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AfroPreneurs: Pharmacy, Medicine

In this AfroPreneurs profile, BlackSpeaks.com decided to feature PharmPsych.com, the original corporate member of the Pharm Psych network, a medical and educational company, which is all anchored by PharmPsych.net and includes six other sister websites.

The five other sites not mentioned thus far are the two medical portals, MediPreneur.org and PharmaPreneur.org and the three educational portals, TutorforGood.org, FelicityMotivational.org, and FelicityTutors.com.

PharmPsych.com is an educational partner and affiliate of the nonprofit Felicity Motivational Group. The Group is a nonprofit corporation, and the parent company of Tutor for Good and is the official nonprofit corporation (child) of Felicity Tutors, L.L.C.

Founded in early 2013 in Brentwood, Tenn., PharmPsych.com is part of a larger minority- and woman-owned business, a network of seven sister sites.

In the first two years of its founding, the site honed in on its content-driven services such as news articles and opinion columns on trends and issues in the field of pharmacy and medicine; press releases; disease updates; written pieces on other subjects as senior long-term care, consumer issues and community health in its Health and Life pages; medications updates and case studies on pharmacy and medical law.

It also maintained a jobs board for pharmacists, medical and nonmedical professionals and ancillary and allied health staff. Its pages supported pharmacy study through clinical charts, study guides, medical calculators and instructional videos. It provided pharmacists and medical professionals opportunities to network via its Forum section.

However, in the autumn of 2014, PharmPsych.com expanded and shifted its focus toward for-pay pharmacy study, career, electronic prescribing, marketing and advertising services to more directly serve its target customer base – pharmacists.

In 2015, the website’s managers and leaders plan to continue its current expansions and extend its pharmacy law study resources to include non-pharmacy health professionals and paraprofessionals of other medical specialties.

The following are Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) that the PharmPsych.com team anticipates from potential visitors of the site:

1) I gave myself a tour of PharmPsych.com and the other six websites connected to it. It is clear that the site is aimed at pharmacists and medical professionals. However, there are many other sites online that serve and support those in the field of medicine. Why, when and how was this site founded? What makes it different from the other sites? Why the field of pharmacy in particular?

PharmPsych.com was debuted in the spring of 2013 to serve members of the field of pharmacy and help them overcome their academic, professional, socioeconomic and psychological challenges in the face of the Great Recession.

Work was started on the website in 2010 and it was registered in Visalia, Calif when there was no staff yet. It was created in beta mode in April 2013 and then launched in full in September 2013.

Other existing medical-specialty websites — created by professional trade organizations — cater to professionals within those fields. However, unlike PharmPsych.com, they were not created in response to a crisis facing young pharmacists and those in the fields of pharmacy and medicine, they are not part of a larger network of sites and they are not expanding with online services that cater to both this and other health specialties.

The U.S. Department of Labor finds that healthcare and education are considered the two largest employer industries in the country. As a subset to the medical field, the field of pharmacy enjoyed a brief hiatus in the late 1990s and the early millennium.

Then, pharmacists were in high demand and schools of pharmacy ballooned in number and actively sought out promising high school students to initiate preparation for and devote their careers to the field. Jobs abounded nationally and incentives such as sign-on bonuses, salary increases, loan forgiveness, tuition and fee discounts were commonplace to attract qualified youth to the profession.

However, by the end of the first decade of the millennium, demand for pharmacists plummeted and those who graduated found their brightest hopes dashed in the form of high tuition and consumer debt, bankruptcy, shrinking job prospects, greater competition, questionably accredited pharmacy schools, malpractice legal liability and workplace dissatisfaction.

Nurse Holding Medical ChartToday, like professionals in other fields in a struggling economy, pharmacists confront unemployment, underemployment, less-than-ideal workplace conditions, the prospects of re-education or training and financial hardship.

However, unlike specialists in other occupations, except for medical practitioners, they also face legal liability, staggering student loan debt, high consumer debt, mortgage foreclosure and general under-appreciation by their supervisors and employers.

Staying true to the site’s original mission and vision, the founder created resources that supported her fellow pharmacists’ need for academic study materials such as clinical charts, study guides, medical calculators and instructional videos to pass their pharmacy and law exams, obtain their licenses and update their skills after graduation.

She also addressed their employment needs by providing a jobs board on the site showcasing different pharmacist, medical-specialty and allied health or ancillary health positions and presenting tiered job advertising packages for employers. Employers and career medical professionals alike could register on the website to take part in the entrepreneurial, marketing and advertising programs available on the site.

