Alpha Connect Sisterhood Series

Marcia Kinbar Goldstein, Delta Tau, on Her Experience as a Pharmacist

February 25, 2022 Kelly McGinnis Beck Season 2 Episode 19
Alpha Connect Sisterhood Series
Marcia Kinbar Goldstein, Delta Tau, on Her Experience as a Pharmacist
Show Notes Transcript

On this episode, Kelly chats with Marcia Kinbar Goldstein, Delta Tau, on her experience as a founding member of the chapter and her life as a Pharmacist.

Disclaimer: This transcript was developed with an automated transcription program, spelling and grammar errors may occur.

Kelly  0:04  
Welcome to the Alpha Connect Sisterhood Series Podcast. I'm your host, Kelly McGinnis Beck, national president. This podcast is all about sharing the stories of our members and our connection through Alpha Sigma Alpha. Thank you for joining us today. Welcome to the podcast, Marsha Goldstein.

Marcia  0:24  
Hi. Good to be here. Thank you.

Kelly  0:27  
I'm excited to have you. And I'm going to get started like we do with every guest. So please share your Alpha Sigma Alpha story. How did you become a member? Tell us where you went to school, the name of the chapter and all the fun stuff.

Marcia  0:41  
Okay, so I went to the State University of New York at Buffalo. And I was a freshman in 1977. So think about coming. I grew up on Long Island, I came 400 miles away from home, and knew nobody here. And I needed to fit in somewhere you come to a university with 40,000 people. And it's kind of hard to find where you belong. And I lived in a dorm that had suites. One of the women became my friend who lived in the one of the other groups of suites. And she, you know, like the year later, became involved with Alpha Sigma Alpha, I, unbeknownst to me, and then in around... my sophomore year, this was this was a colony at the time that we were not a chapter.

Kelly  1:34  

Marcia  1:35  
And yeah, we were not a full chapter at that time. We were working with Jackie L'Russo. She was working with our colony. But she said to me, you know, I, I'm looking to join this group, would you like to come? And I started coming. And we were a small group. I think at the time, maybe we were about 12 women at the time. And I got to know them all. And it seems like a place to be in such a large group. You know, I had freshmen classes that had, you know, four or 500 people in them. And it was, it was just a smaller group and a bunch of women that I liked. And I liked what it stood for. And in 1980, on Groundhog's Day of 1980, I became a member of Alpha Sigma Alpha. And I've been active pretty much since then, with sort of a short hiatus. Maybe after graduation until I had maybe my second kid and I've been involved since then. And it was Delta Tau. Delta Tau chapter at the University of Buffalo.

Kelly  2:46  
Okay, so you went from Long Island to Buffalo? 

Marcia  2:50  

Kelly  2:50  
That's, that's quite the journey across the state. What attracted you to Buffalo?

Marcia  2:56  
Okay, well, I, I knew I wanted to be a pharmacist before I left for college. And at that time, it was the only state university that had a pharmacy school. 

Kelly  3:09  

Marcia  3:09  
Yeah, there were there were only about four or five, four or five pharmacy schools in New York State. And, you know, I didn't grow up in a household my parents could afford at that time, you know, in 1977, maybe $25,000 or so, for me to go to college. So at the and at that time, the University of Buffalo pharmacy school was about second or third in the country. So I was I was pretty secure in that. That's where I was going to go. And actually, my sister was here. For my freshman and sophomore year, my sister was doing her PhD at UB. So at least I had, I saw her on occasion when she was not so busy. 

Kelly  3:50  
Oh neat.

Marcia  3:51  
That's why I came.

Kelly  3:52  
That was very cool. And so you are a founding member of Delta Tau chapter. I did not know that.

Marcia  3:58  
Yes, I was. It was a short lived chapter. But

Kelly  4:01  
Yeah, sometimes they are. And certainly I think at that time period, I imagine if memory serves me correctly in the history, there was not a lot of favorable Greek sentiment during that time period.

