Routes to Pharmacy Administration

Discussion in 'Pharmacy' started by UofK, Aug 23, 2015.

  1. UofK

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    I've been contemplating this for quite some time, and having discussed this with various preceptors, pharmacist co-workers etc, I cannot make up my mind how best to pursue this route. As I see it, there are 3 possible doors to walk through:

    1) PGY1/PGY2 Pharmacy Administration - seems like the logical choice. This option fast tracts you to exactly where you want to be. Granted, a DOP position isn't necessary waiting for you after those 2 years, but most of the top program graduates are placed in some type of managerial position within the pharmacy (inpatient manager, or assistant director etc). Cons...2 year sacrifice, long hours, $200K in loans ballooning putting you behind the eight ball for achieving all those wonderful life goals.

    2) PharmD/MBA or other masters degree - this is what I will have at the minimum. Browsing through indeed listings, most places that I have come across will have a statement along the following lines "MBA or PGY2 Administration residency preferred." Key word there is or. Thinking of this simplistically, only within the pharmacy world does a residency "mean" something. Correct me if I'm wrong, those that are hiring the DOPs aren't pharmacists. Aside from large academic medical centers, you generally have to explain to everyone working in a hospital (who is not in the pharmacy department) what a residency actually is. Cons...again, you won't be able to walk right into this post graduation. Those same listings also generally require 5 years of inpatient experience or pharmacy management experience....which brings me to door #3.

    3) Retail Pharmacy Manager/PIC + Moonlighting gig at hospital - I know of a pharmacist that was a retail PIC and Pharmacy Manager that was hired as an inpatient Pharmacy Manager within a large health system. No moonlighting, no staffing experience, but because the pharmacist had management experience, this qualified them for the job (> 5+ years ago). Cons...No guarantee this will work, but hey, at least I can pay my loans.

    This is where my decisions get really really difficult. I will be graduating with a PharmD/MBA. I plan on pursuing a career in pharmacy admin / advancing within the health system to hospital admin, industry, or managed care. The only residencies that I'm looking at are combined PGY1/PGY2 Admins, VA's, and local PGY1s. Door #3 is rather appealing because it will allow me to pay off my loans quickly. I'm confident that I have a PRN inpatient position post graduation that would allow me to gain the required staffing experience. A 40 hour per week retail gig would certainly be financially rewarding, however I know how ****ty of a life that would be. I did CVS for 6 months and that's all I could take as an intern. In order for this plan to work, it would have to be a desirable retail setting (leaning towards Wal-Mart, but again, easier said than done). My goal is $150K gross annual income (both jobs) within the first few years post graduation. I would even be interested in a DM position to reinforce the management experience as long as it's not at the big box chains. Actually, I'd strive for that if I did pick door #3. I'd rather deal with interpersonal headaches than customer headaches.

    So...for those wonderful practitioners out there in SDN land, if you knew that you wanted to be an administrator (pharmacy or health system), and you were on track to complete your PharmD/MBA, which route would you take? Any experience out there from current hospital pharmacists who recently had a DOP change?

    Edit to add: The only way I would choose option 3 is if it were at a place like Wal-Mart. From all of my research on here, they are by far the best retail pharmacy place to work for aside from local independents. I would like nothing more than to work my way up through the ranks and use their resources to beat the **** out of what CVS is doing. Just thought I'd like to add that in there...
     
    #1 UofK, Aug 23, 2015
    Last edited: Aug 24, 2015
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  2. msweph

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    I used to want to be a manager. Then I learned what the managers actually do.
     
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  3. farmadiazepine

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    Now that I am working in a hospital I want to actually work my way up into management. I'll see how it goes. No residency experience. No hospital experience other than the 3 weeks I have been there. No MBA. I think I can definitely do it.
     
  4. msweph

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    You'll be able to. There is a shortage of pharmacy management... We hired a retail manager from CVS for our last manager with no hospital experience .
     
  5. UofK

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    To be more specific, my goal would be DOP. I've been to places that have both a DOP and pharmacy manager vs. only a DOP vs. only a pharmacy manager (along with clinical manager). Ideally, I would want the DOP position. Less interpersonal headaches (ex: scheduling, vacations, call ins), more meetings with other department heads and focusing on global issues. Having said that, if the hospital only has a DOP and no other manager, you'll be doing all of that, and I'm okay with it.

    That's what I like to hear.
     
  6. ChalupaBatman86

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    It seems like you are skipping the part where you start as a staff pharmacist and work your way up on the basis of hard work, talent, and people skills. Is that how it works in hospital? I only interned there.
     
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  7. UofK

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    Sigh...

    [​IMG]
     
  8. trailerpark

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    Walmart rx managers hate it.
     
  9. gwarm01

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    A lot of pharmacists want to skip that part, then we end up with people who have no idea what they are doing making the calls.
     
