Well-Being Survey Discussion: Alex Barker and Mike Koelzer

by | Jun 27, 2022 | Burnout, Career, Health and Wellness

Well Being Report: Are Pharmacists going crazy?


Listen to the full episode at the link below:



Pharmacist well-being: Changes Post-COVID-19

78% of Pharmacists say they are not happy at work Post COVID-19 Pandemic. Many surveys conducted before COVID among pharmacists showed that many pharmacists were not happy with their jobs. In one of such studies by Drug Topics® in 2020, 7 out of 10 pharmacists revealed they were not happy with their jobs. However, the numbers appear to have worsened since COVID. Based on a Happy PharmD exclusive report, Alex and Mike compare the well-being of pharmacists before the pandemic and after the pandemic. In the survey conducted in 2021, from 657 responses, 22% of pharmacists say they are happy at work, meaning about 78% are not happy at work. In a similar survey done in 2020, 42% of 217 pharmacists said they were happy at work. While many of the respondents for the current report work in retail pharmacy, the figures are not expected to be much better for pharmacists in clinical practice, pharma, and other sectors.


Who is to blame: Pharmacists? Employers?

The top reason 75% of pharmacists experience burnout is that the organization prioritizes profit over patients. The other reasons given were long work hours and overloading with administrative tasks. It, therefore, means that pharmacy management in retail, clinical setting, or pharma has a crucial role in preventing burnout. The fallout of burnout, such as cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, hospitalizations, divorce, and suicide, reveals that it is an important subject that should be paid the necessary attention it deserves. For Alex, this is why the main goal at Happy PharmD is to engage these pharmacists and help them transition to roles that they enjoy and prevent the fallout from burnout. 


The Employers Role in Burnout and Well-Being

In terms of workplaces implementing strategies to help with the mental health of pharmacists, only 22% of the respondents say there is a program in their workplace that reduces stress or burnout. Also, only 28% of pharmacists used the program. The majority who don’t use it may feel they can’t trust their company’s therapist, and if the program were to be made compulsory by management, it might end up being counterproductive by adding more stress. The solution Alex proposes to help improve burnout metrics and engagement is organizational interventions.



In rounding off the discussion, Alex offers a special care package for pharmacists and pharmacy students that contain his book, “Indispensable: The Prescription for a Fulfilling Pharmacy Career,” to help pharmacists start taking action regarding their career. It also includes a special audio excerpt from the book titled “I’m a Terrible Pharmacist” and the Happy PharmD Pharmacist Salary Guide to help negotiate for your next opportunity. The special care package can be accessed here

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Creating Happy Pharmacists

If you really want to build the career and life that you’ve dreamed of, one where you are helping people and working in a field that you love, you need to do something different than what you’ve been doing.

Through coaching you can re-discover why you became a pharmacist and find your passion again.