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From retail to hospital, new group provides networking opportunities, professional guidance, and personal support to women pharmacists nationwide.
In early 2017, soon after Suzanne Soliman, PharmD, had to miss her son’s baseball game because she was once again working late as a clinical pharmacist, she decided to make a change.
By mid-2017, after she became chief academic officer at the Accreditation Council for Medical Affairs, which offers Board Certification for Medical Affairs/MSLs (BCMAS) for pharmaceutical industry clinical professionals, Soliman formed Pharmacist Moms Group.
The mission of the Facebook group-which now has nearly 20,000 members -is to provide support to women pharmacists across the country to help advance the profession for women and improve working conditions, employee benefits, and other important issues that affect women pharmacists.
“I initially formed the group looking for personal support and did not expect it to grow this quickly. I formed it to so pharmacists could ask for tips about children, landing a job, the benefits of certain companies versus others, and so many other issues,” Soliman tells DrugTopics.
Members of the group are from all pharmacy settings, including hospital and retail, and seek both professional and personal advice. “We have women who have lost spouses, are going through divorce, or are having children. Some are thinking about switching areas of practice and to be able to share with one another really does help,” Soliman says.
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Some women pharmacists have landed jobs by being a part of the group’s Facebook page. “One woman who was recently divorced and decided to move across the country networked with the group. Other members set up an interview for her before she even moved to the new location,” Soliman says.
One of the most positive contributions the organization has made, Soliman says, is working to establish the first Women Pharmacist Day, held on October 12, 2018.
Last year, Facebook asked the group to form a professional paid subscription group, “Pharmacist Moms Pro.” The Pharmacist Moms Group is one of only a handful of groups in the world selected by Facebook for this type of group due to its large number of members. “Pro” members can access services such as continuing education, resume review, support for board certification examinations, financial advice from experts, and more.
While Pharmacist Moms Group has grown primarily via word-of-mouth, Soliman hosts the podcast, “Rx Talk with Suzy”, on the Pharmacy Podcast Network. The podcast discusses issues that are key to women in pharmacy.
To help spread the word about the group, Pharmacist Moms Group held its first luncheon during the ASHP Midyear Meeting in December and will host a “Mom’s Night Out” the night before the Midwest Pharmacy Expo in Des Moines, Iowa, February 7.