I've been thinking a lot lately about the future of the pharmacy profession, and how the professional organisations have been positioning themselves. Like many topics, I think it's really easy to either gobble up all of their rhetoric or to rip on them and be anti-establishment. Exploring the middle ground is more difficult but also more valuable.
I believe the professional organisations play an important role in advocating for the profession and supporting the development of their members' skills and knowledge within pharmacy specific domains. But despite their claims, I do not think the professional organisations adequately represent society's medication-related needs. Nor do I think they foster the development of the enabling skills and knowledge required to drive the innovation that society demands.
I think there is a need for another type of organisation. A community co-op if you like. Where the common ground is a commitment to improving how medicines are used in society and a willingness to put in the work required to achieve it.
Not based on years of experience or credentials gained. Not based on a pharmacy-specific role or specialised area clinical practice. The existing organisations do that. There is no shortage of specialised silos.
An un-specialised, anti-disciplinary community. Where its the shared agenda that matters, not the methods of contributing to it. You may be a clinician, a researcher, a teacher, a tech developer, or a venture capitalist, it doesn't matter. If you share the commitment to improving outcomes you're welcome to participate.
A community which fosters the development of entrepreneurial skills. Who encourage others to share their ideas, put themselves out there and take risks. Who support others when they encounter failure, or are struggling with isolation, or feel like they are imposters and want to retreat to the comfort of the status quo. Who celebrates successes beyond their own.
A community who generously support one another to understand the problems they encounter and work together to develop and implement enhanced solutions. Where diversity of opinion and experience is not only encouraged, but actively sought out.