Rating: 1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars
Loading...
Pharmacy and the Art of Resilience

Oct 05, 2018

PAUL MILLIGAN, PHARM.D., a Medication Safety Pharmacist at BJC HealthCare in St. Louis, has worked in the pharmacy profession for 35 years. His career, while incredibly rewarding, has required him to contend with plenty of daily stress, manage the expectations of doctors and other practitioners at busy healthcare facilities, and regularly face the pressure that comes with saving lives. When the rewards of the job don’t outweigh the struggle, however, Dr. Milligan said it can leave him feeling burned out.

Pharmacy Sculpture

Pharmacists are increasingly suffering from professional burnout, which is why Dr. Milligan was immediately interested when the National Academy of Medicine (NAM) Action Collaborative on Clinician Well-Being and Resilience issued a call for submissions for original artwork from healthcare professionals. The organization’s goal was to curate a digital art gallery that shows how clinicians are affected by burnout. By allowing healthcare providers to creatively express their experiences with burnout, Expressions of Well-Being: An Art Exhibition captures critical moments in their journey toward well-being.

Paul Milligan, Pharm.D., used sculpture to capture the moment a clinician holds a patient’s hand to make them feel safe and comfortable.

Dr. Milligan, who serves as Director-at-Large of the ASHP Section of Inpatient Care Practitioners, has created sculptures as a hobby for the last decade and welcomed the opportunity to submit his artwork for a project that is so close to his heart. He sent images of two of his works, and one was accepted for the project. He named the sculpture “Treat the Person, Treat Yourself,” at title that aptly sums up the professional mission that has carried him through his career.

“I wanted to capture that moment when a clinician is holding a patient’s hand and making them feel safe and comfortable,” he said. “It is really a two-way street at that point. These are the moments that I remember most, the ones that keep me going.”

Opioid Imagery

ASHP member Elizabeth Canterbury, Pharm.D., an emergency department resident at SwedishAmerican Hospital in Rockford, Ill., is another contributor to the NAM collaborative’s digital art gallery. She saw the project as a way to comment on current challenges plaguing the healthcare system.

”Don’t Slip“ was created by Elizabeth Canterbury, Pharm.D., who used Photoshop to superimpose a photo of herself on a chair with prescription bottles spilling on the floor.

Dr. Canterbury submitted a powerful image of herself on a chair superimposed with prescription bottles spilling on the floor, an image she created with the magic of Photoshop. The work is a commentary on the opioid epidemic, which in 2016 alone killed more than 42,000 Americans, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

At age 26, Dr. Canterbury is closer to the beginning of her career, but she’s already found ways to stay levelheaded and avoid burnout. In addition to her artwork, she remains involved in activities that allow her to network with colleagues, which provides an outlet to voice her concerns with like-minded people.

“Holding leadership positions and taking advantage of opportunities like attending ASHP’s Midyear Clinical Meeting and doing a resident rotation at ASHP headquarters have helped me stay engaged and feel like I am contributing to the growth of the profession in addition to helping the patients I see on a day-to-day basis,” she explained.

A Portrait of Pharmacy

Evan Slagle, Pharm.D., BCPS, Antimicrobial Stewardship Pharmacist at Penn State Health St. Joseph in Reading, Pa., has also found solace and stress relief in activities outside of his job. Dr. Slagle, an avid runner, lived in South Philadelphia while attending the Jefferson College of Pharmacy. He would frequently go for runs toward the northern end of the city. The route would always take him past the Edgar Allen Poe National Historic Site, a tribute to the beloved 19th-century writer.

Evan Slagle, Pharm.D., BCPS, based “Imp of the Perverse” on a portrait of Edgar Allen Poe.

Dr. Slagle became fixated on a mural of Poe at the site. The writer, Dr. Slagle said, approached the themes of depression and anguish in uniquely expressive ways. One day, Dr. Slagle felt especially inspired after his run. The endorphins were rolling, he said, and so he sat down to recreate the portrait as best he could recall it. It took him four hours to complete, and he then submitted the work to the collaborative’s digital art gallery.

Over time, Dr. Slagle has come to realize that creative expression through art is a way to help him process the stress of his job. In fact, doing so became a necessity early in his career. Dr. Slagle initially dropped out of his PGY1 residency program because of stress, but later completed his PGY1 at a different hospital.

“I experienced burnout before I could define it,” he said. “Detaching yourself a little bit from the work and getting some perspective is the key. You need to totally separate yourself from time and the constant bombardments you get on a daily basis. We all need a reprieve from that.”

 

By Jessica Firger

 

# # #

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
(Visited 592 times, 20 visits today)
Feature Stories

About the author

The author didnt add any Information to his profile yet