Marcia  4:17  
There was not. There was only us and Chi Omega on campus. But we were just recently allowed back on campus in New York and probably across the country during that Vietnam War period, and, you know, there was so much upheaval on campuses, that a lot of Greek life was kicked off campus. So we were relatively, you know, it was pretty shortly before that, that that they were allowed back on campus. So there wasn't a lot. There were a couple of fraternities. I can't remember maybe Sig Ep and a couple of fraternities and it was a pretty wild time, I have to say.

Kelly  5:02  
I imagine.

Marcia  5:03  
Well, the drinking age was 18. 


So we were allowed alcohol at parties because it was legal for us to drink. So of course, even Alpha Sigma Alpha at that time, we didn't have a proscription for drinking because we were all 18 on campus, so it was very different. And there was still binge drinking. And there was still the same problems. But it was a little different. Because we were allowed. We weren't doing anything that was against policy.

Kelly  5:32  
So what was it like being a founding member of a chapter?

Marcia  5:36  
It was a lot of work.

Kelly  5:39  
I imagine so.

Marcia  5:40  
Well, because it took us a long time, I think it took us from the time I joined it, it took us a long time to become a chapter there was a lot that we had to do. So and it was it was nice. It was we had a really nice, we had a big gala. And I remember getting our you know, our, you know, what's it called the picture with all of us on it. 

Kelly  6:02  

Marcia  6:02  
 like, and I can't find the word 

Kelly  6:04  
Installation picture?

Marcia  6:06  
it was actually really nice. It was hard, I think even then, just like now finding women who wanted to join, and we thought we had really good ideals, and stuff. And we were pretty inclusive, even back then our group, you know, coming in, at a state university, which is pretty, which is more diverse, I think, you know, we have people from all over and of all races and religions. We were pretty inclusive at that time. And as much as you could be in 1977, thinking back, but it's 1980. But it was kind of it was fun. It was fun. It was a lot of work.

Kelly  6:42  
So I had no doubt about that. I remember when I traveled as a leadership consultant, I worked with Zeta Upsilon on chapters to install them, and it was a lot of work for them and the consultant as well. So you know, trying to teach sorority to women who haven't had that opportunity yet. And you don't have any other anyone else to look at. Like I remember I took for granted like joining an established chapter, you know, you see it happening, right with the older members were when you were a new chapter just getting established, you guys are figuring all that out together. So it's fun and a lot of work all at the same time. 

Marcia  7:17  
Yes, it was. 

Kelly  7:19  
So we talked about this a little bit before we hit the record button. You know, I'm curious to hear from you, knowing that you are of the Jewish faith and Alpha Sigma Alpha, I imagine back in the 1970s and 80s was still you know, much will always be a Christian based organization, but was likely much more focused around some of those Christian religious components, especially in our ritual. What was it that attracted you to Alpha Sigma Alpha and was there, I know you said that the chapter and the women were very inclusive, which is great, but were there things that for you, as a member of a different faith that felt awkward or uncomfortable as you, you know, went, especially as you think about our ritual and going through those components?

Marcia  8:18  
Yes. I joined because I wanted friendship. So I was able to put a lot of that aside. But I grew up in a rather observant Jewish home, and I, the ritual, I tried to just go with the flow, could we say, but when we did do ritual stuff, up until very recently, it even though I always did it, I did find it sort of uncomfortable. And I was waiting, you know, I know, we've been at the forefront Alpha Sigma Alpha changing a lot of those things. And I was very happy when they started to change the ritual. Because I wanted to not feel so uncomfortable. You know, when we talk about our exemplars, and you know, when it's hard as a Jew, when I went to say that Jesus Christ is my exemplar, I mean, not that I have anything, obviously, against Christians, but it was just uncomfortable to have to recite it in a in a ceremony for me. So a lot of times if I would not be the chaplain, I mean, I wouldn't be involved in a lot of the stuff but that it's, and I think, for the people back then, they didn't understand that it was uncomfortable for me. You know, I remember going to a, I don't know if it was a Panhellenic thing, or a long time ago, I went to an event. And there were multiple sororities there. And I sat next to a woman It just so happened was also Jewish, and the lunch was ham. And both of us were like, Okay, that was a poor choice for lunch, she actually kept kosher. So for her, that was really a problem. 

