October 30, 2014
Helping future pharmacy professionals has been Susan A. Cantrell’s longtime passion, which is why the idea for her book came so naturally.
“It occurred to me that pharmacists early in their careers could probably benefit from the life and career experiences of those who have been around for much longer,” said Cantrell (BSPh 83), senior vice president and managing director of Drug Information Association Americas.
First published in April, Letters to a Young Pharmacist: Sage Advice on Life and Career from Extraordinary Pharmacists shares insightful stories from seasoned professionals in an effort to better prepare future pharmacists.
Cantrell and her co-editors reached out to a number of close colleagues for the letters that compose the book.
“It’s not always easy to share deeply personal stories, especially in the pages of a book,” Cantrell said. “All of the contributors saw the vision for the book and were eager to share their very heartfelt stories and advice with the future leaders of the profession. In so many ways, that’s what pharmacy is all about – sharing, caring and helping.”
Sara J. White, retired director of pharmacy for Stanford Hospital and Clinics, co-edited the book with Cantrell and Bruce Scott, president of The CADENT Group.
“Susan ensured that a variety of practice settings were represented, and she was great to work with,” White said. “The book is already in a second printing because it has been so popular.”
Cantrell, who resides in Raleigh, North Carolina, fondly remembers relationships with faculty members at the Ole Miss School of Pharmacy. These professors helped her develop an appreciation for the importance of mentorship, she said.
“As a student, I was a recipient of a great deal of support and mentorship by so many outstanding faculty of the Ole Miss School of Pharmacy, without which I know I could not have been successful,” she said. “I appreciate that and hope I can give back at least a fraction of that to those just beginning their career.”
As for her own best piece of advice, Cantrell encourages young pharmacists to build a network and find a mentor.
“Don’t be afraid to ask for help and advice, and work carefully to maintain your pharmacy relationships throughout your career,” she said.