By the second half of 2014, the founder expanded her career services to publish career articles on the fields of pharmacy and medicine and to allow registered professionals to build their own websites on PharmPsych.com’s “Sites” pages and customize their own marketing and advertising strategies based on their needs, including blogging and hosting trade-specific conferences on these tailor-made sites.

She is also attempting to address the socioeconomic problems faced by pharmacists by recruiting financial columnists to periodically offer advice information online. Like other medical professionals, pharmacists face high student loan and consumer debt, financial hardship and bankruptcy because of high college tuition and fees, unemployment, underemployment, malpractice suits, high expenses and poor household budget habits.

The founder is also dealing with the psycho-emotional needs of pharmacists in the face of such difficulty by offering parody photos and images, cartoons and videos and online forums.

2) Who started this site and the others? What qualifies the founder and owner to start it?

F. Zaria Chinelo, Pharm.D, CNP, a nuclear pharmacist, pharmacy law instructor, web designer and enterpreneur, started the website to serve members of her field of pharmacy in their studies, careers, finances and overall morale. Dr. Chinelo conceived and designed all of the site’s components and features as well as that of the rest of the network.

Chinelo has six years of teaching and web development experience, both of which she used to start her site, having begun TutorforGood.org in 2008 and engaged in previous web-based ventures in the state of California. She holds two degrees in molecular biology and general chemistry.

After being hired by Vanderbilt University, Chinelo served as camp counselor for high school students before starting the nonprofit Felicity Motivational Group. She has been honored as a National Merit Scholar, by Business Professionals of America, the College Board, NAACP and Texas Instruments.

3) What are the services that PharmPsych.com offers pharmacists and medical professionals? What does the site offer the public?

PharmPsych.com provides informative articles, advice and professional columns, press releases, healthcare directory and job posting and career or business enhancement services.

It creates clinical information, training guides with text, visuals and videos, medical charts, application forms for certification, licensing, privileging and exams.

The site offers a forum to discuss timely and relevant medical or professional issues; and recognizes professionals and students with honors, features, cartoons and light humor.

PharmPsych.com accomplishes this by utilizing a network of six high-traffic Internet partners/partner sites in the PharmPsych network to promote our interests; as well as that of our clients while at the same time, providing employment and career services, pharmacy law course instruction, reliable, peer-reviewed information, medical policy and professional news, professional advice in medical law, financial planning, college study and work/life issues, advertising, job posting and supporting visual and video content.

The PharmPsych network leadership and management team consists of highly-trained and experienced pharmacists, medical specialists and non-medical white-collar professionals such as freelance writers and journalists, attorneys, financial planners and college education experts.

With PharmPsych.com, we will broaden our production and publication of online original freelance news articles and opinion columns about sound specialty-specific trends and habits on campus and off-campus from print journalists, medical professionals and ancillary health staff, attorneys, financial planner and college experts as our staff and variety of medical specialties grow.

4) From viewing the site, I see that PharmPsych.com offers advertising on its site as do the other six. Who can advertise on the site and the others and under what conditions?

Employers, pharmacists, medical and non-medical professionals with their own practices or businesses, including staff writers, can advertise jobs, services or information on medical or non-medical procedures on the website not only on the PharmPsych.com website but across the Pharm Psych network to include the BlackSpeaks, MediPreneur, PharmaPreneur, TutorforGood, Felicity Motivational and Felicity Tutors LLC websites.

PharmPsych.com offers a hierarchy of advertising and marketing offerings in the form of single job ads, spotlight ads, sponsored posts, informative articles, advertorials, featured employer ads, multiple-job ads, a resume database and bi-weekly e-newsletter ads.

In particular, PharmPsych.com and BlackSpeaks.com each offer medical and nonmedical professional directories to profile individual medical and non-medical private practices or businesses.

For newly registered users, there is also an online advertising special for a free two weeks for qualifying clients.

5) I see the site welcomes author’s submissions. Who can submit work? What kind of work is accepted? What are the requirements for acceptance? How often can one publish work?

Pharmacists, medical and non-medical professionals with writing ability and experience can submit articles or opinion columns on their fields of expertise.

To qualify, authors submit a copy of their credentials, bios, social media connections, resumes, samples of writing ability and a signed submission agreement. They must register with their author profile on the site.

Submissions may include text, tables, charts or photos with no specifications on length, font or point size.

The authors use the articles or opinion columns to establish their authority in their fields and demonstrate their expertise, augmenting their careers overall.