Kelly  10:09  

Marcia  10:09  
For me, it wasn't really a problem, except I thought it was insensitive. But I think that happens when you're in a minority. It just is something that, you know, they're just not thinking about because it's not part of, of what they do. But I never felt that I wasn't included in stuff when people treated me any differently. Matter of fact, I've always felt extremely comfortable with everything I've ever attended for Alpha Sigma Alpha. And I think that people knew that that was sort of an uncomfortable thing, but they didn't really have a way around it, because it's been the ritual for, you know, 100, some odd years.

Kelly  10:47  
Yes, and certainly we have worked, especially the changes we've made in the last several years to make it more inclusive. And so while still honoring our Christian founding, but kind of pulled out some of those very specific language around Christ and the Bible, and whatnot, and just kind of trying to make it a little bit more faith based, so that anyone of any faith can kind of connect, in a way, you know, because we don't want it to be a distraction from the intent of the service.

Marcia  11:26  
Right. I'm very proud of that. I think Alpha Sig's worked really hard to, to do that.

Kelly  11:31  
Me too. I know that for some of our members who are very Christian based, that was a struggle for them, because it was a piece that they connected well with. But I think also the understanding of we want to be inclusive to everyone. I remember, when I joined Alpha Sigma Alpha, at my chapter, and it was right before we were going to go through the Phoenix degree and the chapter realized one of the new members was also Jewish. And, you know, there was this bustle of oh, my gosh, are you going to be okay? Because we talk about Christ and everything and, you know, kind of same as you she's like, yep, I'm fine. But then in the chapter was certainly more sensitive to it, once they realized her faith, she wasn't treated differently, but it was definitely more of a concern of we don't want you to be uncomfortable, because we know that this is part of the ritual. And she, you know, kind of same thing is okay, you know, I can I can get through that it doesn't change my faith, and it doesn't change the values that are aligned between me and the organization.

Marcia  12:35  
Right. I think that's how I always felt it never changed how I what I believed, and I was willing to join this organization, because I really believed in what its values were, other than just specifically religion, which actually, in a way, sort of a minor part of, of what we do, and, and I liked all the women and they were all college educated, smart women, I learned from so many of them, I was always so impressed at what they were able to accomplish. I always felt like I was just like, Oh, I just go to work every day. And I'm not, you know, Secret Service agent, or, you know, there was so many amazing women, and I was I guess, okay, but no, I dealt with the religious issue. And it was, it was fine. It's always been fine.

Kelly  13:27  
Well, that's, that's good to hear. And so let's talk about your career. Because I do think you are an amazing woman with an amazing career. You know, a pharmacist is not an easy task whatsoever. And I say that from the limited knowledge I have having grown up and worked in a pharmacy, when I was younger, and you know, at one point I thought I wanted to be a pharmacist. And I will be honest, the thing that turns me off from being a pharmacist was dealing with the insurance companies. And I remember listening to the pharmacists on the phone or dealing with patients and their insurance not covering the drug or whatever it was. And I thought, yeah, that's the part of the job I didn't love. And so I chose not to go down that path. Although I remember someone saying this is a really good career, especially for women. And that was what was that was feedback I got in the mid 90s. But so you you knew that you know, when you were younger, you wanted to become a pharmacist. What was it that attracted you to want to go into that profession?

