To celebrate Women's History Month, we are excited to highlight Women in Pharmacy who play a unique role to help transform the industry for the better. It's no wonder we adore, Suzanne Soliman, founder of Pharmacist Moms and Chief Academic Officer for the ACMA. We chatted with her about her journey in pharmacy, her inspirations and the necessity of diversity.
Why did you enter the field of pharmacy?
"Pharmacists are among the most trusted healthcare professionals. I vividly remember when I was a teenage pharmacy tech how patients leaned in and focused intently on what their pharmacist would tell them. That left a lasting impression on me. Years later, one of my most memorable days was a sunny afternoon where I helped a young asthmatic patient on the front lawn of her house. The gratitude her parents showed me was worth the world to me."
What unique qualities or perspectives do you bring to your job?
"Well, what’s funny is that I’m a planner by nature. If you told me 10 years ago that I would be the Chief Academic Officer for the Accreditation Council for Medical Affairs (ACMA), I would have never believed it. I oversee the accreditation and assessment of all of our program areas and the Board Certified Medical Affairs Specialist (BCMAS) certifications is now in over 30 countries. I’ve been blessed because I’ve been afforded the opportunity to work in academia, retail, clinical, the pharma industry, and even owned my own independent pharmacy! So, I have truly seen it all. I think that helps me to see all facets of the profession."
Who has been inspirational to you in your career?
"My grandparents were immigrants who fled a war-torn part of the world. Their ability to overcome adversity and become successful gives me the inspiration and strength I need to overcome when obstacles get in the way."
How does the industry of pharmacy benefit from female leadership?
"I think any organization benefits from strong diversity. The Diversity of thinking, skills, perspective, etc. Embracing not only female leaders but minority leaders and others that bring a unique point of view can only help to elevate our society."
Why is diversity in leadership necessary for pharmacies and healthcare organizations?
"One of the most important skills a healthcare professional needs to have is strong cultural competency. Diversity plays a big role here. In many parts of the U.S., the pharmacist is on the front lines. Patients need to feel that their healthcare professional empathizes & understands them. I think that’s huge."
What advice do you have for women who are just entering the field of pharmacy?
"Think Big. Pharmacy is an amazing field. It offers diverse opportunities. There are so many possibilities. Education and training will always help. You can never be too educated. Residency, fellowship, board certifications all demonstrate your commitment to the field."
What has been your proudest accomplishment?
"Becoming a mother. Watching my children grow into well-adjusted people who are kind and empathetic towards others is the best gift a parent can ask for. Professionally, I am proud of helping to play a part in establishing the first ever Women Pharmacist Day. For generations to come, women will be acknowledged for the role they play in helping the profession of pharmacy."
Know any awesome women in pharmacy? Shout them out by commenting below!
Happy Women's Month!