I’m Alex Barker, I practiced pharmacy at a Veteran Affairs Hospital for 5 years. All the while, I built businesses on the side, unrelated to my day job or pharmacy, so a few pharmacists reach out to me, saying things like, “I want to start something too.” 

This all happened in 2013-2016, as the pharmacy job market worsened. 

Pharmacists described their work and lives and I saw pharmacists like me who didn’t enjoy their work conditions but wanted to make a change. And then one day, it clicked. 

On January 2017, I launched The Happy PharmD, a company geared to coach pharmacists on finding new careers and create businesses. In August 2018, I made a rash move to quit my job and dedicate my life to helping pharmacists.

What you’ll get from the Indispensable Podcast:

  • Insights into the job market, 
  • What’s happening to pharmacy -- both good and bad, 
  • Clear actionable steps to advance your career (even if you just started pharmacy or have been involved for the last 35 years)

What the Indispensable Podcast Isn’t:

  • Not interviews - Interviews are helpful, especially if you feel like you need direction for your career, we do that twice a year at The Happy PharmD Summit. Receiving interviews every week in a podcast though can become distracting, rather than enabling, in making unified decisions.
  • Research only - We won’t be sugar coating you with false hopes of what pharmacy is meant to be or should be.
  • Polished messaging like we’re an association or large organization, praising ourselves for what a great job we do.

Starting the Journey

A call to reconsider should be present at the start of every journey. Should you pursue this path? Should you give up? 

  • Frodo considers staying in the Shire rather than going to Mordor
  • Spiderman wonders what life would be like not being a hero
  • Elle Woods in Legally Blonde contemplates giving up pursuing her dream of becoming a lawyer

You may feel like giving up too, that maybe there’s too much at stake to pursue your big idea but what’s at stake is a better future than your current present. You have great potential within you to be in a better job, to develop a leadership like no one else can, or to be a really great dad or mom but there’s so much stacked against pharmacists, isn’t there?

  • Poor job market opportunities
  • Flooded pharmacist supply
  • Chains taking control over the face of pharmacy
  • PBM 
  • Angry bosses, customers, and coworkers

What holds us back from starting a journey? The list could go on and on…..

Most of us love staying where we are, it’s why we stay, it’s comfortable. The pain of starting is sometimes the greatest but after you start, things become easier. I’m sure you’ve heard this before: The premise is that if a frog is put suddenly into boiling water, it will jump out, but if the frog is put in tepid water which is then brought to a boil slowly, it will not perceive the danger and will be cooked to death.

Work demands so much of you: metrics, lack of support, more demands from management, poor work relationships, stress, anxiety, and depression, even suicide. It doesn’t seem natural to jump but you ask yourself, what’s on the other side? 

This podcast is like you and me on a long car ride, unpacking our professions victories, struggles, and your own and discussing what you can do to move towards victory.

I understand what’s going. I want you to jump out of your comfort zone and into something better. You’re on a journey, and if you want me to be right there with you, subscribe to the Indispensable podcast



S1E1: An Introduction to the Happy PharmD
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