Marcia  14:30  
Well, around the time I was in high school as a maybe about 15, 16 I was dating a guy, it wasn't a long term dating if you're in high school, and his father was a pharmacist, I knew the family well. And periodically, we had to go to you work for an independent at that time. And we go to his pharmacy and back then there was a lot more compounding work that we did. And I would go in there and I would just I think it was the most amazing place I had ever been in. And it just was so intriguing for me. And the funny thing is, is he would say to me, this man, don't become pharmacist. Don't do it. I didn't listen to him. And it's funny because now I repeat that to young people who want to become a pharmacist now sometimes. But it was so clear to me that that's what I had, it was just what I wanted to do. And I was a good student in high school. I remember my mom went with me to a guidance counselor, and we didn't have great ones back then. And he's told my mother that I didn't have a science aptitude. Meanwhile, I was ninth in my graduating class at 650 students. So 

Kelly  15:45  

Marcia  15:46  
I don't really know. And my mother said, we are not going to listen to that man. We're not listening to him. And you know, back when I went to pharmacy school, it was different, like you were talking about the insurance issue. So of course, I went to pharmacy school, it was it was five years for pharmacy, only a bachelor's degree, you could go on for your PharmD, if you wanted, I did not choose to do that. I liked working in the community, I have a personality that works well is even though sometimes it can be really difficult. But I just felt like I loved it. And I've loved it. This is year 40. Year 40 that I'm still working in the pharmacy. And these last couple of years have been the most challenging. But when I started, you have to remember that I started with a typewriter and a roll of labels. 

Kelly  16:40  
Oh my goodness.

Marcia  16:41  
No, no, I did actually have an electric typewriter. So thankfully for that, there was no managed care. So if your doctor wrote for a prescription, you just got it. There was no prior authorizations, insurance company issues like that. There also was no such thing as a generic drug. So we had less drugs in the pharmacy, it was all brand name. So it was a little easier in that way. There were no electronic records. So if you didn't know your prescription number or something, we could not look it up, it was really a pain in the neck. But within a couple of years, we did computerize. And that made a big difference. And then of course, you know how everything has changed. And I do spend an inordinate amount of time on the phone, even, and now, you know, all our prescriptions come electronically as opposed to on a piece of paper. So you would think that that would make life easier, because we can read them better. But they send us prescriptions that are incorrect, incorrect strength, incorrect directions, they call in the wrong things. And that makes it difficult, I have to spend a lot of time just calling doctors for their errors, which I know sounds really frightening to people. I just had an instance the other night where I filled the prescription for ear drop, didn't think anything of it. And about a half an hour later, this person picks it up goes home, close this up, it says that we filled it incorrectly that he had gone to an urgent care for an eye infection and we filled in ear drops. So the minute you hear that, as a pharmacist, just thinking that you know, to fill something wrong is bad, and it happens. So I had to go back but the doctor from the urgent care had written for an ear drop to use in their ear. So I was in the clear, but we do get prescriptions like in ear drop put in your eye. So I have to cancel those things. And then I spend a lot of time on the phone, you know, but I still like it because I I've told my husband that I'm sort of addicted to taking care of people. I can't I can't give it up. I only work part time now because I'm you know, it's getting a little much. But I you know, like you know, I'm president of my synagogue. And when this pandemic, even yeah, when the pandemic hit. Of course, in the beginning, we had no vaccine, but in the fall, when people were really freaked out. I did a bunch of drive up flu clinics. So my congregants could just drive up and they didn't even have to get out of their car or take off their masks and they could still get their flu shot. So they didn't have to go in anywhere. Because you know, before vaccine, people were pretty frightened. And then the following year, we did another drive up flu clinic. And then when COVID shots became available, I think from January, but maybe the end of December until April, when it was so hard to get vaccinated. I was on my computer, probably every night till one or two in the morning just getting everybody I knew vaccinated, and people I didn't even know would call me or email me. They, they would say, well we hear that you're getting your congregants vaccinated? Are you only helping, you know, Jewish people? And I said, No, I'm helping humans. So it was just bizarre People would call me I had absolutely no clue who they were. And I would just send them an email, this is the appointment time for your shot, you know, it was really very rewarding during a really terrible time, and people were extremely thankful. So I'm just having a hard time to give it up. I just as scary as it was, in the beginning, you know, when we had no protection and no vaccine, and I was going to work every day old.

