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Advice for New Pharmacists

You are likely in a state of relief and excitement right now.  By this time, you have recently had graduation, taken board exams (or will be very soon), and hopefully found a pharmacist position that you enjoy.  You are probably eagerly anticipating receiving the financial rewards from all your hard work and student loans 🙂 Placing myself back in your shoes, here’s how I would try to shape my future.

My advice for new pharmacists:

  1. Get liability insurance.  The cost is not that expensive in comparison to other things and unless your parents are Bill Gates, you can’t afford a lawsuit.
  2. Develop a loan repayment plan (with your family’s involvement if applicable), and not the one that the bank tells you to follow.  You are going to pay off your student loan faster than that.  While many people equate money to owning ridiculously expensive things, you understand that money means freedom.  Debt means you’re “stuck” working a job you don’t like, simply for the cash.
  3. Find fellow pharmacists that enjoy what they do.  You will be happier learning from and asking questions of pharmacists who like what they do.  Always be kind and courteous, but feel free to keep a healthy distance (if possible) from pharmacists who are angry/frustrated about their job.
  4. Whether you are doing a residency or not at this point doesn’t matter, pick up new skills and become an expert in a sub-specialty and provide invaluable service to your organization.
  5. Take money out of your paycheck for retirement from the start.  You won’t even know you had it, and your future self will thank you.
  6. If you don’t find yourself saying “I don’t know” once in awhile, you might have overconfidentitis.  You’ve learned a lot throughout your pharmacy career, and there’s no doubt in my mind you are highly educated, but to be the best you can be you must continually learn.  Saying “I don’t know” is the first step in the learning process.
  7. You are going to do a lot of unique and cool things throughout your career because you care about your job and enjoy helping people.  Keep tabs on those things by setting a date (maybe twice a year) to update your CV.  It’s a huge pain to backtrack years and update it; trust me I know 🙂

Feel free to comment below if you have any words of wisdom for new pharmacists!

Written By Eric Christianson

July 22, 2015

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