The Importance of Mentorship for Women in Pharmacy

Female Mentors

In honor of Women Pharmacist Day I want to thank some of my female peers who have been mentors throughout my pharmacy career.

Cheyenne was the first female pharmacist I’d ever met and her example inspired me to go to pharmacy school.

Ashley was my first “real boss” and also the person who taught me how to perform MTM services. She found her passions lay in teaching students.

Another female pharmacist, a pharmacy owner named Greta, encouraged me to start my first blog. As they say, the rest is history.

These ladies to encouraged me to choose pharmacy as a career, then during times of big changes helped me find a new career path. However, our mentoring relationship was so subtle, they may not even know the impact their support had on me.

They were mentoring me without even knowing they were doing it!

Women are naturally intuitive, we see how to help others, sometimes before we even seen how to help ourselves.

That nurturing, collaborative instinct lends itself to the ability to come up with creative approaches to caring for our patients and each other.

Helping One Another

Over the past few years I have participated in formal collaboration groups known as “Masterminds”.

They’ve had such an impact on my career, I wanted to bring the concept of Masterminding to the pharmacy industry.

Masterminding is a concept made famous by Napoleon Hill's classic "How to Think and Grow Rich". In its most simplified definition, it is a peer-to-peer mentoring group.

On Saturday, September 22nd, 2018 nine female pharmacists met in Nashville, TN to spend a day together working on our businesses and identifying ways to support one another.

A good mastermind curates a group of people who are at similar points in their careers. Also, the more diverse the group, the more “magical” the conversations become.

In our group, eight states were represented: Arkansas, California, Colorado, Georgia, Kentucky, Missouri, Oklahoma and Tennessee.

We also represented various specialties, from compounding to non-profit to insurance payers to naturopathic medicine to online business.

As we nine women gathered together, we felt the power of our varied backgrounds, different ways of thinking and past experiences come together to build the collective power of the Master Mind.

Taking Next Steps

As I was writing this article, I wanted to know everyone’s key takeaways from the Mastermind Day.

Collectively their answers were to find a support system, to give back to the profession as leaders and to take better care of themselves.

In short: find mentors, be mentors and mentor themselves.

I agree wholeheartedly.

I find myself giving others advice like, “care for yourself first, focus on your goals and ask for help when you need it, etc.”

Ironically, I may be the one most needing to heed that advice.

We are now a female dominated profession, which comes with its own unique challenges, but also strengths.

Some of us are caring for children, spouses, houses and aging parents on top of caring for our patients. We tend to let self-care take a backseat to caring for others.

During our Mastermind Retreat, homework for the group was to schedule a “CEO Day” where they could reflect on their goals and plan for 2019.

On Women Pharmacists Day, I am making a commitment to putting one “Self Care Day” on my calendar before the end of the year and I’d love for you to join me.

The number one way to prevent burnout and better care for our patients is by taking care of ourselves and our needs.

Thank you to all the female pharmacists out there who are making an impact on patients, you are truly helping to Advance the Profession of Pharmacy.

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Blair Green Thielemier, PharmD is an independent consultant pharmacist living in Arkansas with her husband and two children. Her latest project is the host and producer of pharmacy’s first virtual conference, the Elevate Pharmacy Virtual Summit in partnership with the NCPA Innovation Center. She is the founder of Pharmapreneur Academy, an online e-Course and Community where she guides pharmacist-entrepreneurs through the process and barriers of building a pharmacy consulting business. She is the author of How to Build a Pharmacy Consulting Business and facilitates in-person Business Planning Workshops and Mastermind Retreats for female Pharmapreneurs across the country. More information about Dr. Thielemier can be found on her website.

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