In this episode, I interview Jaclyn Boyle, PharmD, MS, MBA, BCACP, BCPS Assistant Professor for Community Pharmacy Innovation at Northeast Ohio Medical University (NEOMED)
After learning about the challenges that women face in professional life, Jaclyn created The Pharmacy Girl community as a venue for women pharmacists seeking fellowship, professional development, and discussion. As a first-generation college student, Jaclyn is passionate about helping others find their definition of success and work-life integration.
Welcome to the Pharmacy Leader's Podcast with your host Tony Guerra. The Pharmacy Leader's Podcast is a member of the Pharmacy Podcast Network with interviews and advice on building your professional network, brand and a purposeful second income from students, residents and innovative professionals.
Today we have a special guest, Jackie Boyle, [indecipherable 00:26:06] and she's got some other letters after that including VCPS. She's a pharmacist who seeks innovation into professionalism and teaching opportunities. She believes it's essential to contribute back to her profession and enjoys being highly engaged in pharmacy organizational work. She's an assistant professor at North East Ohio Medical University and welcome to the Pharmacy Leader's Podcast.
Thanks Tony, thank you so much for having me, this is an honor.
Okay, well, we both just came back from ASHP and I came back to Iowa and you went back to Ohio so we have a lot of vowels in our states' names and we have a lot of cold outside. So I appreciate you being on here with me. The first thing I kind of wanted to ask is to just let everybody know a little bit about you so everyone's leadership road is a little bit different. Can you tell us a little bit about how you got to the position that you're in?
Yeah absolutely, so I honestly before pharmacy school I wasn’t really involved in professional organizations I think, in undergrad I missed that boat. I played a sport when I was an undergrad so that's a couple lot of time, actually I played Rugby, little known fact. That's my icebreaker fact that I always use but I started staying in pharmacy school that my faculty and my mentors were really involved in professional organizations and so that's where we started. I was lucky enough to be in one of the early classes at North East Ohio Medical University or NEO Med. We were the second class so there was a huge opportunity to not only be involved in pharmacy organizations but also to start some new ones because we just didn’t have them at that time. So that's where I started in the organization side was realizing how important it was to give back to the profession and just how valuable organization work was to the future of my career.
Yeah I'd interview Dallas Tolbert from the University in Maryland Eastern Shore and she's one of the first over there in a relatively new school and she talked about all the opportunities that she had because it was a smaller class because they were pioneering and going through like that. So and then you guys have a lot of room to brag about Naplex scores in NEO Med as well so think that that's really amazing that you guys have come together so well. What's it like to be in a smaller class because we have, you know, usually we see classes of a 100, 120. Were you closer to 50 or 60 or what was it like?
Yeah we were about 60 70 at the end of the day. I came from the Ohio State University prior to NEO Med so it was a huge.
That's a big change.
Huge culture change but honestly one that I needed because being in a more, a smaller setting a more focused University was what I needed for my professional side but then also I realized that that small kind of family tucked in a closed net setting was great because I really got to know my faculty and some of them have remained mentors into my professional career.
Yeah that's what I keep hearing is that the smaller schools tend to be a welcome to the family and it works almost like a liberal arts campus at Maryland where I was the graduate school is separate from the main mothership as, you know, you went to Ohio State I went to University of Maryland College Park for a year where we have about 35000 students and then the small graduate college is just 5000 and then our class was a little under a 100. So that intimate family feel really does help you get through pharmacy school. Well tell me a little bit about what brought you to the ASHP meeting?
Oh, I love ASHP so I got involved with this organization when I was a student during my first year of pharmacy school but really more so in my second year is when I started at sending state meetings. So we have the Ohio society and that organization has been half my passion and I'm the president of OSHP now but ASHP I had the opportunity to go there when I was a pharmacy residence on a rotation with their government relations group and it was professionally life changing I was able to actually go to Capital Hill and advocate for pharmacist provider status and I loved working with the non pharmacist because they have such a great perspective of not only pharmacy but how that we need to best position ourselves to make some real change in our country so that was my first big involvement with ASHP. I've been involved with committee work and leadership on the member side but I've got the opportunity to go to ASHP for a few big initiatives. The advocacy one being the first and then the second being the women in leadership steering committee so this has, these two opportunities have really shaped a lot of things that I'm doing now in my professional organizational life.
