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Cool Things We Learned at Our Recent Pharmacy Conference.

Joe and I recently attended a pharmacy conference. As part of our licensing requirements as pharmacists, we have to get continuing education each year. This education can either come in the form of lessons that you read, and then are tested on, or through sitting in on speakers at conferences (no tests necessary). Needless to say, Joe and I prefer the education that comes via conferences.

I thought I’d give you a rundown on the most interesting things we learned during the week while we were gone.

1. One of the speakers was Dr. Bill Andrews, Ph.D., who has spent the last thirty years of his life in research trying to prove that aging can be cured. Yes, that’s right. Dr. Andrews believes that aging, like other diseases, can be cured. His web site says that he will “Cure Aging or Die Trying.” His research into aging has led him to “telomeres,” sequences of DNA at the ends of our chromosomes that shorten through cell division as we age. All of our cells divide over our lifetimes and as they divide, the ends of our chromosomes, the telomeres, become shorter and shorter. If there was some way to stop the telomeres from becoming short, Dr. Andrews believes we could live longer lives and eventually even reverse the aging process. In some animals that have an enzyme, telomerase, that rebuilds the telomeres, there are no age restrictions. Crabs and the old, old turtles on the Galapagos Island are examples of species that do not have telomere shortening and could, conceivably, live hundreds of years without interference from humans or the other things that kill them besides the aging process.

This may sound like a bit of science fiction, but the research is behind Dr. Andrews’ beliefs. There are even a few products on the market which help to lessen telomere shortening. We’ll have one of those items for sale in the store in the near future. Joe and I plan to try it out.

2. From inspirational speaker, Giovanni Livera, we learned to “WOW” our audience and customers. Giovanni even showed us how to use our hands and mouth to express the word, “WOW.” You can see Joe doing the “WOW” in the picture–his mouth is the “O” and his fingers make the “W’s.” Pretty cool, huh?

3. We also learned that while some people may think social media is a “fad,” leaders in marketing, including our speaker Samantha Timmerman, know it is the way to get an advantage in any business. One thing she suggested to us was to write a blog posting featuring the answers to the top questions customers ask when they come in the pharmacy or speak to us on the phone. Joe and I brainstormed and we think these are probably our leading questions:

a. How late are you open? or When is lunch? So we obviously need to promote our hours, which are: 9 am-6 pm, Monday through Friday, 9-noon on Saturday, closed for lunch from 1:15-2:15 pm. One thing Joe has been considering is dropping lunch. What do you think? Give him your thoughts the next time you come in. Unfortunately, Joe and I both worked in pharmacies where lunches rotated and sometimes the pharmacist was the one who didn’t get to stop and eat. We purposely set up a lunch hour when we first opened so that would not happen. But maybe that needs to change now. Let us know.

b. Is Joe there? If he is, he’ll definitely either come talk to you in person or get on the phone. Joe is a very popular person in the pharmacy.

c. Is Margie Joe’s wife? Nope, that distinction falls to me, Robin. Because I spend most of my time behind the scenes in the lab or office, a lot of people assume Margie and Joe are married when they see them at the front counter together. Margie and I had even joked one time about getting t-shirts to wear that said, “Not Joe’s wife,” for all the ladies in the store, except me. I have to say, though, that if there was anyone I’d want to represent me, it would be Margie–she is pretty, smart, kind, and thoughtful! She can impersonate me any time.

Joe and Margie at the Old Store.

Joe and Margie pretending to be cow pokes.

So now you know why Joe comes back from these conferences filled with ideas and so hyper it seems like he’s gulped a pot of coffee. Joe loves pharmacy and he loves learning new things to make our lives and the business better. WOW!

Robin and Joe acting Goofy!

Joe and Robin--yes, we are married!

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