Kelly  20:42  
Well it's nice to hear you say that though, because I think about, you know, we hear stories of, of health care workers, exhausted and tired and frustrated. And I think we've lost sight of the fact that, you know, there's also a rewarding component of being able to take care of others, despite frustration around vaccines, or whether or not people want to take a vaccine or all of that. So it's nice to hear you, you talk about, you know, feeling rewarded through that experience. I've got a million questions running through my head that I, you know, would love to ask, although we probably won't have time for all of them. Let's stick with kind of, you know, giving flu shots. So how has the field of pharmacy changed that, you know, since you became a pharmacist today, because I think about, right, I go to my pharmacy, I pick up my prescription. And that's the primary role and in what you went to school for. And I say that, and I don't want to trivialize it, because in addition to making sure you've filled the prescription correctly, you're also my understanding, and certainly easier to do today with electronic records, making sure that there is not a conflict with some other drug that the patient is already on. So you've got another level of checking to do is my understanding, and that's what I recall, having worked in a pharmacy, but now, you know, here, you're talking about, you know, administering vaccines, which I imagine was not necessarily part of the pharmacists role when you started, but has certainly evolved now. And I just think about the amount of things that have shifted from a doctor's office to a pharmacy. So maybe talk a little bit about the evolution of, of the role of the pharmacist.

Marcia  22:31  
Okay, well, pharmacists, I know people don't think about this, but pharmacists are actually trained to prescribe. So we knew that doctors that are incorrect, you know, the dosage? Well, we've had doctors call us where somebody has certain sort of illness, but they're allergic to something what can he prescribed, doctors are trained to diagnose, we don't diagnose. But we are trained, sorted to prescribe. So we we've always done that. And what's changed is, I really don't do a lot of counting pills at all, any more. Only if it's really busy. And I don't have somebody to do that. We do a lot of other things, something called medical therapy management, where if you are on multiple medications, we work with you to maybe put coordinate care, talk to doctors about maybe getting people off certain medications, you know, we have a lot of elderly on polypharmacy. And that does affect their brain status. You know, some of them affect them different ways. So we work on things like that, which we also have to do while we're doing everything else, which makes it this it has been very difficult. We do that. Trying to think of all the things that I do, mainly my technicians do data entry for prescriptions, and they count them I'm responsible for checking everything and making sure that everything's all right. And handling problems. In New York State. I'm not sure the other states in New York State we started pharmacists started vaccinating in 2008. So I had to go for training then. And just like with the pandemic, I think its 2008, a lot of people who were older, decided they didn't want to do that. So they quit. They either were that age for retirement, and they said I don't want to do that. But I love vaccinating people. So I went I didn't know that at the time, but I went for the class. And that's when we really only did flu. Now we've been doing they added a whole bunch now and actually last week they added, in New York, now we're doing childhood vaccines, so we can do measles, mumps, rubella, dTT. We could do hepatitis, so a whole bunch. So you were talking about being exhausted. I think the hardest thing for me is I don't get any time to eat, no lunch break, no breaks.

Kelly  25:04  
You're on your feet all day. 

Marcia  25:05  
Not none. Never have healthcare people just if you're salaried, you're health care, you don't, you don't really get a break. So it was okay, before the pandemic, because I could bring my Starbucks, which is really important. I could bring that to work with me. And I could bring the sandwich so I could eat at my computer, I could actually eat during the day or drink, but I'm not allowed to take my mask off at work. And we've been so swamped. And so far behind because of the work shortage, you know, you know, the employee shortage, so I don't really get a break. So that's been really difficult. That's been a big change. We're always short staffed, and we're behind. So you might call on a prescription on Tuesday, it's not ready till Thursday. You mean most people don't expect to wait two days. That's been a big change. I think everything, it's been such a big change. And I complained, we also now of course, we do COVID testing also at a lot of our pharmacies. So we learned how to do that. That's pretty easy. But I remember when it happened, and I, I said to my son, you know, I just can't learn anymore a kid. He said to me, don't ever say that you can't learn something new, or it's time to quit your job. That's the time you have to say, I have to hang it up. He goes, these aren't hard things. The computer. I was I was kind of nervous about more computer work that I had to learn. For the COVID testing, we use an outside system. And you know, it took me about a day and then you figure it out. But I was dealing with a lot of anxiety. So this just every every week, there seems to be some new responsibility. But not more payments, or not any you know, anything like that. So that has been difficult. And we have lost a lot of pharmacists, because of that. You know, it's been very difficult. The past few years, I've been trying every day I try not to quit. You know, I say if I come home, I say to my husband is today the day, he says you'll know. And so I go to work, and I help people.