6) The site encourages “PharmPsychers” as a “business solution”. What is a PharmPsycher and how does this serve the site’s visitors?

The PharmPsycher business solution involves a pharmacist, medical or nonmedical professional increasing his or her professional exposure by creating a profile of his or her social media connections, a portfolio of his or her work products or services online and/or establishing his or her authority with his or her blogs.

He or she gains free registration outside of pharmacy and medical law course subscriptions and tools.

In the process, he or she not only becomes a member of the PharmPsych Careers pages but also the rest of the PharmPsych network, including our medical portals PharmPsych.com, MediPreneur.org and PharmaPreneur.org and our educational ones, FelicityMotivational.org, FelicityTutors.org and TutorforGood.org.

Participants can converse with their peers on issues and topics of interest to other PharmPsychers in our member forum or on our Ask a Member or Ask a Pharmacist webpages.

They can also use a member inbox online to send and receive e-mail messages with other PharmPsych network members.

Additionally, they have the privilege to suggest topics for pharmacy and medical clinical charts, study guides, articles and other content to enhance educational text for PharmPsych.com.

They receive pharmacy, medical and career updates in the site’s bi-monthly News Blast.

Finally, they can post jobs each month for free with the number of posts depending on their membership levels.

7) The site has section titled “Diseases,” “Medications,” “Flash Cards,” “Study Guides,” “Medical Calculators” and “Videos” in which articles or basic information and visuals are featured. How do the site’s editorial team decide which to feature in each category?

The disease, medications, study guides, medical calculators and videos pages are meant to teach pharmacists and other medical professionals visiting the site about the latest developments in the treatment or therapies for diseases, trending medications, the flash cards with the most relevant drugs to study for the pharmacy exams, useful calculators and instructional videos.

8) The site has a section titled “Health and Life” with articles. What is the purpose of this section?

The “Health & Life” section contains articles and opinion columns on medical topics outside of the field of pharmacy such as senior long-term care and natural medicine.

As the number of authors in our network expand, so will the variety, depth and breadth of the topics covered.

Originally, in the summer of 2014, the section carried a steady, daily stream of free articles from the Kaiser Permanente website. Subjects then ran the gamut from rapid changes in senior home health care and long-term care to a transgendered woman’s use of Obamacare. Use of the newsfeed was discontinued by the start of autumn 2014 to make room for original content of our editorial team.

9) The site also has a Forum section. Is this a chatroom? If so, for whom? Who can participate?

The forum on PharmPsych.com is meant as a chatroom to discuss timely subjects about the field of pharmacy. Topics or questions are taken from members of the public or other pharmacists about medications, dosings or other drug administration practices.

We will open our forum to posting questions and answers among our freelance journalist, medical, legal, financial and college staff and the lay public and link to social media as our staff and medical specialty variety expands.

10) The site also has a Careers section. Who can benefit from this and how?

Both employers and potential employees alike can take advantage of PharmPsych.com’s Careers pages.

The Careers pages list experts in their field with their bios, photos, social media links and their portfolios of work products. Candidates include pharmacists, medical and non-medical professionals. Posted job opportunities include full-time, part-time and contract-based work.

The pages allow employers and job seekers to search for jobs or experts, advertise jobs, coordinate their job hunts, make job profiles or expert portfolios and accounts.

Aside from the Careers pages, employers and employees can use the PharmPsych.com Sites pages to create their own free websites under different package offerings at the basic and premium I, II and III levels.

Each individual marketing and advertising package includes basic themes, premium themes, plug-ins, extensions, online courses, e-commerce products, fundraising and crowdraising campaigns, membership communities, multi-member blogs, job boards, websites, content management systems, hosting, dedicated support phone and e-mail supports.

Medical and nonmedical professionals alike can dedicate websites that they build themselves right on PharmPsych.com to serving multiple blogs, holiday-related events, personal professional advancement, videos, charity, social networking, medical coursework, pharmacy and medical businesses and professional trade association events and conferences.

11) The site also has a Courses section. Who uses this?

The PharmPsych.com Courses pages involves six pharmacy law instructors, including an attorney, teaching students the basic federal law exam and pharmacy law in different states representing the major regions of the country.

The main objective is ultimately to extend pharmacy law instruction to all 50 states. The Courses pages team have designed coursework to respond to a demand for pharmacists to learn pharmacy law in more than one state.

The course instructors provide a pass rate guarantee. Test-takers purchasing the site’s test preparation services who do not pass the exam may send a copy of the exam results to the site within seven days of the dates and have their exams re-opened for another 60 days.

