I have a dear friend, a young friend, who is a pharmacist in Connecticut. We talk as often as we can and share ideas. So, it should not have come as a surprise to me when I heard her introduced as Dr. Chamberlin. She is, in fact, a doctor of pharmacy.
That made me think. Why don’t all pharmacists who have earned a Doctor of Pharmacy degree use that title? We know that patients often do not fully appreciate the health care knowledge that they can get from their pharmacist. I am wondering, if pharmacists would use the title of Doctor that they have earned, would that translate to greater patient appreciation of their value in dispensing health care information? The short answer is ‘yes’. It seems to me that many of the ways to tackle health care issues, from diabetes to obesity, could be handled by a trusted pharmacist working in tandem with a physician. When you think about it, who sees the patient more? The pharmacist or the physician.
How does this translate to marketing? I would begin by having my name tag read Dr. before your name. My husband loves to call his pharmacist Dr. Ben. Guess what, Dr. Ben is 30 years younger. Whenever you speak in front of a group, I would ask to be introduced in that way. If you offer wellness classes in your pharmacy (a great way to attract new patients) be sure that the class is promoted using that title. By establishing your credentials, you should be able to increase the trust that people have in you. You worked hard for the degree and deserve the recognition! For those of you who feel it’s pretentious to use your title, I remind you that your patients want to know you’ve studied, and reached, the doctoral level. Your title is as much affirmation of your hard work as it is reassuring to your patients.