Are you stuck in the provider ‘friend zone’? Amina Abubakar has some words of advice for you.
Amina Abubakar is the owner of Rx Clinic Pharmacy in Charlotte, NC, President of the Avant Institute, and Clinical Director at Troy Medicare. She has won countless prestigious awards, including PDS Pharmacist of the Year, NCPA Independent Pharmacist of the Year, and the NCAP Excellence in Innovation Award. Her infectious positivity and love for interacting with people has propelled her into being a leader in the independent pharmacy community. It has also allowed her to build successful working relationships with providers in her community. She joined us recently on an episode of the Catalyst Pharmacy Podcast and shared her strategy for winning over providers.
Who Told You That You’re Not Clinical?
“First, you need to believe you have value to give,” Amina starts off. Before you even think about building relationships with providers, you have to be confident in what you have to offer. Amina muses that the pharmacy community has become divided in a way by focusing on ‘who’s clinical and who’s not.’ She says that this belief that some pharmacists are not clinical is inaccurate. When she has fellow pharmacists express to her that they are not clinical, she has one question for them:
“How did you get through pharmacy school without any clinical content? It’s impossible!” Amina says spiritedly. We have to rethink what being ‘clinical’ means. If you are a pharmacist, you are clinical. The difference is just what kind of setting you work in and the different patient access points you have – there are pros and cons to each situation. This is why she believes that pharmacists have to come together as a profession and learn from each other.
Don’t focus on what you can’t do. Focus on what you can do. Remind yourself you are clinical and you have value to bring to providers in your community. You just have to find out what that value is.
Watch the clip to get Amina Abubakar’s full opinion on the concept of being clinical:
Negotiating a Win-Win Situation
One of the key insights Amina learned when starting to reach out to providers was that they’re just people too. Beyond their job title is just another person who has struggles and pain points just like you do as a pharmacist. “I started to really understand the human-to-human connection, no matter what title you hold,” she says. It’s about finding a way to work together and solve each other’s problems.
“I listen more than I talk to these providers…I want to know their pain points,” she explains. “You can’t sell the same solution to everyone. So if that provider doesn’t have that problem, you just lost them because you didn’t take the time to learn more about them.” Make an effort to learn about what services your providers simply can’t do or don’t have the time to do. Then you can pose a solution that you can offer for these specific problems. It’s all about negotiating a win-win situation for the both of you.
“I can tell you that providers are very much interested in [building] a business relationship, if you can show them how,” Amina advises.
Watch the clip to learn how Amina successfully reaches out to providers: