Tennessee Pharmacists Association

Masthead_for_webpageJULY 1, 2016

Behind the Curtain

Lauren Harrisby Lauren Harris, PharmD (TPA Intern in Spring 2016)
University of Tennessee College of Pharmacy

I have been involved in politics in some fashion my entire life. I began campaigning for one of my grandfathers to become County Executive before I was two years old. When I was in elementary school, I got to campaign for my other grandfather to become County Executive. My father is on the School Board of my rural home county. Many, if not most, of my summers were spent campaigning in the hot Tennessee July sun for my father or one of my grandfathers. Really, there was never any chance for me to not be involved in politics in some way, and as soon as I chose pharmacy as my career, I knew I wanted to use my powers for good instead of evil.

I also believe in change. I believe that change will inevitably happen, be it good or bad. But it is up to us as a profession to steer that change in the direction that is better for our community. In the world that we live in, though it pains so many of us, the reality is that change is made through politics. We as a profession have to advocate and speak for ourselves, or someone else will make the decisions for us. During my rotation, I watched TPA work relentlessly to be not only the voice for the pharmacists of the present, but also for the future—which, of course, includes my peers and me. TPA helps to inform and educate the legislators who champion our issues and fight for the growth of our practice of pharmacy.

As a soon-to-be practitioner, I now have had a look behind the scenes. I know I want to be involved in my state association in the future, not only for my present practice, but for future practitioners, as well. On this rotation, I have learned how to step out of my comfort zone, and that sometimes doing what is best for our patients isn’t clinical. I am excited about gaining the ability to provide contraceptives directly to my patients, and hopefully, we will one day be able to offer MTM services to all patients and be billed with provider status. There are quite a few people working in the background of the profession, making things run smoothly, and after having this rotation, I am paying a lot more attention “to the man behind the curtain.”