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Bryan Schuessler – Ambulatory Care Pharmacist

What makes your career path unique?

For my career, I chose a path that focuses more on the development of people and processes in order to take care of patients than on taking care of patients directly.

In management and leadership, I have the opportunity to make large scale changes to allow clinicians to make the most out of their skill set, and the ability to set a vision for what care may look like in the future. This makes my job unique.

What does a typical workday look like for you?

No two days are the same in my position, and I enjoy that.

A typical day for me may consist of a strategic planning meeting in which I discuss the five-year plan for our pharmacy, or it may consist of coaching an employee on an interaction they had that could have been better.

Likewise, I may spend part of my day analyzing a budget and any variances related to that budget, or making critical, in the moment, decisions about how to handle an expensive medication that patients need.

My day is always filled with decisions to be made, tasks to delegate, and people to develop.

Describe the most rewarding day of your career.

There are a lot of things that I’ve learned and I have a lot to be thankful for in my career. Up to this point, the most rewarding day was when we opened the doors to our new specialty and home infusion pharmacy.

We opened the facility on a Monday and my daughter was born that Friday, so the timing couldn’t have worked out better! I’ll never forget that.

Describe the most challenging day of your career.

Our profession offers a lot of frustrations, no doubt. That said, the most challenging day of my career thus far was in my first job.

I had been in my role for about a year, and my manager, who had recruited me, was let go. I wasn’t sure how to handle it and, as a young manager, felt a little lost. It certainly made me think about my career and my future.

What most attracted you to pharmacy over other healthcare professions?

I was attracted to pharmacy because I enjoyed the business and patient interaction standpoint.

Pharmacists have the unique ability to provide care to patients without sending them a bill, yet our profession has struggled to remain relevant because of such a luxury. Other professions are less connected to the business aspect and rarely meet a patient outside of a scheduled visit.

What steps did you take to enter into this career path?

After pharmacy school I began a Health System Pharmacy Administration residency (HSPA-PGY2) to pursue my specific career path. I eventually fell into specialty and home infusion pharmacy leadership and I truly enjoy that today.

What advice would you give to a student entering pharmacy school?

My advice to students entering pharmacy school would be relatively simple:

  1. Read, read, read—and don’t stop!
  2. Build relationships by getting involved in professional organizations.
  3. Knowledge is valuable, but character is priceless, learn to fail and be better because of it.

Doing these three things during your time in pharmacy school (and throughout your career) will put students on the right path.