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Monday, May 2, 2011

Respect Our History

  This is a short post with just some observations I gained while at a C.E. conference this weekend.  It was great, by the way. One of the universities in our state has a twice yearly continueing education seminar that gives us all of our required C.E. for the year. Anyway, as I looked around the room there were approximately 200 people there. They ranged from pharmacists to pharmacy students to technicians and they represented all types of practice areas. I saw people there from their mid-twenties clear up to pharmacists in their nineties and I realised that this was a picture of our profession. We have bright new minds and we have long standing experience. Personally, I have to admire any pharmacist who hasn't practiced in 30 years but still attends continuing education seminars and is still active in the profession in other capacities.
  One thing that bothered me was that, as I sat there waiting for the program to begin, I overheard some young people behind me ridiculing and making fun of an elderly pharmacist who looked to be in her 80's or 90's.  Of course, they weren't doing it to her face, but to me it was pure disrespect. That woman represented at least 60 years of history and experience in our profession. I can't even imagine the hurdles she had to overcome as a woman trying to make it in a  man's world when she was younger. I wish I would have had the time to sit and talk with her; possibly glean some wisdom. I mean can you imagine the changes she has seen in this profession in her lifetime?! I know that in the 23 years that I have practiced there have been enormous changes. Some good, some not so good, but massive none the less.
  I want to say to those young people that time flies when you're in this game. Soon there will be new grads looking at you like you're their grandparents. Respect your elders in this profession because if it weren't for them and their hard work, you wouldn't be making the big bucks right now. Learn what you can from them as long as they are around. If nothing else, grow up!


Frantic Pharmacist said...

I used to work in a place that had an 'older' female pharmacist and it bugged me when younger staff would snicker at her too. They didn't respect all those years of service in a highly demanding job (and this woman still worked really hard). Someday they might understand that.

The Ole' Apothecary said...

How in the name of Cosmas and Damian can one pharmacist ridicule another? We are bound to each other by multiple ties: professional, experiential, and by what I would call an automatic friendship. From the oldest apprentice to the youngest multi-credentialed Pharm.D., we MUST be one in spirit.

The Ole' Apothecary
(a pharmacist since the U.S. Bicentennial)

The Redheaded Pharmacist said...

I love talking with older pharmacists and hearing stories about how things used to be in the good old days of the profession. I spoke with a pharmacist recently who had practiced for over 40 years. He had all kinds of stories about running an old store and how things used to be done. It was a real history lesson and I appreciated the refresher course. As I start to get older I am appreciating the history of our profession more and more. It shows where we've been and how we came to get to where we are now. But a piece of advice: if you find an older pharmacist who is willing to talk about the past sit yourself down and listen. You won't regret it!

Martin Claybold said...

Now this is sheer bad manners. One should learn to be courteous to the elders.

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