12) I understand that the entire Pharm Psych network has been started by a minority woman entrepreneur who wishes to support other minority-owned businesses and their communities. Then, there is a commitment to make a difference with underserved minority and low-income communities or in the number of minority pharmacists or other medical professionals — and now, nonmedical professionals?

The entire Pharm Psych network is devoted to supporting minority-owned businesses, both medical and non-medical.

Our businesses and communities are undergoing the worst economy — known as the Great Recession — since the Great Depression of the 1930s.

The U.S. Department of Labor reported early in the second decade of the millennium that, while the majority of the nation dealt with an 8 percent unemployment before it plunged to 5 percent in 2014, African Americans suffered double the rate at 16 percent.

As the second decade of the millennium progressed, that figure dropped to 14.4 percent, among the black middle class and the black low- to moderate-income communities. Even these and other employment figures are called into question with regard to the level of severity.

Minority businesses around the country were hit hard as household budgets were reined in for cheaper goods and services though all small businesses take up most of all employment in the country.

With jobs becoming more scarce, mass layoffs and businesses shuttering or scaling back in scope, support for minority businesses and the jobs and opportunities they create are more critical than before.

13) What advice is best to give college graduates — the younger generations — entering the field of pharmacy and equally young professional peers in terms of their approach to their day-to-day pharmacy work, teaching in colleges, writing journal articles, engaging in public speaking and owning pharmacies?

It is best for members of the next generation of pharmacists or medical professionals who are now undergraduates to explore the field they are entering. They must be sure of what careers in medicine they wish to pursue. Many individuals enter the medical fields with unrealistic expectations.

For example, they expect that entering the medical field can be compared to an episode of the major networks’ primetime TV series “House.” This is because the portrayals of medical specialists in this evening primetime drama are more exciting than what occurs in medical facilities across the country in real life. Some young people in nursing also have an image of Nurse Betty.

Before a college student commits four years of his or her life to a particular medical field, he or she must envision himself or herself doing what he or she will be studying for the rest of his or her life.

Those already in the field of pharmacy or the medical professions will work part-time, not full-time, because they do not like what they do. It is not glamorous enough. They don’t want to do it every day or five days out of the week.

Doctors can spend 60 hours a week in the hospital. Pharmacists can spend 50 hours a week in a pharmacy or in their work settings. A dentist can also spend 50 hours a week working in his or her office. A surgeon can work 88 hours a week.

Young pharmacists and medical professionals will have to work in the confines of hospitals and they may or may not like that. Some youth will say, “I don’t like to do research.” Some can be in their second year of medical school and say, “I don’t like working with sick people.” We have known colleagues in the medical fields who have reported this.

To work in the medical fields, our future pharmacists and medical professionals must be patient and respectful. They have to be patient and respectful. They have to perform their duties well.

Young students should research the medical fields they plan to study. While studying, they should shadow a person already working in their chosen fields. They ought to cultivate a mentor and follow them around their medical facilities once a week or for a few weeks.

Students will not develop a sound professional reputation if they study a field and later withdraw from it. For example, a student may obtain a doctoral degree in chemistry and later learn he or she does not like to work in laboratories. We once knew an individual studying physical therapy and later learned that she did not enjoy it because she felt like a personal trainer.

NOTE: BlackSpeaks.com offers up AfroPreneurs, a news series featuring medical and nonmedical white-collar enterpreneurs and professionals. AfroPreneurs are leaders and managers in a variety of medical and non-medical fields who often use their talents to start their private practices or businesses or challenge themselves to transform and improve employment opportunities, goods and services as board members, group founders, mentors or college professors. Our AfroPreneurs series seeks to draw on and explore the expertise and experience of these medical and non-medical heroes and put them in the public spotlight, one professional at a time.

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Vladimire Herard, M.S.

About Vladimire Herard, M.S.

A print journalist for 21 years, Vladimire Herard freelanced for the National Senior Living Providers Network, (nslpn.com), the Guidance Channel and Longtermcare.com. Under CD Publications, Ms. Herard wrote about senior health, substance abuse prevention, and elderly housing. Under Inside Washington Publishers, she covered health care financing for Inside HCFA and food and product safety issues for FDAWeek. Ms. Herard also covered education, crime, and county affairs for daily newspapers such as the Chicago Defender. She currently covers senior long-term care, the pharmaceutical industry and issues and education. Ms. Herard resides in Chicago.

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