One of the darkest time in my pharmacy career was when I had to fire another pharmacist. I am the first to admit that I am not good at managing pharmacists. I tried many years ago and failed so miserably.   I have no problem managing pharmacy technicians. I have no problem dealing with challenging clients or customers but when it comes to pharmacists, I feel like I don’t know how to manage them.

I think part of the problem is that we all need to respect each other’s professional judgment. Just because it is in my professional judgment to address an issue a certain way doesn’t mean another equally professional pharmacist will address the same issue in the same manner.  But I can’t confuse professionalism with plain tardiness or negligence.

Perhaps I was the problem. I have doubted myself many times….

  • Was I not clear enough of my expectations?
  • Was my demeanor not serious enough for the pharmacist to respect my authority?
  • Should I have tried to act collegial or distant myself because I was the manager?

When a mistake was made, did I follow the proper steps? Clarify if there was a lack of training, retraining and follow up to confirm her understanding.

If the same mistake was made again, did I provide a clear verbal warning again or should I proceed to a written warning?

It was so damn exhausting.

I was so wrapped up with what was the right thing to do before reaching the ultimatum of dismissing the pharmacist.

But the real problem was that I ignored my intuition.  I knew ….and I felt that she wasn’t the right fit from the beginning. We were so desperate to hire a pharmacist we offered her the job even when I had doubts.

Look what a mess I have created for myself.

Dismissing her was probably more traumatic for myself than it was for her – she was indifferent, at least she acted that way. The burden was immediately lifted from my chest after she was gone.  But the scar remains.

Perhaps it is time that I let it go and move on. But this time around, let’s pay more attention to my intuition.

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