Kelly  27:14  
And you come home and it's not the day.

Marcia  27:17  
Right, it's not the day. Well, I'm telling you the truth. My husband and I are here in Buffalo. We've been empty nesters for a long time since 2007. So that's a really long time. My children don't live here, and my grandchildren don't live here. And so my husband still works full time. And we have to have a life. You know, so I go to work. He goes to work, we visit our family, we have a really good group of friends and a social structure and face structure. And that's really worked for us. So I go to work because it gives me meaning and it takes up time.

Kelly  27:58  
And you're doing good work.

Marcia  28:00  
I hope so. I think people have appreciated it.

Kelly  28:03  
I hope they do. Definitely. I'm curious, your thoughts. So the move to having more vaccines available to go get at your local pharmacy as opposed to the doctor, do you think that move was driven to increase access and the ability to get them and not have to schedule a doctor's appointment as opposed to I'm just, I'm kind of curious because I also find it interesting. Like my mom needs to get the shingles vaccine and her doctor's office has said, Well, you need to go to the pharmacy because we don't we don't have the shingles vaccine here at the doctor's office. You can only get it at a pharmacy, which I also thought was an interesting approach. I don't know if maybe that is state driven or not. But just curious, your thoughts.

Marcia  28:49  
I think a lot of the reason we're doing so many vaccines, I think there's different factors. One is we're very accessible. So you can just walk into a pharmacy people come in they go, I need my you know, I need to get a pneumonia shot. I need to get a shingle shot. Do I need to make an appointment? Do I need to go to my doctor? And we go no, you know, fill out a paper you got about a five minute wait, or something like that. So we're very accessible. We're always there. So yes, I do do single shots all the time. I think a lot of it is money driven. I mean, they make a tremendous amount of money on administration fees. So I think that's been a big thing for pharmacies to do that. But I and I think because we're so accessible, and I know for Rite Aid and for Walgreens, we're in every neighborhood so I work everywhere I work in the inner city I work in the suburbs, I work I work everywhere. And there's you know, there's always people we can we ask people if they want to get vaccine some people aren't thinking about it. You know, some people you know who are at-risk, you know, our diabetic patients. And so I think it's accessibility, nobody has to make an appointment to go to the doctor 99% of the time, shots are covered by anybody's insurance. So they don't have any co-pays. So it makes it easy for them. But I think originally, a lot of it was money driven. Of course, we'd like we'd like to think that it's, you know, to help people, which I think it was, but, you know, a lot of doctors don't even carry them anymore. I think it's expensive for them to get them. So, so a small practitioner, you know, we'd have to join sort of a group of doctors ordering them in order to make it worthwhile for them. So I think they'd that's why they don't, I'm a little more concerned now with doing childhood vaccines, mainly as a parent, I really like going to the pediatrician, getting my kids vaccinated and having that record. Yeah, as opposed to having as opposed to like, you know, I happen to be near this pharmacy, so I'll get my kid their shot here. And remember, a lot of the childhood vaccines are like three doses, they had to get through like for DPT, MMR there multiple dose vaccines, sort of like why they, they decided not to give the six months to five year olds, the two shot series, because they pretty sure that they need three, it's really hard to get people to come for three, it was hard enough to get people to come for two. So I'm a little concerned. Plus, I'm not really trained. I'm trying to give vaccines, not so much on how to deal with pediatric patients. And they have a tendency to cry and scream and flail around. And I'm a little concerned about getting stuck by a needle, which is always the most annoying event. Not that I particularly think that I'm going to get HIV from an infant. But if you get stuck by a needle, there's such a long protocol. That makes that makes me a little nervous. I mean, I'm not going to refuse to do it. But I think I'm going to have to ask for more parental help.