I just had the opportunity I wanted to say it was maybe even a month ago now, Kate Gainer, Anthony Pudlo over at the Iowa pharmacy association had two of our state senator, state senator and a state representative come in and we got to meet them, listen to them, talk to them one on one and I don’t really think I understood the importance of a pack and how involvement in giving really matter to someone that is running for office. And the big shocker for me was when I actually looked up the salaries of these state representatives and senators and I want to say it's about $20000 and I think that a lot of misconception comes that there's a mistake in between the senators that represent us as a nation and then those state senators and where their income comes from and how they can advocate and to run a campaign to be part of the system to be their fore assist pharmacist we really need to support them both as, you know, being there and financially. Can you tell me a little bit about how you in Ohio explained what a pack is and what the importance is of political action committee? I think it gets bad representation when we talk about them on the hill but locally in Ohio what's so important about the pack?
Yeah and, you know, actually within OSHP we don’t have a pack out yet, you know, that's something that we're definitely discussing but I've consistently donated to the pack of ASHP level because how we talk about it in Ohio is that this is really, this is like insurance for your profession so you can't underestimate the value of building relationships with your legislators and what those funds do really is allows us to have opportunities to be at the table. So if we are able to support campaigns, if we are able to fund somethings that the legislators are doing that are very important to them and we can be at the table to have those conversations. That's where the relationships are built and that's how we can really have an impact. These things don’t happen overnight, I mean it's like any relationships that you have, right? It's not, well I meet you once and I'm going to do this huge favor for you right away. I have to develop trust; I have to develop an understanding of where you're coming from, what is important to the profession of pharmacy and why I should support you in those endeavors. So by having a means of funding to be at the table that's where that money really is professional, you know, insurance that we can make some real change.
No I definitely understand and change is certainly going to be evident regardless of what we do. It's just a matter of how much can we guide of what's happening and how much can we tell them, you know, what it is that we need.
So let's take it back to the ASHP meeting a little bit and talk about networking because I think this is maybe a little bit of a vague term for students in even residence. What does it mean to network to you? Can you take me through your networking, I don’t want to say process because you don’t necessarily, you know, outline it that way but what's your, how do you network?
Yeah, so you know, it's funny because I call him Doctor Alborg sometimes still Tim Alborg and I we work together now. He was previously my professor but we co-direct a course at NEO Med that helps students get ready for residency and we always talk about this nebulous quote on quote networking like it's just supposed to happen it's so easy and students just kind of have a blank stare sometimes of where do I even begin. So I try to advise my students that if you've been to the residency showcase which I know Tony you have been there and some students.
And some students have gone as well. That's not the place that you're necessarily going to make the best connection, it's definitely an information gathering venue. You know there are thousands and thousands of students and preceptors and RPDs that are there but it essentially is like a huge trade show where it's hard for you to fight for a few words here and there. And if they remember you it's probably something bad so I try to abide.
I hear that again and again.
So I try to abide my students setup sometime outside of the showcase where you can have a meaningful conversation whether that's over coffee, whether that's over lunch, now you can't really develop a relationship in a two to three minute conversation where somebody might be meeting two to three hundred people that day. So how do I start with networking? I think it's just connecting with the person on a mutual level, you know, you have to be good at making small talk, asking them how their day is going and what their plans are at mid-year, how they get involved with ASHP. Find some common ground to start on and I feel like the conversation really flows naturally from there.
Yeah I think there's one opportunity that I've saw a lot of students miss was maybe focusing so much on the showcase and I understand they want this residencies but not connecting with people that are presenting their posters and I went through two of the student poster presentations and then there was the resident poster presentation. I get to see my own APPE student's presenting that was my primary reason for going but then I also found that if you go through there you'll find certain, what you're interested in and I was most interested in what's going on with well being and how pharmacy students make it through in terms of, you know, financially or how are they, you know, dealing with the stresses and things like that so I went through aisle by aisle and I would, this would be what you would call networking for me is that I talked to those people that had the same interest as I did. So whether you're interested in ambulatory care or cardiology whatever it is. There were other people to network with it the poster and that's a time where they have nothing but time.
Yeah and I think you bring up a good point because I feel that sometimes the students and [indecipherable 00:12:29] might view that as an underrated opportunity and just another checkbox that they have to meet. So I agree, I think that the students don’t realize people are coming up to your poster because they're interested in what you're presenting. And they're going to have some questions, yes and is it a little bit intimidating, sometimes but you're right, I mean, they will connect with you because they're interested in seeing what's new and innovative in the space that they're passionate about.
