Tuesday, February 01, 2011

I am not a pharmacist.

This is the image of a pharmacist.  This picture says "I am a pharmacist: I love my job, and I love what I do."  But I am not this I do not love my job.  I do not love what I do.  I am not a pharmacist.

Yesterday, I completed my 2nd day of interviewing at the College of Notre Dame of Maryland School of Pharmacy for an Assistant Professor of psychiatric pharmacy practice in the Department of Clinical and Administrative Services.  (The first day of interviewing was interrupted by the snow storm we had last Wednesday and Thursday).  What I can tell you for sure is that this pharmacy school is amazing!  I love the program, I love the emphasis on service (I would even describe it as "the Kingdom of God here on earth"), and I thought the faculty that I met were an amazing group of people.

 And yet, I would say that the interviews I had with the faculty were just "so-so".  I didn't feel like I really represented myself, or put my best foot forward.  I didn't feel like this was a home-run, which is odd because I ordinarily interview exceptionally well.  After my final interview with the Dean yesterday evening (which itself was luke-warm, largely due to both of us having hella long days, I would imagine), I thought about how this so-so interview felt familiar.  It's the same way I felt after my interview with my current job.  And it's the same way I felt after my interview with a government job I applied for (and ultimately did not get).  I put the pieces together, and was suddenly aware that my interviews have been "just OK" because I don't feel free to put my real self out there.  I can't put my real self out there, because it would require using heart terms, not head terms - terms which are altogether foreign to the grand majority of pharmacists.

While the Chair of the Department to which I'm applying is herself an ENFP (to my INFP), and while we have an amazing connection, and I think I would thoroughly enjoy working with her, I am cognizant of something about this group as a whole: they are dedicated to pharmacy.  They are dedicated to this institution, to its mission, to their students, to their patients, and - most significantly - to their careers as pharmacists.  Yes, these are career pharmacists.

That is not me.  I am not a career pharmacist.  The stark contrast between what I am willing to sacrifice, and what these people have sacrificed - and continually do sacrifice - could not underscore this point with more vigor.  I am not a pharmacist.  I am not sold out to this as a career.  As such, how could I accept this position (if it was offered to me)?  I honestly do not think I am ready to throw my whole self into this institution - as I feel they deserve - and thereby forgo my own goal to go back to school and become a counselor.

I want to teach.  I want to teach very badly!  I would cherish the opportunity to be faculty at a really great institution like Notre Dame.  But I do not want pharmacy to be my career.  I am not a pharmacist.  I am a counselor - trained and skilled in the ways of the heart.  That is what I do well, and into that, I can throw my whole self.
I am not a pharmacist.  And I am grieving this today . . .