Advancing The Profession of Pharmacy

Advice for the New Independent Consultant Pharmacist

by | Aug 27, 2015 | Big Picture Ideas, MTM Entrepreneurship

“You don’t have to quit your job today or have everything all figured out.”  

Sometimes starting a new job is difficult, but starting a new business venture is even more daunting.

What if you had the support of pharmacists already independently contracting out their services?

As an independent consultant pharmacist, I currently provide relief services, clinical services implementations, MTM management and plan to offer immunization clinics this flu season.  This year we are also offering to help some patients make sure they have the right Medicare plan for them during open enrollment starting in October.  There is a huge opportunity for independent consultant pharmacists to market their skills and build their own consultant businesses.  So few community retail pharmacies have the time, staff and resources needed to offer consistent clinical services that independent consultants can offer them a valuable and often more sustainable alternative than hiring a dedicated MTM staff pharmacist.

My business as an independent consultant started by doing relief work for multiple pharmacies in my area to build trust with pharmacy staff and owners.  After built my reputation with these pharmacists, I felt more comfortable offering to implement and run more clinical services such as MTM and immunization clinics.

Here are some tips that I feel can really get you started on the right foot as an independent consultant.

1.  Get your name well known as a “floating” relief pharmacist.  Focus on helping out pharmacist-owned independent stores in your area.  Especially ones that are too busy to provide their own clinical services.  Go out and meet new pharmacists, connect with them in person.  Drop by and give them a business care, as an independent pharmacist you never know where your next opportunity is going to come from.

2.  Test the waters.  Do some MTM on your own to make sure you enjoy it, if not then find another passion.  It is important that you keep looking for your passion.  Don’t give up!  You went to pharmacy school for a reason, sometimes you just have to reconnect with that reason.

3.  LinkedIn for connecting with other consultant pharmacistsHere is the best piece of advice I have ever received about networking on LinkedIn.  Use social media to your advantage, find new opportunities, meet new people.  I cannot stress enough, the more you put into it, the more you will get out of it.  If you only choose one social media channel, choose LinkedIn, complete your profile and get a professional head shot.

4.  Get your financial health in order.  Think ahead about getting health insurance elsewhere if you have it with your current employer.  This I achieved by quickly getting transferred to my husbands employer sponsored plan after I was laid off while 6 months pregnant.  I was prepared to buy my own plan if I couldn’t get on my husband’s plan, but you need to consider that being an entrepreneur means footing the bill for your own retirement and health insurance.  Also don’t forget to roll over any old 401K accounts into IRAs if/when you leave your company.

5.  Do not be afraid to ask for help.  Put yourself out there, talk about your goals to every person you meet.  Inform people about what you are doing and what you may need help with.  Many people will surprise you with their connections and knowledge.

You don’t have to quit your job today or have everything all figured out.  

You just have to make a decision that you want to keep looking for your dream job opportunity.

We can help you with that!

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About the Author

Blair Thielemier, PharmD, is an MTM consultant pharmacist specializing in pharmacy billing models. She consults on and produces e-learning programs for state and national organizations, pharmacy wholesalers, payers, technology start-ups. She has books and online courses available for individuals looking to leverage their pharmacy knowledge into monetized clinical programs at PharmapreneurAcademy.com. She speaks internationally about trends in leveraging pharmacists to improve value-based care.

 

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