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From the President

Getting a Handle on Where the Jobs Are

Dec 20, 2011

Stan Kent, M.S., FASHP

In my position as ASHP president, I often hear from members about their thoughts on the current state of pharmacy practice. One of the things I’m hearing a lot lately is how tough the job market is for new graduates.

I wanted to get a better handle on just what was going on out there, so ASHP fielded a job market survey in August targeted to pharmacy students and new practitioners. More than 2,000 ASHP members responded, and we found some interesting trends.

The survey revealed that 2011 pharmacy school graduates started their job searches earlier and applied for more positions and residencies than peers who graduated in previous years. It also found that 2011 graduates who found a residency position made compromises more than previous graduates with regard to location, salary and hours worked.

This issue of InterSections focuses on the tightening job market, which has a number of causal factors, including a stagnated economy, the rapidly expanding number of pharmacy schools, and more pharmacists who are delaying retirement.

The story provides some great advice about what students and new practitioners can do to position themselves for success, including doing residencies, looking for jobs in more rural areas, and getting involved in ASHP as a way to expand their professional networks.

One of the most important events to happen at ASHP in 15 years will occur at the end of December with the retirement of ASHP’s CEO and Executive Vice President Henri R. Manasse, Jr., Ph.D., Sc.D. As only the third EVP in ASHP’s 69-year history, Henri has done incredible things for the organization’s influence on medication-related health care policy, practice-model change, and our Society’s national and international reputation. InterSections sat down with Henri to hear his thoughts on the biggest challenges he faced during his years as CEO and what he hopes for the future.

As an accompaniment, we also interviewed ASHP’s new CEO and Executive Vice President Paul Abramowitz, Pharm.D., FASHP, about what he sees for the immediate and long-term future for both ASHP and health-system pharmacy practice. As an ASHP past president, former member of ASHP’s Board, and former treasurer, Paul brings a deep understanding of the needs of ASHP members to the job. And Paul’s 34 years in health system pharmacy practice as both a practitioner and administrator affords him an incredibly astute perspective on current practice.

Practice change is taking off at hospitals and health systems across the country, and we have two stories in this issue that reflect new modes of pharmacy practice.

The first, “ASHP State Affiliates Taking PPMI to Next Level,” shows how states like Michigan, Wisconsin and Utah are leading the way on the Pharmacy Practice Model Initiative (PPMI). It’s an exciting start to a national journey that will ensure pharmacists become the health care professionals who are responsible for their patients’ medication-related outcomes.

The second story focuses on innovative technician roles in hospitals in Minnesota and Washington.

As always, InterSections strives to cover and address the challenges you face in practice each day and be an inspirational resource for you to tap into. Enjoy!

 Stan Kent, M.S., FASHP

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