Well tell me a little bit about networking that you might have done, the invites that you get. I went to Creighton University because I have been pre-accepted for Creighton and Drake in Iowa and then I also went to the PTCB get-together and then I also went to the Maryland get-together so three places to network and this is five or six to eight o'clock something like that. Did you go to any of those sessions after?
Oh absolutely those are my favorite. I am ENFJ so I'm a shroud apart.
The networking is my favorite I went to a couple of the, obviously I went to the NEO Med reception, I have gone to the Toledo reception a few times because of one of my colleagues graduated from that school but I went to the pack reception for ASHP to show support their and then being in the president's office for Ohio I was able to go to the ASHP president's dinner and also the president's reception so those are so inspirational to me. It's so nice to see and meet and have conversations with leaders in our profession because it really. It confirms what I'm doing is the right thing but also I just gained so much inspiration and new knowledge and advice from meeting with and connecting with these leaders at the national level.
Yeah those were really comfortable meetings for me I was talking to residency director at Maryland. I was also talking to PGY too, RPD, is it? I want to make sure I get the acronym right.
RPD for PGY too, Bethany DePaul who does the psyche and then at Creighton I get to hear the dean speak and then the assistant dean and then met with Everett McAlister from ceo of PTCB and then APHA president Nancy Aubrey so here we are in rooms of 30 to 40 people and it's couple hours and this is really where the leaders are hanging out talking to people and it's completely outside the showcase. So I'm definitely saying go to the showcase figure out what you need to from there but that your day is not done like the, we all want to relax after showcase.
We all want to, you know, take a break from that.
You don’t get bunked around a lot.
Yeah I was going to say. Can I add one more thing?
My involvement with ASHP actually started at a reception so.
I was on a resident at a reception in 20, oh gosh, 13 and that and the ASHP would need reception. Myself, my pharmacy director at that time Jason Lachowsky, who if you've met he is a phenomenal awesome contagious person, was with me and he said, hey let's go find, you know, some ASHP leaders to meet and connect with and we met Casey Thomson who is in the administration of ASHP and my director said, hey, Casey, now do you ever take residence on rotation on ASHP? and he said, yeah we do but let's see if we can work something out that might be a little bit different and have the resident come to spend time with government relations so Chris Tobolowsky, he launched me into advocacy and is the reason that I'm so passionate about it now but really that connection started by a short five ten minute conversation at one of the receptions at mid-year.
It all comes together.
And the pharmacy nation is so small that it's.
It really isn’t that hard but let's talk a little bit about the introvert because you have extrovert tendency but I tend to find that many of the pharmacy students are introverts. Do you have any advice or tips for someone who might be a little more introverted that is maybe a pretty good listener but wouldn’t be the first to start the conversation?
Yeah absolutely and I have come to realize and I actually am really jealous of introverts because they, you know, they think before they talk unlike me. I am trying to learn from the introverts how to gain some of those skills and I've been reading a lot about those because I don’t think it's uncommon to our profession but I know that our profession is primarily made up of introverts. So first thing, you know, to do is look, you know, walk in the room look around, most people are introverts so just remind yourself of that common ground. Maybe everyone else is feeling a little uncomfortable too in starting conversation so just have that in the back of your mind as the baseline of hey, we're all here together and maybe someone else is feeling uncomfortable too. Secondly, you know, look for people that are maybe standing by themselves or at a table where no one has approached them yet. And those people maybe introverted or maybe they're just waiting for someone to come up and talk to them so it's not super hard to start a conversation at a place like mid-year because you're with a group of light minded individuals, right? So make that connection by just introducing yourself, where you're from. Ask them how their day is going, if you ask them how are you that's kind of a short, oh, I'm fine, yeah, today's been ok. But ask them how their day is going because then likely you're going to get a story back of, oh this morning I went to this session, now today I'm at this reception and I feel a little uncomfortable but you might find that you can connect and generate some small talk by just asking the right open ended question.
Yeah and I really, my wife is introvert I'm extrovert and she talks about how, you know, I'll make friends with everyone in the room but then I'll have to ask her like, what everyone said because she's such a good listener. She'll know exactly everything that's going on and it's not that I don’t, I don’t know maybe I just talk too much but.
I get it.
So you know, Tim Alborg connection in common. He has I believe podcasts as well. Tell me a little bit about what you're doing to kind of get the word out about pharmacy because I feel like we do a good job of talking with in our profession and to ourselves but maybe not the best talking to people who are outside of the pharmacy space?