  10. Lnsean

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    of course...he thinks hes the "one," chosen to lead and never be led. years later, he's going to exaggerate tales of how the store/hospital was on the brink of collapse and he saved the day.
     
  11. msweph

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    Ie: 2 year admin residency.
     
  12. UofK

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    Anyone who isn't a disgruntled halfwit that actually has something valuable to contribute, I welcome your responses. Thus far, the negative Nancy's have shown that their poor decision making or dare I say, poor work ethic has placed their careers in a mind numbing rut.

    Oh...forgot I'm on SDN pharmacy forums. Have to venture to the other professional forums to actually meet a happy, pleasent personality...pardon my neglect.
     
  13. ChalupaBatman86

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    As a pharmacist who is also a manager of managers, I can tell you that when I hire managers, I don't care about a residency or whether they have a B.S. or Pharm.D. I care most about their past experience managing a group of professionals and their performance in the interview. An MBA can be a factor but I have not generally found that managers with an MBA perform any better than those without one. I really like to promote within when I have a good performer with a desire manage, a good work ethic, and people skills. I would never hire a new grad as a manager, regardless of any residency or MBA.

    Why not work on the front lines for a few years?
     
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  14. Sparda29

    Sparda29 En Taro Adun
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    That seems dumb. Why not offer it to a staff pharmacist who's been at the hospital?
     
  15. UofK

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    Thank you for the informative response. I hope that my initial post didn't insinuate that I expected an admin position straight out of school or PGY2 admin. Ideally, I would love to obtain a FT staffing position post graduation, then eventually work my way into a position. I would certainly think inpatient experience is required. I just don't think it's possible to get a staffing position in today's market. As you stated, interview skills, people skills, work ethic, and past experience managing a group of other professionals is key to the hire. Completely agree. However, unless their are leadership opportunities within the inpatient setting (safety first teams as an example), it may be difficult to get the management experience required by staffing. That's simply my concern. I certainly would yield to other professionals regarding that opinion. That's why either option #1 (residency) or options #3 (PIC + inpatient staff PRN) could be other viable options. Residency sounds awful, and I am a firm believer that like the majority here that it doesn't turn you into an expert over a 1-2 year stretch regardless of specialty. The only advantage I see is that it will actually allow you to get inpatient management experience in some capacity as most programs require a longitudinal management project within the pharmacy. A retail PIC or manager + inpatient staff PRN allows you to develop those management skills, while you're also gaining the staffing experience on the side as a licensed pharmacist. That's really the sole purpose of my question. It is a difficult path to choose because there are so many variables, so I'm curious what other pharmacists think about it.
     
  16. msweph

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    No one wanted it.... For a reason
     
  17. Rockinacoustic

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    If you are willing to relocate anywhere for a hospital management position, then option #1 is your best bet.

    MBAs are a dime a dozen and if a retail manager lands a hospital management position, then there's a good reason why.
     
  18. Its Z

    Its Z Retired
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    Good Question.

    There are many different ways in becoming a pharmacy administrator. And there are many different types of admin. I will leave out Retail, PBM, LTC, and Industry since I do not have any expertise.

    I've been in health system pharmacy admin for 15 years. My first DOP position was 5 years out of RX school at a 25 bed 1 man show hospital after being a clinical coordinator for 3 years. So I have had a pretty good staff and clinical experience. I have also had an experience as corporate/regional pharmacy admin overseeing 25+ hospital pharmacies. Today I'm an admin over pharmacy for a health system with multiple hospital pharmacies and 50+ primary clinics. I have an MHA instead of MBA.

    In my opinion, the easiest way is the PGY2 admin route. Though this route doesn't give you the hospital staff/clinical experience which I think is a vital skill set in becoming a successful admin.

    Tougher route is what I did. Staff - Clinical - DOP at a small hospital, move to a larger role...and work your way up. I was lucky that I had great mentors, and still do today. Yes, who you know is also very important. I have worked with great pharmacists...DOPs, clinical managers, and VPs... after awhile, you realize it's a small circle and everyone pretty much knows everyone.

    There are managers, bosses, and leaders. Becoming a manager or a boss is easy. Becoming a leader is another story. Take care of your patients, people you work with, and people you work for. And give back to the profession of pharmacy.

    You'll attain success if you work hard, smart, and in a right environment, with some luck. Always start your job/position with a 5 year exit strategy. If you're at a job for 5 years with no mobility or change, you may be stagnant or stuck.

    Today, I'm at a half point in my career. I do have other interests and have plans for the future. But giving back to pharmacy by creating, expanding, and paving the path for health care pharmacy practice make it all worth while as I'm working on creating my 2nd PGY1 program.
     
    Stop hovering to collapse... Click to collapse... Hover to expand... Click to expand...
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  19. JMUDuke

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    Z,
    Did you pick up your MHA while in school or is it something you did afterwards?
     

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