I ran cross-country in high school, and I enjoyed it. We had a strong seven-man team. In most meets, your first five finishers scored, so the lower the score, the higher your team placed. For example, the team would achieve a perfect score if it took the first five places, for a score of 15. We had three strong runners who always finished well, while the last four of us battled for those last two scoring positions.
For one race we ran every year, though, it was the time of the last-place runner that was the most important. The race was called the Hokum Karem. You ran as a team and finished as a team, running in a tight pack with the runner in the back constantly rotating to the front. The faster runners could not run as fast as they wanted to, but usually the slower runners would run their best times of the year, not wanting to hold the team back. Your recorded time was clocked when the whole team had crossed the finish line.
This race was great for encouraging the guys who would never win a race, to let them know they were important too, because they were. The coach never let us forget that, because he was a runner himself — and a good coach. He always stressed teamwork, and he treated all of us the same. There were no stars or prima donnas on his teams.
No way to make the team
I get quite a few e-mails from colleagues that all touch on the same theme. Fellow registered pharmacists are not against ramping up their training and education to take on more duties; they just can’t figure out how to do it. Many are paying for their own children’s education, or at least saving for it. They can’t go back to school for a PharmD. They are stuck living life and just trying to get by.
Residency training is not a viable option for RPhs, either. While you don’t need a PharmD to fulfill a residency, you’ll never get one — not with all the PharmDs vying for one now. You also could not afford the cut in pay; these positions usually rate less than half a pharmacist’s salary.
The folks who contact me want the additional training, they just wish there was another way.