The COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated much needed changes to the health care delivery system. Pharmacy is not going to be spared from the consumer-driven demands for alternatives to the current practice. What our profession needs more than ever are new leaders that have the entrepreneurial vision to reform a practice that has changed little since the 1950's; yet, we have increased the number of yearly graduates from an average of 5,000 to 14,000.
Getting an advanced degree has been well established for those pharmacists that wished to compete for administrative positions in health care systems. Because so much of pharmacy is now controlled by corporate business interests, new leaders must be able to clearly look at a practice model and envision how changes can be made that will drive profit and provide the job satisfaction new graduates are demanding from the profession. With declining availability of jobs especially in the community market, employers will be looking for candidates that show leadership potential as early as the initial interview. To be selected will require that you have different credentials, a different knowledge base and a willingness to use those credentials to benefit the employer.
The major community chains now realize that there is little profit remaining in the traditional dispensing pharmacy so they are looking to integrate both vertically and horizontally and create a retail, full service health care marketplace at every store. How does pharmacy fit into this if the employer sees little profit from the functions you do? The answer is to demonstrate how your services can drive a new business model. The PharmD-MBA program at Texas Tech was specifically designed to give you the knowledge and skills set to convince that employer that you are the person to select for future jobs. Your unparalled clinical training coupled with a health care focused MBA will give you the tools for making lasting changes. Because there is so much integration of systems and a focus on value across transitions of care, it will be increasingly difficult to say that you are a community or health system pharmacist. You will have to have the knowledge and training to compete in all integrated settings.
Our PharmD-MBA program is now the largest in the country and if you qualify, you will be joining the others that see a need for change in our profession.