Dear colleagues, alumni and friends,
Last fall, I was honored to receive the Paul F. Parker Medal for Distinguished Service to the Profession of Pharmacy, presented by the American College of Clinical Pharmacy. In my acceptance remarks, I referred to the following quote from civil rights leader Benjamin Mays, “The tragedy of life is often not in our failure, but rather in our complacency; not in doing too much, but rather in doing too little; not in living above our abilities, but rather in our living below our capacities.”
This quote challenges all of us to think about our legacies. How will you leave your mark on pharmacy and society? The events of 2020 remind us all about the important roles we play as citizens and health care professionals. The civil unrest our country has experienced brings to the forefront our responsibility to help minority and underserved populations navigate the structural, social and economic inequities within our society and health care system. The COVID-19 pandemic, in many ways, highlights the critical importance of pharmacists in the world. Those of you working the front lines during the pandemic continue to show why pharmacists are among the most trusted sources for health information.
Now, more than ever, pharmacy and society needs you to step up and be intentional in advancing a legacy. Perhaps the most obvious way is through your direct interactions with patients — improving their health, showing them compassion and helping make their lives better. If this is the path to your legacy, then do it with passion and leave behind a trail of lives that are better because of you. Maybe your legacy is your investment in education and training the next generation of pharmacists and pharmaceutical scientists. As I look back on the last 30 years, my greatest rewards have come from being a teacher, because I see it as the true multiplier. There are many ways to leave a legacy.
As you read this edition of GATORx and learn all about the important ways our college is advancing the pharmacy profession and pharmaceutical sciences, I hope you will contemplate your legacy. Don’t be complacent. Don’t do too little. Don’t live below your capacities. Pharmacy needs you to leave a legacy.
Julie A. Johnson, Pharm.D.
Dean and Distinguished Professor