Transitions Magazine

Transitions is published bi-monthly for members of the APhA New Practitioner Network. The online newsletter contains information focused on life inside and outside pharmacy practice, providing guidance on various areas of professional, personal, and practice development. Each issue includes in-depth articles on such topics as personal financial management, innovative practice sites, career profiles, career development tools, residency and postgraduate programs, and more.

How lessons from volleyball translate to a career in pharmacy

How lessons from volleyball translate to a career in pharmacy


Initially, pharmacy and volleyball may appear to be very different. But upon a closer examination, there are many similarities in the basic practices of the two. They both demand discipline, focus, and teamwork to excel. 

As a pharmacist and a volleyball player, I have always believed that participating in sports can greatly enhance professional development. Playing volleyball has taught me many valuable skills that have translated well into my career as a pharmacist.

More efficient and effective

A key lesson I learned from volleyball is the importance of discipline and focus. Whether it was long practices or intense games, I was always required to give my best effort and stay focused on my goals. By practicing discipline, I was able to apply these skills to my professional life, becoming a more efficient and effective pharmacist.

Another strength I have developed through playing volleyball is teamwork and collaboration. In volleyball, each player must work together to coordinate their individual skills to achieve a common goal. This has taught me the importance of clear communication and the power of leveraging the strengths of my team. Pharmacists work as part of an interdisciplinary team, which includes physicians, nurses, and other health care providers. I have learned how to effectively communicate with my colleagues, how to anticipate their needs, and how to work together to provide the best possible care for patients.

In addition to teamwork and collaboration, playing volleyball has also helped me develop my problem-solving skills. In volleyball, there are many unexpected situations that arise during games, and players must be able to react quickly and effectively to these challenges. This same level of adaptability is also required in pharmacy, where I must be able to respond to changes in the field and new challenges with creativity and innovation. By playing volleyball, I have learned how to be resourceful and creative, and how to find solutions to unexpected problems.

By playing volleyball, I have also learned the importance of taking care of my body, and how to balance physical activity with rest and recovery. This same level of physical fitness is important in pharmacy, where I must have the energy and endurance to provide high-quality patient care for long hours.

Positive outlook on life

Finally, I have found that participating in volleyball has helped me develop a more positive and optimistic outlook on life. Volleyball is a sport that requires players to have a positive attitude, even in the face of adversity. By playing volleyball, I have learned to be optimistic, to enjoy the journey, and to focus on the positives, even when things may not go as planned. This same positive outlook has been invaluable in my professional life, where I must maintain a positive attitude when facing adversity.

Participating in volleyball as a co-curricular activity has greatly enhanced my professional development as a pharmacist. Through playing volleyball, I have learned valuable lessons about discipline and focus, teamwork and collaboration, problem-solving, physical fitness, and a positive outlook on life. These skills have been invaluable in my professional life, and I am grateful for the many opportunities that playing volleyball has given me to grow as a pharmacist and as a person.

Morgan Carson-Marino, PharmD, MS, is an executive resident at APhA in Washington, DC. He enjoys practicing volleyball (sand, grass, and indoor) and participating in other outdoor activities such as water skiing and hiking.

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