Same Goal, Different Roads
By Logan Yoho, R.Ph., PharmD, BCACP
Sometimes in your pharmacy career you may end up in a position that does not seem in line with your career goals. Maybe you didn’t get a residency in the match, maybe it was the only job in the location you wanted to live. I have been there. I went through the residency process and did not get matched.
I felt defeated at times and thought there was no way to reach my career goals, but I remembered that a pharmacy professor once told me that “There is more than one way to skin a cat.” I took that advice to heart and have never forgotten it. It was a reminder that I could reach my career destination down another road.
I was determined that I would reach my goals (even those I didn’t know I wanted to reach at graduation) regardless of a residency. I decided that the best way to do that was to get as many experiences and as much education as I could. I did certificate programs and special certifications in fields that aligned with my interests. I fell in love with the learning and kept pushing myself to digest more. I studied for what seemed like forever and was able to attain Board Certification. I used my love of Ohio Pharmacy Rules & Law to become the informal law reference for my colleagues. All of these experiences led me to the position I hold today as Director of Pharmacy for a Federally Qualified Health Center. It combines my love of Ambulatory Care Pharmacy with my love of Legal & Regulatory Pharmacy.
Find something you love about pharmacy and pursue it nonstop. It doesn’t have to be just one thing. I think there is value in having well-rounded skills. There are multiple options to further your career after graduating pharmacy school.
In addition to educational programs, one of the biggest ways to advance your career is to get involved. We all got tired of our professors saying that “pharmacy is a small world,” but it is. By getting involved in pharmacy associations or committees, you are developing skills and more importantly developing relationships. You never know when a network connection may help to advance your career or hire you themselves.
Your career in pharmacy leadership starts early. You may not be a leader yet in title, but you can take steps to be a leader in your current position. Join committees in OPA, OSHP, or with the Board of Pharmacy, get involved with NPX as an advisory team member or committee liaison, or get started studying for board certification; the opportunities are endless. It’s always a good idea to also develop a relationship with a mentor. If you need help finding one, NPX is starting a program to match up mentors and mentees. If you have any questions about your leadership path, feel free to reach me by email, LinkedIn, etc.