Your #1 Man To Trust
A Prescription on Trust
Joseph Carter didnt begin college pursuing a pharmacy
degree. He started at Ohio University in chemical engineering and soon realized
his need to directly help people on a daily basis. I wanted a concrete
relationship with people. An intricate part of this relationship is
In a recent Gallop poll the number one person people trusted was their pharmacist.
Carter graduated from the University of Cincinnati with a Bachelor of Science
degree in Pharmacy. Currently, he can be found at the Meijer Pharmacy in
What is trust?
Trust is knowing beyond a shadow of a doubt that you can depend on someone
and never once question their credibility or motivation. It is knowing that
someone really cares about your own personal wellbeing and safety.
What role does trust play in your profession?
They probably talk to me, as their medical professional, much more than
their doctor or nurse. I come off more as an equal. Im easier to talk
to because I am in their setting and readily available. I am part of their
Pharmacies are very busy places and this can become a barrier
between the pharmacist and the customer. And most people are not trusting
right off the bat. It takes time. All trust is built. I dont want
to break it because its very hard to retrieve. I take that extra minute
to find something out about the customer or answer a question that they
may have. Its about courtesy and being nice to people. Its truly
a people profession.
Without trust, what consequences/situations would you
Constant scrutiny of your performance. If my customers didnt trust
me, theyd go elsewhereno questions asked. They want their prescriptions
Trust is something that is gained over time and sometimes
I struggle with why people trust their pharmacists so much. After all, we
are human and we make mistakes.
How do you build trust?
Its time after time after timebeing consistent and never letting
that down. Its also so important to just be friendly and courteous
to people. In my profession, there are times when things get very stressful
and you have to keep telling yourself, your customers dont want to
see that. Many times they are in a very vulnerable state and that could
be the reason they are so trustworthy. They need to be told theyre
not alone, other people have had similar symptoms. They need to be told
exactly what directions to follow and above all they need reinforcement
that everything will be okay.
Can trust be repaired? If so, how?
Yes. The very first year I began working at the pharmacy, I made an error
in the dosage for a young child. I had prescribed too much iron in too short
of a time frame. The mother came in to refill the prescription and I immediately
knew she was coming in too soon. I checked the prescription and saw that
I had written it incorrectly. I checked the dosage chart and found that
luckily it was still in therapeutic rangehigh but still within range.
I informed the mother of my mistake and she was very upset, rightfully so.
I called their doctor and he told me to send the child to the ER immediately.
Luckily, no damage had occurred. She came back into the store later that
evening to tell me how upset she was. She had been a customer for several
months and I had broken her trust. I apologized over and overI truly
did feel horrible.
For the next several days, I called their home and asked
how the boy was doing and if there was anything I could do to help. I was
really broken up about this. I had one of the other pharmacists call on
my day off for more reinforcement of just how awful I felt.
A few weeks went by and the mother came back in to refill another prescription.
She was very pleasant and said that she felt that I really did care about
what happened to her son. She appreciated my honesty and added, Even
pharmacists are human.