We’re continuing our monthly HCP Spotlight program to highlight some of our amazing crowd members. This month’s HCP spotlight is Regina Moore, PharmD, founder of Pharmacist’s Connect.
Q: What made you go into your selected medical profession?
A: My father is a pharmacist and from a young age I saw what a dynamic career it could be. Though he worked long hours, I remember seeing that it was flexible and most days provided something different, not to mention that he was often able to bring me in to work with him (though that’s not the case in most pharmacist jobs today) Throughout his career my father worked in retail, long term care, as a pharmaceutical representative and has transitioned into prescribing.
When the time came for my to choose a career direction I knew I wanted something interesting, well paying and which provided for lots of options in how you work as well as the ability to work in most any location. I had no ideas for a dream job. But a practical one that I knew I could be good at with strong analytical skills had already been modeled to me by my father. I started my first semester at college intent to become a pharmacist.
Q: What was the catalyst for starting Pharmacist’s Connect?
A: Oddly enough, given some of the reasons I decided to go in to pharmacy and the fact that you can find a job in so many locales I began to feel quite isolated in my profession. Even though pharmacy has been great in providing a situation where I can be a mother and the primary earner in my household, the transition to being a parent and a pharmacist saw me feeling very disconnected from my peers. As a primarily a retail pharmacist at this point in my career, I did not have opportunities in my work to interact with or be involved with other pharmacists, outside of the few who might work in the same store as me. As a parent, I couldn’t rationalize what were effectively pharmacist socializing opportunities 3+ hours from home, with associated expenses for industry events.
That was really tough given that I had literally grown up attending state pharmacy association meetings with my father and had been highly active as a student pharmacist in professional organizations. I knew that my voice was important and that I had insights that were valuable to my profession and I wanted to reconnect with the passion that gets people into pharmacy.
So, in December of 2018, while I was, basically, unemployed, I started Pharmacist’s Connect. My goal was to provide a space for pharmacists throughout the profession to get together and share our voices. I wanted a place where connection mattered and professional silos did not. An ongoing frustration of many retail pharmacists is feeling that they are not represented by the pharmacy organizations, despite being the largest working cohort of pharmacists. In a time where things feel more and more fragmented, I wanted to bring pharmacists back together on common ground – and hopefully inspire people to reach out and do more and be more in the process.
Q: What is something you wish you could tell all female pharmacists who are starting their careers?
A: I think I would tell females starting off in the pharmacy profession two main things: 1. Remain true to yourself, and the fact that you will continue to change and grow throughout your career. 2. Consistently check your implicit biases against women in the profession, including yourself. We all have different reasons for pursuing the careers that we do and those varied reasons make us strong in unique ways. As women, it is often expected that we entered a profession such as pharmacy due to our want and need to help others. This assumption does a number of things; it often leads others to expect us to do more than men, and often for less pay or recognition. Personally, my primary reason for becoming a pharmacist was not a desire to serve others. I enjoy doing good work and I enjoy being recognized for that work, as do most people. I became I pharmacist because I had the skills necessary to do so, it provided a needed mental challenge, afforded me many practice opportunities and the ability to be compensated well for my efforts. Recognizing things like this as helped me to be comfortable with accepting why and when I wanted to step back to part time work. for example.
Q: What do you think is the best process for opening up states that have been sheltering-in-place due to COVID-19?
A: What is the best process to open up the states again during the COVID-19 pandemic is a hard question for me to answer. I suppose that is hard for everyone. But I am the mother of a preschooler who is a cancer survivor, who has only finished treatment right as the pandemic started.
I recognize that we cannot shelter in place forever. Everything is so complicated and so interconnected that there are no simple answers to the question and how this looks should vary by location.
Simple steps that I know will help: we should all be wearing masks as much as possible. Simple, easy, consistently achievable risk reduction measures can help ALL of us get back out sooner. Something that I am seeing frequently is the statement that people who are high risk or scared should just stay home. I fear that most people don’t recognize how large a group of the population this is, myself included due to my son. We should be acting as logical, practical and compassionate members of society in trying to follow the advice of public health professionals and other experts so that even those who are vulnerable are able to try and begin to get back to life.
Q: Do you think the US is prepared to handle a second COVID-19 outbreak later this year?
A: As it stands right now, I do not feel confident about how we as a country would respond to a second wave. Fear and mistrust of science and experts as well as one of the most politicized events and politically fragmented times I have ever seen are my biggest concerns. When people become bullheaded and refuse to listen to experts, even at their own peril, it makes it very hard to see a good outcome if this situation escalates higher.
Stay tuned for our next HCP Spotlight!