How Do We Fix the Pharmacist-Physician Relationship?

Dr. Michael Gibbons asked to speak to a pharmacist to call in a prescription.

He waited over an hour on hold and finally hung up.

This is unacceptable, he tweeted out, about the hour that had gone by.

He then shared a screenshot of his phone, showing the call time, clocking in at over one hour.

Here’s his tweet, in full action:

 

 

 

I love that he did this (shared the screenshot). As a digital entrepreneur, I know first hand how important images are in providing context, showing proof. And he clearly has.

My own response: this situation is completely unacceptable.

If there is a physician call-line (which there is) it should take priority over other calls.

This is, at least, how things used to be. Not sure why things changed.

Listen, we have been devalued in so many different ways. If makes absolutely no sense. None.

Note that by saying this, I’m not claiming that anyone’s time is less valuable than the doctors’. But that there should be a natural hierarchy, if we are to prioritize bettering healthcare, and bettering the flow in which we are actually productively seen by the limited number of qualified doctors practicing out there.

(The fact that we need more doctors trained is another issue to tackle, but at another time).

I went ahead and searched up this topic, because I became instantaneously curious about what others out there thought. I found an open-access journal article published in 2021 that claimed that:

“Pharmacists may not only take part in primary health problems but also deal with compound issues to make the most of their excellent pharmacological knowledge and potential, which supports physicians, nurses and other medical professions.”

Right. I don’t think anyone would disagree. But then that:

“Unfortunately, there are some barriers to this collaborative practice. So as to make this partnership more efficient and beneficial, there is a need to modify infrastructure, negotiate, agree upon goals and educate young healthcare workers about this system.”

But how do we do this, folks?

We can write up hundreds of papers that say the relationship between these two professionals need to be better. But what ACTION can be taken to ensure of it?

This is something that I have learned to prioritize, as an entrepreneur. I’ve learned to agree to projects only when I see that ACTION is taking place, rather than just words and hype.

Don’t get me wrong. I believe hype is a useful ingredient where it comes to impacting change. But when there’s all hype and little to no action, your end product is just.. well, flat.

 

ACTION is something that I have learned to prioritize, as an entrepreneur. I've learned to agree to projects only when I see that ACTION is taking place, rather than just words and hype. Click To Tweet

 

I wrote about the concept of ‘hype’ in my article “How Do You Sniff Out BS?“, so if this interests you and you wish to read further on this, and how it can create both excitement and BS, click in and read on.

In the meantime, here’s what I’m now pondering, out loud:

How do we bridge the gaps between physician and pharmacist, when today’s healthcare outlets have essentially been converted into factories, and personalized care has been so deprioritized?

I’m not sure we have the right answers. But I’m willing to wait for those who think they do..

(and if you do, please do submit your proposition here).

How Do We Fix the Pharmacist-Physician Relationship?

After bumping into a colleague's tweet, a physician who waited to speak with a pharmacist who needed him, for one hour, I felt compelled to weigh in on this, too.

More
posts

The Clown Head

The Clown Head

An eerie legend loomed over the remnants of an abandoned carnival, in the small town of Ravenswood.