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Are You a Pharmacist and a Mom?

 

Pharmacy has been touted as one of the best careers for women.1 In 2016, of the over 14,000 PharmD degrees awarded, approximately 61% were to women. Currently, more women practice in pharmacy than men, and it is expected that the number of women practicing will continue to rise.2

Many of these women are mothers. They are young mothers with newborns, expecting moms with children at home and in their bellies, mothers with grown children and some are mothers of mothers (i.e. grandmothers). They are mothers with one child, multiple children, adopted children, children conceived naturally, and children conceived from fertility treatments. One thing that all of these women have in common is they are all mothers who are pharmacists.

At around 11:00 p.m. one evening in spring 2017, my husband and children were fast asleep, but I laid awake in bed feeling terribly guilty because I worked past 6:30 p.m. and missed my son’s baseball game. The guilt would not subside, and I could not sleep. I began to think how I must not be the only pharmacist mom who has felt this way. There must be others who have worked late and missed an event for their child(ren). I wondered how did they cope? So I did what any other mom in 2017 does when they can’t sleep…I began to scroll Facebook.

I was a member of multiple mom groups for my town and area, but I decided I wanted to find and consult with other moms who had similar careers to me. I went out on a limb and decided to start a Facebook group called the Pharmacist Moms Group. I invited ~50 of my Facebook friends who were also pharmacist moms, and I let them know about my guilt. Within minutes, I had replies and began to feel much better. Then the group just began to grow organically. The pharmacist moms continued to invite their pharmacist mom friends and each day more pharmacist moms were invited to the group by their friends. Within 6 months the group reached more than 2000 very active members.

As a pharmacist, I often felt that I was operating in silo, but these moms have made me realize I am not. We discuss issues related to child rearing, new cooking/baking recipes, different careers paths within pharmacy, job opportunities, losing a spouse, being a single mom, going thru cancer treatments, the pharmacy bubble, job opportunities, networking and much more. We have even had some academic pharmacists conduct a research survey on the group. Some pharmacists have posted questions about medication dosing, resources and about preparation for job interviews. Others discussed board certification examinations or basic child rearing.

The Pharmacist Moms Group is not just a group but rather a movement and a full support system. We are currently trying to establish a National Women’s Pharmacist Day and hope to finalize a date in the near future. If you are a mom and a pharmacist, I encourage you to join by checking out the link here: https://www.facebook.com/groups/1969320613289037/. The group needs you! Female pharmacists are the future of this profession and so are pharmacist moms! We cannot do this alone.

References
1.        http://fortune.com/2013/03/11/5-professions-ruled-by-women/
2.        http://www.aacp.org/about/Pages/Vitalstats.aspx

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”