Michael D. Hogue, PharmD, FAPhA, FNAP, FFIP

Michael D. Hogue, PharmD, FAPhA, FNAP, FFIP

Michael D. Hogue is the 15th Executive Vice President and Chief Executive Officer of the American Pharmacists Association (APhA).

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Published on Monday, March 4, 2024

The secret to a better career

As a child, I learned early the golden rule: do unto others as you’d have them do unto you. For me, it’s simple; kindness, empathy, and respect. Those are the attributes I have worked to put into practice in my career. Like everyone, I have occasionally fallen short, but I know that my efforts have served me and my patients and students very well.

I’ve been reflecting recently on the turmoil that we’ve been experiencing in some sectors of our profession. Many disruptions in pharmacy are the result of people in leadership positions not following the golden rule and, because they don’t, this devolves to everyone who is in contact with that leader having to fend for themselves. Just like kindness, empathy, and respect tend to multiply and come back to you, so to do bitterness, anger, and hate. Whatever we sow, we will reap. And whenever we are desperate and truly need the kindness of others, but it can’t be found, we lose hope.

A few years ago, during the presidency of Dr. Sandra Leal, I had the honor of serving on APhA’s Board of Trustees. Sandra presented all the board members a deeply meaningful gift of a small ceramic blue bell produced by Ben’s Bells in Tuscon, Arizona. Ben’s Bells is run by Jeanette who started the company after her 3-year-old son Ben suddenly died. To help with her grief she began to produce the bells, stenciled with the words “Be Kind” and distribute them throughout her community. In exhibiting the kindness of an unexpected gift, Jeanette found that kindness returned to her, allowing her an unparalleled opportunity not just to process her grief, but to help others make an impact in her community. The foundation that runs Ben’s Bells has gone on to create programming for children and adults on the importance of kindness in the world, which I believe is a tremendous lesson for us all.

I know what you are thinking—this all sounds great, but my pharmacy is about to fold; I’m short staffed; some days life just isn’t good, and nothing is working out the way I’d hoped. To you I say, I hear you. I have walked in your shoes, and I know your struggles. But my call to you, my colleagues, is simple: be kind. To your patients, your colleagues, your friends and family, even those with whom you might be angry, even when it isn’t easy. We all can be responsible only for our own actions and attitudes, so remember that every time you have the chance to show kindness to someone, you are showing that person the basic goodness and decency that I know permeates our profession even on our worst days. We can change the world one small gesture at a time. Let’s do it.

For every pharmacist. For all of pharmacy. Won’t you join us?


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Author: James Keagy

Categories: CEO Blog

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1 comments on article "The secret to a better career"

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Dr John R Yuen

3/4/2024 7:53 PM

Dear Michael,

Thanks. How sincere, direct, and heartfelt. You know, every major religion and philosophy has a version of The Golden Rule. And thus it would seem to be a universal rule for all peoples to follow. And to live it, and to be it - that is something that your soul knows as you speak as one who faces the man in the mirror, both the friend and the foe. I hope you don’t walk this worthy journey alone. I join you my brother. Thanks again for sharing your light and for enlightening us so.



John R. Yuen, PharmD, BCNP, FAPhA

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