Now Is The Time To Be Active
by Avery Spunt
August 1, 2009
As I write this
President’s Message, the 2009 baseball season has reached the half way
point, and soon we will know who won the All Star game for this year.
Just as the baseball players have a break in their schedule, I am
fortunate to be able to go on vacation in a few days and be able to
concentrate on my hobby of photography and take a break from pharmacy.
As I prepare my camera equipment for the trip, I start calculating how
much film I will need – how much should be slide film and how much
should be print film. I finally snap out of my senior moment and
realize that I was just being nostalgic thinking back on how life use
to be. I do not need film; I am not using my old outdated film camera.
I now need a few new memory cards for my digital camera.
at this point my thoughts switch from photography and vacation back to
my prominent thoughts of the world of Pharmacy Practice. This should
not be surprising since I made this analogy in my ICHP Presidential
Acceptance Address last September. I warned that there is a collective
thought that the profession of pharmacy will always be with us. But so
did many workers at Kodak Corporation who believed that their jobs
would always be there. These individuals were the ones that used to
make and process slide and print film. Their jobs are now gone, and
their memory is a part of nostalgic history. Will the profession of
pharmacy follow the same path and just become a memory? I know I sound
like a broken record…oh, another nostalgic moment out of the past. The
records are all gone just like the eight tracks and cassettes. The
future for pharmacists is not guaranteed, and I will keep repeating
this warning until everyone understands the real possibility of the
extinction of the profession and starts working to ensure our future.
care in America is going to be changing and changing with lightning
speed, and our traditionally slow to change, health-system pharmacists,
colleges of pharmacy, pharmacy associations, and retail pharmacies
better be ready and amenable to change. However, we must be sure that
any change includes pharmacists as health care providers. We do not
need provisions to maintain the status quo, but provisions to allow all
competent pharmacists to work as health care providers “assuring
optimal outcomes for their patients.” We must be prepared to fight for
our patients and our profession. We must be prepared to add value to
the health care system. This is not the time to be nostalgic and talk
of what pharmacy was or might have been; it is the time to be active.
It is time to energize and move the profession forward swiftly as the
profession did in the seventies and early eighties. Oh, another
nostalgic moment…maybe I do need a vacation before continuing the
transformation of our profession.
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