Authentic Leadership in Managed Care Pharmacy: Career Advice for Pharmacy Students and Professionals




White, Annesha
Snoubar, Nora
Lee, Seina
Beaty, Silky


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Background: Descriptive summaries and research on influential factors affecting leadership among student pharmacists career choices has been utilized by practitioners to aid student development, enhance educational experiences, and plan for future career goals. There is currently little research that summarizes different managed care focused leadership paths for student pharmacists as they advance their career. Objective: The purposes of this research are to (1) review the literature from the past decade on managed care pharmacy leadership paths and (2) describe the views of experienced pharmacists with regard to leadership in managed care. Methods: A literature search of various healthcare journal databases, including Medline and Pubmed, was conducted using keywords leadership in managed pharmacy, careers in managed care pharmacy, and career planning for pharmacy. The full text of each article was reviewed and articles were excluded if they did not relate directly. Additionally, 15 experienced pharmacists were interviewed on managed care leadership development. Data was analyzed qualitatively using NVIVO software to identify common themes and word frequencies. Results: Fifteen different managed care pharmacy careers were identified based on the results of the literature search. Specific requirements for leadership paths were noted. Some of the leadership positions listed were pharmacists in the community, hospital, PBM, consultant and pharmaceutical industry settings. Qualitative analysis of pharmacists’ interviews revealed that goals were to remain in a leadership position for at least 10 years and to leave with people who were prepared to take over the department. Furthermore, the pharmacists interviewed suggested creating a career roadmap, the importance of identifying how to progress or change career paths, and a focus on obtaining a good mentor. Conclusions: This research has presented many contemporary leadership paths in the managed care arena. Pharmacists’ insights are provided from experience, which could serve as a great resource for student pharmacists for their career planning and development. Identifying how to progress or change career paths will allow for a smooth transition into a new era in which pharmacists are critical components of every health care team. A strong leadership pipeline is key to future of the pharmacy profession.


Research Appreciation Day Award Winner - 2017 UNT System College of Pharmacy - Clinical Research Award