How One Pharmacist Is Boosting Diversity in the Healthcare Industry
Advocacy Dr. Martez Prince, CEO of a successful independent and black-staffed Charlotte pharmacy, discusses the importance of diversity within the healthcare industry.
When it comes to pharmacy employment in America, there is a severe lack of diversity. According to Premier Pharmacy CEO, Dr. Martez Prince, the large chain pharmacies also fall short of providing unique and comprehensive patient care.
Focus on top-notch care
After receiving his doctorate from Florida A&M University, Dr. Martez Prince embarked on a several-year-long career as a pharmacy manager for a major American pharmacy chain. He was quickly disenchanted, however. Dr. Prince relays that he experienced boredom and felt the company’s corporate rules prohibited him from truly tending to patients in a meaningful way.
The more diverse the field is, the more capable it is of addressing the needs of all patients.
At first, he considered leaving the pharmacy field altogether. Luckily for residents of Charlotte, N.C. — he changed his mind and decided to open a privately funded independent pharmacy. Premier Pharmacy and Wellness Center opened its doors in 2015.
Premier offers walk-in clinic services, typical drugstore retail products, patient education, prescription filling and even free prescription delivery to the surrounding area. While most independent pharmacies report an annual revenue of approximately $500,000 in their second year, Premier Pharmacy’s second-year gross revenue topped $3.2 million. The doctor credits this success to a dedication to positively impacting customers’ lives and wellness — and the community’s subsequent response to the attentiveness. He’s even writing a book on how to open an independent pharmacy in 120 days.
While working for the large chain pharmacy, Dr. Prince noticed an astounding lack of diversity. He was almost always the only African American male in any meetings he attended. Dr. Prince also reports seeing other individuals receive promotions for which he believed he would not have been approved — despite being overwhelmingly qualified.
Premier Pharmacy is an entirely black-staffed company. One of his primary goals in opening the pharmacy was to provide opportunity and encouragement to people of color in the healthcare industry. Dr. Prince encourages diverse individuals to seriously consider a future in pharma or healthcare. The more diverse the field is, the more capable it is of addressing the needs of all patients.