fostering the humanistic practice of medicine publishing personal accounts of illness and healing encouraging health care advocacy

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fostering the humanistic practice of medicine publishing personal accounts of illness and healing encouraging health care advocacy

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The Times They Are A-Changin’

In the tiny town where I grew up, we had two pharmacies. Both pharmacists knew you, your family, and what your general medical needs were. If your car wasn’t available—common in those one-car-per-family days—they would run your medicine out to your house at their first opportunity. In an emergency, they would open the pharmacy at night.

Of course those days are gone forever, and pharmacists have far more paperwork to do nowadays. The pharmacy chain we’ve used for years has solved the problem by no longer giving patients access to a pharmacist. I no longer know who my pharmacist is or have someone to ask if a certain pill can be safely cut in half, for example. My only option is to listen to a long computerized message, leave a voicemail on a machine, and hope that someone will get back to me. I’ve done this twice. I received a return call once but not the other time. I got the call-back because I said my question was important and I would ask my doctor to start using the Costco pharmacy if no one called me back.

I can still speak to a pharmacist at Costco, but its distance from where I live makes it harder to pick up my meds. I miss feeling like an important human being to my pharmacist and am still deciding whether to change pharmacies when I have my routine doctor’s appointment in June.

Pris Campbell
Lake Worth, Florida

Comments

2 thoughts on “The Times They Are A-Changin’”

  1. This is one of the many dehumanizing changes to healthcare that have occurred in recent years. Just before reading your piece, I was reading an email advertising a new feature of Amazon: medical prescriptions! I am sorry that the commodification of medicine affects you in such a troubling fashion. Having a pharmacist who knows us is so helpful to our well being.

    1. Thank you for your comment. Yes, contact with a pharmacist in the past has been key in asking questions about medicines they often know better than a physician. I, too, have looked at the Amazon pharmacy to see if I wanted to go that route…but not yet.

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