What are the key character traits of a successful pharmacist?

Researchers find work-life balance has a lot to do with it

Forget busting a gut and working long hours, pharmacists are more successful when they have a healthy work-life balance.

What are the key character traits of a successful pharmacist?

That’s according to Canadian researchers who have interviewed pharmacists to identify the character traits that contribute to their success.

Putting family first, being physically active and avoiding burn-out is key, they report in the Journal of the American Pharmacists Association.

“Overall, success was thought to be a combination of having a fulfilling career, achieving work-life balance, being engaged and passionate, and making meaningful contributions to patient outcomes.”

Here are six other key findings:

  1. The 10 pharmacists who participated in the study had accrued experience in multiple roles and settings, and were engaged in a wide variety of practice activities. “This variety of experience was fundamental in their discovery that they were well suited for pharmacy and also contributed to their drive to maintain their competence and engage in continuous learning.”
  2. Their practice had changed over time through sub-specialisation and ongoing education, including diabetes education, menopause management and palliative care.
  3. They adopted novel patient care activities that were allowable under their legislated scope of practice.
  4. They took on additional roles, such as education and research.
  5. Good communication and interpersonal skills helped overcome resistance from doctors.
  6. They were motivated to stay at the forefront of practice and to “push the envelope”.

The Alberta University researchers report that their findings could help in the development of mentoring programs and undergraduate pharmacy training.

“As the role of the pharmacist continues to expand and encompass greater responsibility associated with patient care, the need to identify factors contributing to success becomes ever more imperative,” they write.

More information: Journal of the American Pharmacists Association 2018

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