The Prisoners of Comfort By Jim Plagakis, R.Ph
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Eight years of college education. Six of those focused on obtaining a degree in pharmacy. Time taken to become frustrated with the job of pharmacist: 7 months, and that’s being generous.
I’m a 2010 graduate and I am new to the job. When I started practicing retail / community pharmacy, I recalled a friend in school once showing me the blog of a notable pharmacist. The name was easy enough to remember. Jim Plagakis. A veteran of the job and a hard core advocate for the profession of pharmacy. Please note the distinction made between the two, because in The Prisoners of Comfort, Mister Plagakis addresses the differences and provides hope for all pharmacists, new and old.
The week had been exceptionally taxing and I was ready to pack up my frustrations and go back to school. Thus, it was already a late night when I started reading The Prisoners of Comfort and when I finished the book it was the early hours of morning. Mister Plagakis sets a stage that all pharmacists, new or old, can immediately identify with. I was energized and confident. The next day I was eagerly making plans for ways to implement MTM for the patients of a small town pharmacy in rural Idaho.
Jim Plagakis has a message that needs to be heard. I know there are other recent graduates out there just like myself who are frustrated with the job. I read his message and every day I remind myself of what I took home from it: I am a highly educated medical professional, and I will disengage myself from the Prescription Mill to share my knowledge with those in need.
We live a life of comfort afforded by our jobs, but with it comes an immense amount of psychological, emotional and sometimes physical stress (you really can’t call not eating plus holding your pee for 10 hours straight non-physical, can you?). The job may be broken, but the profession remains intact. I encourage my fellow new graduates and all pharmacists, young old to read The Prisoners of Comfort – and find solace and hope in what JP has to say.
Reviewed by: Morgan B. Parker, Pharm.D.
“I was reading this book while driving!”
The following mandate should be included by each college of pharmacy in its admission letter to students: “Congratulations upon your acceptance into our pharmacy program. Immediately after you finish reading this letter, please read the enclosed book, Jim Plagakis’s The Prisoners Of Comfort. At your pharmacy school orientation in the fall, be prepared to discuss the contents of this book and then sit for your first pharmacy school exam, which will be on this book.”
In 66 rapidly turning pages, Plagakis dissects the noxious layers of the dark spiritual vapor that is the pharmacist’s lot today. To say that he “pulls no punches” is the understatement of my life. This little book will save lives, souls, and families.
The heck with talking on the cell phone while driving—I found myself reading this book while driving!
Rather than waiting to face the truth about pharmacy when it may be too late, prospective pharmacists must read, and embrace, this book before entering the profession. The Prisoners Of Comfort is an effective rite of exorcism for all that is demonic about the pharmacist’s job today. Don’t leave for work without it! And, to the Accreditation Council on Pharmacy Education: why not put your logo on this book, and grant five hours of C.E. for reading it?
To use a 21st-century vogue expression, The Prisoners Of Comfort is pharmacy’s game-changer.
Paul Trusten, R.Ph.
Full time pharmacist in retail and hospital since 1976
Amazon Prisoners Reviews
Format: Paperback|Verified Purchase
I have read Plajakis in Drug Topics for many years and have found him right on. He and Dennis Miller (Pharmacy Exposed) obviously are on the same page. Working conditions for pharmacists could not be painted any better. It has been a shame for me to see what has happened to pharmacy since my beginning fifty nine years ago. Pharmacists have dropped the ball as to preserving the profession.
Format: Paperback|Verified Purchase
I sat down and read Jim’s book this past Saturday and really enjoyed it. The book does a great job of explaining the harsh realities of working in a community pharmacy. Today with so many large pharmacy chains owning the pharmacy market and fervently fighting amongst each other for more power it has become nothing more than a money and numbers issue. Patient care often takes the backseat to profits and winning over more patients. This is very sad and unfortunately so many pharmacists are placed in this position and given almost no way out. Jim does a great job describing the reality of these situations. Ultimately for me it was a very eye opening read. I think for anyone who already works in a community pharmacy this will mostly be old news for you but I’m sure it will stimulate some thinking about how to make changes. I’m convinced that things can and should be better. This book describes the worst part of the profession but it leaves a light at the end of the tunnel for everyone to strive to reach. It is not impossible for the profession to be better but ultimately it begins with you….the pharmacist.
JP’s 20 Simple Rules for the Pharmacist This is JP’s Original, Classic work on the institutionalization of the American Pharmacist. The End Cut, Bone-in Prime Rib version from 2006. This book explores the soul-crushing working conditions of the job of a pharmacist. It offers solutions in a light-hearted manner. Jim’s recent “The Prisoners of Comfort” is not light-hearted. You may want to read this, originally titled: JP’s 20 Simple Rules For The Successful And Satisfying Practice Of Pharmacy.