Yeah, that's a great question. I have, well, Tim is the reason really that I've started in the entrepreneurial space but I started a blog called the pharmacy girl because through my ASHP involvement in women in pharmacy leadership I realized that there is a need for professional and personal development for women in pharmacy. But actually through that platform I've been able to invite in non-pharmacy individuals to give their input about professional and personal development. I think a lot of these skills and topics are not specific to pharmacy and really want to bring in the outsiders perspective. So that pharmacist or student pharmacist residents can see that these are not common issues. Secondarily I believe social media has just changed the game for how we can communicate with individuals so I am active my platforms, I don’t know how to use maybe Twitter or Snapchat as much yet but I try to get out the word about what pharmacist do and share, know our initiatives on social media platform so that people who are not pharmacist or the public can really gain a better understanding. So that's been my main platform for communicating to the public and then also being involved in professional organizations we do have that opportunity to do community outreach and educate the public on that level as well.
So tell me a little bit about how you see entrepreneurship going into college? I don’t want to talk about specific colleges having x amount of entrepreneurship versus less, you know, something like that but rather how could students become more entrepreneurial because really at its heart entrepreneurship is kind of doing something that's a passion project to you. That is so individualized that it's almost unfair to ask a pharmacy school to teach an entire, you know, block on entrepreneurship maybe but maybe they should but what I want to get at is. How would a student now get a leadership entrepreneurial start or how would you recommend it?
Yeah that's a great question too so I agree. I think that it'll be hard to, you know, try to identify and maybe foster every individual's passion but I believe doing a lot of self reflection can really help you identify where is it that you, what are you going to [indecipherable 00:22:23] about, you know, what do you spend your free time on, what need have you identified or what gap in either the professional world or in your own personal development do you as a place that you can help solve a problem. I mean really that's what entrepreneurship is about. You identify a need and you fill in a solution. Something I think, you know, schools can be doing because really innovation and entrepreneurship are some of the new standards that are coming into pharmacy education is provide a framework for developing new services or new business ideas. Health care costs are rising so if we want to continue expanding pharmacy practice then what we can do is pharmacist you really I believe need a little bit of business savvy to be able to push that envelope forward. You have to have that innovative thought process but also be somewhat creative as to how you insert pharmacy into the picture. Because those funds are not necessarily getting bigger we just need to work with what money that we do have more efficiently and effectively so some of the basic skills of developing new services I believe will replace that colleges and pharmacy can start to help these students. Another thing just network, if you meet, I could tell you, I spend some time at ASHP mid-year with Eric Cushions and who runs the Med at 101 website and blog and he, we spent an hour or two talking about just website development and I can tell you it would have taken me days to learn the things.
Probably weeks to even learn the things that he showed me and talked me about and advised me on. So if you're interested in a certain space of pharmacy likely someone is already out there doing it or they can help advice you and guide you in the right direction.
Yeah and you talked about social media being a game changer. We're tremendously available.
I answer my emails, well people actually reach me by Facebook messenger or twitter, direct messaging or something like that and I'm happy to help them and then we, you know, a lot of times we'll do podcast episodes around things that are maybe really helpful for these students or that can get them along what is it to start a website, to start a blog, to start a podcast. Talking with Hillary Blackburn at ASHP I just released that episode that she started as a volunteer at the dispensary of hope and then now she is the director of pharmaceutical services.
Wow, that's great.
The position that wasn’t even there that she created. So what I'm hearing over and over is that volunteerism and just reaching out to those people who want to help you. We just need to know what it is you want us to help you with.
I guess we talked a little bit before the show about women in leadership and I have three six year old girls so I am all about girl power. And I guess it's tough for me to understand what the disconnect is and why that gap would happen if our profession as now, I want to say it's about two thirds women in the pharmacy schools. Where is disconnect maybe that we have with women in getting them to the leadership positions? I know Aaron Alborg's just especially passionate about getting them into the C suite.
