Part of the evolution of our society has been built on the notion that each generation does better than the one preceding it. And so on and so on. I’ve been told that up until recently, every generation lives longer and is more prosperous than their parents. If we apply that to the professions, I suppose that could be true too, that each generation of pharmacy professionals does better than their predecessors. I think that is true. Professions evolve and advance through the accomplishments and vision of their leaders. In that way, we are dependent on constantly identifying new leaders to take their turn in advancing the profession.
One morning, I was out for a run with a good friend whom I have known and run with for over 30 years. He’s a pharmacist too. We’ve grown up (and old) in the profession, and have taken our turn at various leadership positions over the years. We have great conversations during our runs; free flowing dialogues that start with some random thought that is on our minds as we plod along. In our younger days, we ran fast; now we run less and talk more. One morning, our conversation was about how things had changed during the time we have been in pharmacy. In the olden days, many of the leaders were in their 20’s or 30’s. This was the dominant situation in CSHP, but also in the College and the Association. I recalled that I was a president of BC CSHP and the College in my late 20s and early 30s respectively. Nowadays, the leaders in all of our organizations seem to be a lot older. Many of them are in their 50s or 60s. CSHP leaders seem to be a bit younger, perhaps in their 30s and 40s. We talked about this change, and whether it was a good one or not. We were concerned that as long as our more senior folks held elected positions in our professional organizations, the younger folks would not have the opportunity to serve in these leadership positions. It’s not that the current leadership isn’t great, but rather that perhaps we are doing our profession a disservice by not providing leadership opportunities for our young leaders. Is there no interest from our youth? Do we not have enough confidence in their leadership ability to give them a chance? Maybe we have failed to adequately mentor our “kids”. We wondered whether we have actively supported and encouraged younger pharmacists to get involved and run for elected office in our professional organizations. Perhaps not.
Normally, our conversations stay “on the road”, but this one stuck with me, as one that I wanted to share. The current generation of young (less than 40) pharmacy professionals needs to be given the opportunity to take on leadership positions in the profession. If you are in that category, consider running for election in the College or one of the professional associations. You’ll love it! If you are in a leadership role now, or have been in the past, think of a young leader whom you can support, encourage and mentor for one of our leadership positions. Their turn has come.