An Argument for Community Pharmacy

Tuesday, 18 June 2019

The Argument for Community Pharmacy.


This is an open letter to my son Josh - he is a year 12 student at John McGlashan College (Shout out to JMC!! He’s had an incredibly happy and productive time there!!) who is currently exploring options for his career.  Notably lacking is his enthusiasm for a potential career in Pharmacy, where perhaps, after a long day at work -  I haven’t been the biggest cheerleader for the career - so here is my Argument for Community Pharmacy.


Dear Josh,


Re: Your future career.


Hi Son! Dad here - i know you have been doing a lot of research on what potential careers you would like to pursue in your future.  This is an exciting time, and at times the options appear endless - particularly for someone like yourself.  After work when you ask me how my day was - a grunty ‘it was fine’ is probably  not the best answer on what I do everyday - so I’d like to take this opportunity to label out on why being a Community Pharmacy is darn fine career choice.


  1. Sense of Community.


All research into happiness points to the fact that a happy life is one that is spent doing good for a community.  Using your skills to benefit a community is an amazing feeling and I get a buzz out of it every single day.  One of the mantras I have at work is ‘If our community is a success - then we will become a success’. Our community is the heart of everything we do - thats why we opened our healthy eating cafe - to give our community easy access to delicious healthy food.   In your future as methods of communication become less face-to-face, as your peers search for a sense of belonging - a Community Pharmacy will become important ‘weavers’ of the social fabric of each community across the country.  We help out local schools and sports clubs.  We’ve met fantastic people from all walks of life and we’ve built incredibly strong relationships with so many people. One of the highlights of my time at the Pharmacy is working with my staff, we lean on each other every day and work hard together everyday.  Watching these people grow and develop is so amazing.  Our retail leader Jade is pregnant - i  get chills when i hear our lovely customers literally  shriek in excitement when they hear the news.  A strong community helps the less privileged in our community - we can help by simply doing the best you can every day.  And you become part of that.  And this is very, very cool.


2) Not mundane. Forever changing.


Every single day is different -  Pharmacists are challenged every day with new questions.  Information is everywhere now - and you must help your community seek answers professionally and with true-science based evidence.  There are a lot of places where  people can turn to for advice - but a Community Pharmacy is a place where people can easily access a university trained health professional that is bound by a professional code of ethics.  These days the health and wellness  space is crowded by naturopaths,  homeopaths, ‘holistic’ and ‘functional’ professionals  and the ilk, but it is important for our community to  know a place to go where they will get help that is fact based and correct.


3) Rewarding?


There is always a focus on how much money you will earn in your career.  This is quite often correlated to the your responsibilities and the barriers to entry to each career.  Please don’t make this a priority.  (yes, i am an Asian dad - but I’m serious here).  Do something that impacts others in a positive way and you will love coming to work every single day. Anyway all research indicates that there is dollar limit to the “money buys you happiness’  fallacy  ( any dollar earned over that level doesn’t correlate to more happiness) and lets just say Pharmacists are close to that limit.


Lastly, thank you for being my Son.  In truth being your Dad is the best job anyway. I have learned so much about myself, and we have pushed each other to our limits.    I have been blessed to have had the best time of my life with you, and i cant wait to see how the next chapter unfolds.   I’m not gonna leave you with the classic Dad-ism of ‘follow your passion’ malarkey that you hear so often.  Find what your good at.  Aim to be best you possibly can at it, completely immerse yourself in it - live it, breath it - go Super-Saiyan mode on it (google it, if you don’t get it) and you will be awesome - have fun! 


(Like I do everyday at the Roslyn Pharmacy!)