Yeah, you know, I think and Tony I don’t know if you got a chance to catch Michelle Obama's keynote speech but wow it was phenomenal. And some of the things that she talked about was that if women are not in the conversation then really whatever discussions are happening only half of the story is being told. And this goes both ways I wouldn’t want like Michelle said, I wouldn’t want a room full of women discussing an important issue because then we're only getting half of the story. So I think there's a lot of professional initiatives that need to have equal representation there. I believe that women may face some unique challenges trying to figure out how we can best integrate work and life and managing the imposter syndrome that comes along with taking on new positions or not feeling adequate in pursuing those. So we might face those challenges more commonly or maybe it is that we don’t have the right tools personally or professionally to be able to overcome those so, you know, something we talked about in women in leadership steering committee was that men are really good at sponsoring each other and what that means is that, you know, these behind the scenes conversations of promoting and giving into higher level positions men are just really good at doing that. Women are not, you know, we are not, we have not had those tools in our toolbox it's not an instinct for us to promote others. We're really good at mentoring but we really need some help in that sponsoring area. So I feel like that might be one of the reasons that women might not make it to the higher levels of administration in health care profession. And another thing is that, you know, sometimes women are own worst enemies. We can see that, there are only so many women leaders at the top assailants and so it becomes almost a little bit of a competition to get there and unfortunately that is how it is viewed at some point. So I believe its multi factorial, I believe it's not necessarily a male versus female situation. It's just there are gender differences in how we communicate and maybe how we progress through the professional rankings. That's holding women back at some points.
Yeah I didn’t even, I guess it's kind of a news to me I didn’t, I do it so naturally to sponsor and promote my the other friends and I don’t really necessarily worry about gender but it's just something that's natural to me to promote them if somebody asks me about them I'm happy to do it. So that's great to understand that that maybe gap is there. Well I want to keep it under around 30 minutes. Is there anything else that maybe we haven't talked about that you want to make sure that people hear?
No I think I had a conversation with Alina Sekul yesterday from the [indecipherable 00:29:20] she is really involved with ASHP as well and we're pretty much at the same exact point in our professional career, you know, about five years in starting to get really involved with a lot of different things, starting new services etcetera. So her and I talked a lot about how, you know, it's ok not to have it all. I think that sometimes as pharmacist we are overachievers and we want to do everything all the time. So we had a great conversation about how, you know, sometimes people don’t see the times, when you're saying no or pulling back and if you have that self awareness to realize ok what am I passionate about, what do I want to get involved with but then also realize when you've reached your limits and you don’t want to over stretch yourself because then you're not going to bring a 100% of yourself to anything. Whether that's at work, whether that's at home, you can get to that point and how do we help each other in the pharmacy community, not feel over stretched or burned out and I know you mentioned the condition in well being initiative and I'm really excited about that as well because we can certainly get there, right? We can probably work 24/7 if we wanted to.
But that's not healthy for us. We can't take care of others if we're not taking care of ourselves.
And then just a couple of three questions here at the end. What's the best career advice you've ever given or received?
Oh, I'm trying to, let's see if I can narrow it down to one, I've got so many.
You can do more than one it's not, it's permitted.
I think, you know, self reflection and finding your mission in what you want to do in your career is really important and I've had many mentors tell me that. And that's really helped focus me in deciding what it is that I do want to do is writing actually a mission and vision statement for myself. And that includes work and life and how I want to approach life. I think modeling and being a leader at pharmacy as you are Tony, you're modeling what it is that you want to portray to those who're following you. So for example, if you're working 12 hour to 16 hour a day then those who're following you are going to think that that's what they should be doing as well. I mean if you're not practicing what you preach per say then it sends that message whether you wanted to or not lie to others and then I guess thirdly is, you know, look out for your own, yourself and your professional and personal interest. You have to kind of define what it is that you want out of work in life because no one's going to do that for you, right? So find out what you're passionate about and what you want that work-life integration let's say because I don’t believe there's a balance really. Find out what it is that you want that to look like and pursue it, you know, pursue it with fire and passion and protect yourself so that you are able to care and continue to give to others.
What's a daily ritual or habit that keeps your work on track?
Oh, good one so someone once told me and I've got to believe it was during residency to not check email first so when you get in the office get your top one at least your top one thing done if not two or three but I usually have three big things I want to accomplish for the day and I try to get at least that first one done before I open the black hole, rabbit hole of emails. So I think that's made me a little bit more productive because I don’t get endlessly distracted and interrupted with the notifications of the emails that might not be necessarily urgent at that time.
And then last question, what inspires you?
Oh, so many things. I believe that the biggest thing that inspires me is seeing how can I help others be successful so whether that's my students, whether that's colleagues that I know, whether it's patients who're trying to, you know, take control of their health care and better their health conditions. I think seeing others be successful really helps continue to drive me and wake me up every day to say. Well I'm so glad that I have a job that I feel like I shouldn’t be paid for.
Alright, well thanks so much for being on the pharmacy leader's podcast.
Well thank you. Thank you so much for having me.
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