Izabella Wentz, PharmD, FASCP is a pharmacist who has dedicated herself to addressing the root causes of autoimmune thyroid disease after being diagnosed with Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis in 2009. She is the author of the New York Times best-selling patient guide “Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis” Lifestyle Interventions for Finding and Treating the Root Cause” and is an ardent champion of incorporating lifestyle change and functional medicine into the treatment of autoimmune disease.
Q: What advice would you give to other Pharmapreneurs?
Build your business on the side and don’t quit your day job until it becomes profitable. If you are desperate for income, it will come across in you message. Make sure that you can meet your own financial needs and it will give you the confidence to help others. Once you get your business on the right track and “in the zone” the right opportunities will follow.
Q: How do you stay focused on your mission?
Choose a business that your are passionate about. Work on your side business after hours, hustle when your can even if it means making some sacrifices like missing out on your favorite TV episodes. When building your business think about what tasks that you can delegate to others. Such as hiring a housekeeper or signing up for grocery delivery on Amazon.
Q: How can a pharmacist get started building a new business?
Use your strengths to create opportunities. If you are a good writer, then write. If you are a good speaker, then speak. If you are interested in something it may be a nudge towards where you should be going in your business.
For instance, if you would like to eventually provide consulting services for patients with thyroid disorders (like I do), you can practice your skills on patients in the community pharmacy. Make it a point when dispensing any thyroid medications to ask the patient about their condition, management, goals, diet, labs, etc. You will learn a lot and it will build your confidence once you realize how much value you can provide to patients.
Q: How can pharmacists make a difference in their patients lives?
In order to make a big difference in healthcare, we all need to be working at the top of our scope of practice. Pharmacists are in an excellent position to not just advise on appropriate medication, but take care of the whole person. I advocate a functional medicine approach, where the clinician is an educator and will advise the patients on nutrient deletions (some which can be induced by medications), proper use of supplements, nutrition and lifestyle interventions.
This is all well within the scope of a pharmacists’ license. With additional training, pharmacists can also review labs and make treatment recommendations. A holistic approach to treating the entire patient instead of just managing symptoms with medications is the key. People are looking for partners in their healthcare journey.
Q: What should we expect from the Thyroid Pharmacist in 2016 and 2017?
I am releasing a self-management program for people with Hashimoto’s that I’ve been working on since 2014, and will also be providing training to healthcare professionals on Hashimoto’s!
I also have a few speaking engagements lined up and in addition to sharing information about thyroid health, I also hope to spread the word about how pharmacists can make a huge difference on patient care.
Be on the lookout for my new book in early 2017!
I am so proud to have Izabella share her story here on the blog. She is definitely doing great things to advance the profession of pharmacy and making a huge impact on her patients.
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