Kelly  32:07  
Oh, absolutely. Yes.

Marcia  32:09  
But I think for having all the records at the pediatrician is probably a good idea. You know, but I think it's part of accessibility for people. You know, a lot of people have stopped getting pediatric vaccines during this pandemic, they put them off. 

Kelly  32:25  
Mm hmm. 

Marcia  32:26  
That might that might have been the impetus for that.

Kelly  32:30  
Could be definitely, you know, so you mentioned earlier compounding pharmacies talk a little bit about what compounding is, because if I remember correctly, those are specialty pharmacies. They're not in the major drug like cheap drugstore chains. They're special in when would someone end up at a specialty pharmacy in today's world?

Marcia  32:55  
Okay, so when I started, there was no such thing as a compounding pharmacy. Because we all did it at the pharmacy. We made liquid compounds, we made capsules, we made suppositories, we did all that in the pharmacy. So let's say there's a drug that comes in capsule form only, but you are unable to swallow capsules, we could make them into suppository form or a liquid form. And we could do that right in the pharmacy. But I think as we the demand for what we had to do became too high. They became this offshoot of pharmacies, that just makes specialty items. They make some veterinary products. You know, a doctor calls for dermatology product, a mixture of a bunch of different ingredients, we don't really have the space to make them we don't have laminar flow hoods, you know, for a sterile environment in the pharmacy to do anything like an eye drop with something like that. So I think that's where those specialty pharmacies came in. I think a lot of it is for people who are unable to take certain forms of drugs, a lot of it's I can't take them big capsules or big tablets, and they're not available in another format. So they're able to make suspensions and other types of products that's become really very big now. And they really don't feel they don't, they probably have regular pharmacy of a small amount of items. But the rest of their business is all specialty preparation, which we were just not able to do anymore because our volume is so high of filling prescriptions.

Kelly  34:40  
So does that... is same degree or does that now require some sort of different education and training?

Marcia  34:49  
Same degree, but they and we weren't compounding in pharmacy school. Matter of fact, part of the board's is there are three sections to the pharmacy boards. There's a state part, there's a law, the law of your state and the federal government. And there's a compounding part, a lot of places have wanted to get rid of that, because we don't do it so much in the community, but they haven't. And it's a lot of math, you know, so it's a lot of math preparation, proportions. But it's the same degree, it's just a question of like, okay, you could be a pharmacist, but you work in research and development for a drug company, you don't work in the community, or so you have to learn what you have to learn for that job with the same degree, because we all know, what we learned in school is not always exactly how we do it in our job, you know, so, you know, everybody has specialties that you do have to learn stuff. There are, of course, we're required to do continuing education, you know, we do a certain amount every year. And people who want to specialize, you know, they learn what they need to learn for that job. There are pharmacies, you know, and hospitals where people make intravenous solutions. Well, I don't know how to do that. I haven't worked in hospitals since college. And I only had to do that a couple of times. But I guess if I had to learn how to do that, you would learn how to do that, you know, so but it is all the same degree. Right now, the only degree is a seven year degree where you graduate with a PharmD, which is a doctorate degree that you don't have to write a thesis for. There's no thesis for it. 

Kelly  36:25  

Marcia  36:25  
You probably have to do some research, but there's no thesis required.

Kelly  36:28  
Okay. Interesting. And I work in in the biotech field. So I've certainly seen PharmD's, apply for roles and whatnot. Well, this has been fascinating, Marsha, what what advice would you give to anyone considering considering a career path in pharmacy?

