Advancing The Profession of Pharmacy

How MTM “Reignited My Belly Fire”

by | Aug 25, 2015 | Big Picture Ideas

It was April of 2014 when I got the news that my hours were being cut and my employer-sponsored insurance plan was being cancelled; at the time I happened to be six months pregnant.

As I was still reeling from that blow, I began frantically searching for more work.  That was really the first time I truly understood how tightly knit we are as community of pharmacists.  Other pharmacists spread the word, work came quickly and my schedule stayed booked solid as a relief “floating” pharmacist until I delivered my daughter in early July.  Once I was back from maternity leave, I continue on the relief pharmacist path.  The schedule was flexible, it allowed me to set days, I always have enough work and I don’t work unless I want work.

I went from a very scary situation to now having a dream job.  Before the layoff, I was working 40-50 hours per week, every other Saturday and Sunday, and on-call pretty much 24/7.  There were times when I would get calls from nurses in the middle of the night firing off medication questions at me in my confused, half-awake state.  Now I make my own schedule, I pick up shifts as needed and I try to make myself available to other pharmacists when they need help.  If we need to take a vacation, I don’t feel bad about it, I just work extra time to make up for the days missed.

 ” It takes planning, organization and a great can-do attitude.  This attitude is one of the most important skills you can have.”

One such opportunity to help came from a pharmacy where I was working relief a few days each month.  They asked that I take over their MTM patients for them because they did not have the time to complete their cases.  I was concerned about billing Medicare and concerned whether or not I would have the time and skills needed to off their patients this valuable clinical service.  As it turns out, I could not have been more wrong!

A common saying for a passionate person is that the person “has a fire in their belly”.  That is exactly what MTM services reignited in me.  I had lost my passion for pharmacy, but clinical services reignited it!

As per my personality, I dove head first in everything MTM.  I learned as much as I could about it, and I continue to learn more and more about it every day.

I hope that my story will inspire others to find their passion, create their dream jobs and
“reignite their belly fire”!

About the Author

Blair Thielemier, PharmD, is a business development consultant specializing in pharmacist-led billing models. She has set the industry standard for virtual pharmacy conferences with the Elevate Pharmacy Virtual Summit in 2017. She has consulted with national pharmacy organizations, drug wholesalers, point of sale companies, and Fortune 5 health insurers. She has books and online courses available for individuals looking to leverage their pharmacy knowledge into monetized clinical programs at She speaks internationally about trends in leveraging pharmacists to improve value-based care.


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