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Happy FIRST Birthday to Pharmacist Moms!

 

It is hard to believe that just one year ago today, I was lying in bed feeling guilty for working and missing out on yet another baseball game for my son. I had attended the majority of his sporting events; however, it still bothered me that I missed this one. In fact, I remember that particular evening vividly;  I couldn’t fall asleep.

 

Eventually I got up and walked out of my room into my kids’ bedrooms just to “look” at them. You know…when your kid is sleeping and you get to watch them…best feeling in the world right??? But that night something was different. I knew I needed some support. Was I working too much at the expense of my children? Was I missing out on them growing up? Did they wonder why I traveled? Did they wonder why I had to work evenings or weekends sometimes?

 

At that point, I knew I needed to speak to someone even though it was pretty late in the evening. I knew I was struggling with work/life balance. Why did I feel so bad when I was at work and missed my kids, and then when I was with my kids I felt that I wasn’t giving my all to my job or my profession? I couldn’t be the only one who felt that way. It also wasn’t only about work. I was a member of a local gym and although I paid for my membership each and every month, I hardly attended because of the guilt. I felt so bad that I was already leaving my kids for work so how could I possibly leave the house to go work out and have me time?? I knew I wasn’t the only one to feel this way.

 

Of course, since I couldn’t sleep I picked up my phone (yes I know that just makes insomnia worse LOL but at this point I wasn’t a health care professional I was a mom),  and I opened up Facebook. I began scrolling through some of my local Facebook mom groups and reading them to see if maybe someone else already posted about work/life balance and I could relate to someone but I couldn’t find anything. I also wanted to hear what other pharmacists were doing and not doing and how they managed to work full-time, stay fit, eat right, maintain a marriage and raise children. What was the secret? Could you even do that?? Was it possible?

 

 

 

Pharmacist Moms Group is Born

I decided to start a group on Facebook called the “Pharmacist Moms Group”…yes I know not really an original name but it worked :-). It started as a group of 50 people (moms I went to pharmacy school with, did residency with or worked with throughout my career), and it quickly became a support network. In a matter of a month it grew to over 1000 members who were asking each other for recipes, work-life balance questions, clinical questions, career questions, money questions, insurance questions, vitamin questions, board certification questions and much more. As a pharmacist mom, I was always passionate about the field of pharmacy, but I struggled between the obligation of working and raising my family. I have found that this group brought me balance, energy, education and most importantly a new purpose and passion that was real. Bringing me happiness by  supporting others who are just like me…who went to school for 6+ years after high school, who pulled overnights to study, who moved thousands of miles for an education, who did residencies, did fellowships, took call, worked evenings, worked overnights, and looked at as the #1 resource by millions of people all over the world. Each day I learn something new from these amazing ladies.

 

I needed this group…let me rephrase that….we needed this group. As pharmacist moms, we are often in our silos but together we are that much greater. We are not just the moms of our own children, we are the moms who help other moms decide which cold medicine to give their child. We are the moms who help other moms select which baby formula may be best if they can no longer nurse. We are the moms who are calculating dosing behind the doors in a dark cold basement for a sick child. We are the moms competing for jobs in a culture dominated by Caucasian males. We are the moms who are pumping while we are working at the same time. We are the moms who are the only pharmacist on a team on rounds at 6am each day. We are the moms who don’t get a lunch break. We are the moms who stay late and don’t get paid. Most importantly, we are the moms who America trusts and we are the moms trying to raise our own families. We are pharmacist moms and we are a fierce and strong!

 

 Happy Birthday to my Pharmacist Mom tribe. We are 10,000+ Pharmacist Moms in just one year!! So excited for the future…

By Suzanne Soliman

Dr. Suzanne Soliman earned her PharmD from the University of Illinois at Chicago in 2004. She then completed a residency in primary care with an emphasis on education at Midwestern University Chicago College of Pharmacy and a teaching fellowship at the University of Illinois at Chicago College of Medicine. Suzy worked as a clinical pharmacist, a medical science liaison and national field team educator prior to becoming an Assistant Dean of Academic Affairs at the University of Illinois at Chicago College of Pharmacy. She most recently was an Associate Dean at Touro College of Pharmacy New York and an independent pharmacy owner.

Suzy has 75 publications and has presented at numerous national meetings. She is a Rufus A. Lyman
award recipient which is granted for the best manuscript published in the American Journal of Pharmacy Education. Suzy has served as a medical expert on a number of pharmacy issues and has been a reviewer for Annals of Pharmacotherapy and Currents in Pharmacy Teaching and Learning. She has been quoted in “Crain”, “Chicago Business Magazine” and “Time Out Chicago”. Currently, she is the Chief Academic Officer for the Accreditation Council for Medical Affairs (ACMA). Her areas of interest are assessment and development of medical affairs professionals.

Suzy loves spending time with her husband and children, cooking, baking and eating!! She recently
started working out and is addicted to the “barre”. For years, she struggled between work/life balance and the support from the Pharmacist Moms Group has really helped her. Ultimately finding that balance is something she works on each day. She tries to live by one of her favorite quotes by Rumi: “Live life as if everything is rigged in your favor”