Marcia  36:50  
Well, I don't know. It depends on your personality, where you would fit if you wanted to be a pharmacist. And I know how you talked before about when you were going to school, somebody said it's a good career for a woman? Well, you know, what's funny that nobody ever said that to me, when I was wanted to be a pharmacist, which is kind of funny, but it has turned out that way. And I think the cause, because of this fluke of biology, where women have children, it puts us in a and I worry about this all the time, and it bothers me, it does put us in a different place than men, which is unfortunate. I found that my job gave me a lot of flexibility. Always. So there were periods of time, I worked full time, there were periods of time I worked part time, I went back and forth. But even when I worked part time, I made more, you know, financially than most women working full time. So we were able to function in a family where I cut back, you know, so it was it was very flexible. And it's always been a very, very flexible career, which I have loved. You know, if I say to them, I'd like to go back full time they go, okay. You know, I said I wanted to work part time for a while they went okay. And I stayed with the same company pretty much most of my career. So that's a that's a good thing. You'll always be able to support yourself. And I think that's extremely important for everyone. But women especially should not be beholden to anyone to be supporting them. So you'll always make a living. So no matter what happens if you choose to be married, and God forbid, your husband loses his job, you don't have to sell your house. I mean, that becomes a big a big thing for people. I love the community, even though sometimes it's very stressful working with the community. But that that works for me. But there's so many things that pharmacists do they work in nuclear pharmacy, they work for drug companies, they work in hospitals, they work at nursing homes, they it's it's very, very flexible, you can do a lot of things with it. So I mean, I at work, I discourage people from doing it when I'm having a really hard day.

Kelly  39:19  
Don't we all do that at some point,

Marcia  39:21  
Be a PA I went back to school now they didn't really have PAs when I went to school. My parents wanted me to go to med school really badly. They said we'll pay, we don't care, go to med school. And I tell the truth. I didn't want to go to school for so many years. Back then I was like okay, five is an offer an undergraduate degree, see where I want to go after. And I was felt like I was the dumb one in my family because my my sister has a bachelor's degree in biochemistry and a master's in cellular molecular biology. And then she became an international patent attorney. So I felt like wow, I only went to college for five years. You know, she disagrees with me that I'm not the bright one in the family,

Kelly  40:04  
I think you both are in different ways.

Marcia  40:09  
But it's been a good, it's been a good run, you know?

Kelly  40:14  
Definitely. Well, Marsha, thank you for coming on and sharing your story and everything that you do for your community and for patients. It's so important. I think when people think about health care workers, they don't always remember pharmacists are health care workers. And there are a lot of times the frontline the person that we see more than we see our doctor, right, especially for filling prescriptions or nowadays going to get vaccines. So thank you, because I know you've been hard at work, especially through the pandemic you didn't, there is no work from home option really, for your job.

Marcia  40:47  

Kelly  40:48  
So appreciate all you do for health care, and all that you continue to do for the sorority, too. I know we didn't have time to really dive into your volunteer work, but I know that you continue to be heavily involved in Alpha Sigma Alpha. So thank you for those services as well. 

Marcia  41:04  
Thank you.

Kelly  41:05  
And I look forward to seeing you in Baltimore in a couple of months as we finally get to come together for convention.

Marcia  41:12  
I'm looking forward to it. I'm really looking forward to seeing people.

Kelly  41:15  
Yes, definitely. Yes, I am too. And hopefully by then we'll get to be a lot of the restrictions will have lifted I know from a board we are still keeping an eye on things and you know, evaluating regularly to figure out you know, what, what safety precautions might we need, but it's really hard to project that today as where the world will be in July. So, 

Marcia  41:39  
Of course.

Kelly  41:41  
Taking it one step at a time but just excited to see everybody back in person again.

Marcia  41:47  
Thank you very much for calling me and asking me to speak with you today. 

Kelly  41:51  
Yeah, thank you and for our listeners, until next time.

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