of managers and leaders within community pharmacy who are not themselves pharmacists. Whatever their background, and whatever their role, they all have a habit of describing those community pharmacists who have struggled to perform well in the sector as being ‘good pharmacists’.

These managers and leaders then go on to describe how the same individual struggled with the wider elements of the community pharmacy role that are increasing in importance as the sector becomes more specialised.

These include: operating a safe and efficient dispensary, delivering service results, maintaining professional paperwork, dealing with stocks, leading people, responding to customers and, of course, making a profit.

Just like when people describe a potential date as having a nice personality, perhaps simply being a ‘good pharmacist’ is something we should now be wary of being described as.

 

The Area Manager has worked for all of the large multiples

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