Pharmacist: Douglas H. Parker
Pharmacy: Parker's City Pharmacy
City, State: Seguin, TX (40 miles northeast of San Antonio, TX and 50 miles south of Austin, TX)
How many years have you been practicing as a pharmacist?
I have been practicing for 44 years during which time I have been very active politically in professional organizations. I served as the President of Texas Pharmacy Association from 2000-2001 and the President of The South Central Texas Pharmacy Association from 1996 till present. I have been awarded the Texas Pharmacy Association Local Leadership award in 1996, The Texas Region “D” Pharmacist of the year in 2002, The Texas Pharmacist of the Year in 2005, and The Bowl of Hygeia Award in 2010.
What led you to a career in independent community pharmacy?
Just like many pharmacists, I grew up in the pharmacy. My dad was an independent owner and I have been part of Parker's City Pharmacy for as long as I can remember. I waited on patients, stocked shelves, and even helped my dad compound when I could barely reach the counter.
Being in pharmacy all my life, I knew pharmacy was for me. My dad was an important part of the community and he was very involved with his church. I was inspired by that and I wanted to emulate that. I started working with my dad right after I graduated from UT Austin in 1972.
After getting some experience at my dad's pharmacy, a great opportunity in Houston, TX came up and I accepted a job there. I was promoted to Chief of Pharmacy Staff within the first year. Back in Seguin, TX, my dad experienced a small challenge when our area hospital moved away from our pharmacy. Additionally, our pharmacy was located in a downtown area and parking was slowly becoming a problem. This was a good opportunity for me to return to Seguin, so I bought the pharmacy from my dad and moved it to a more prominent location. Under my ownership, I was also able to expand the pharmacy's services and I ventured into Long Term Care as well.
I understood the impact an independent owner had on a community, so I desired to help my patients while also giving back to my community. I am pushing 44 years as a licensed pharmacist and I enjoy it very much. It is such a rewarding career and I am very thankful for the opportunities I have been provided.
What makes your pharmacy standout from the competition?
We are the only independent pharmacy in Seguin, TX, so we specialize in services that are not traditionally provided by large chain pharmacies. We provide quality individualized care and spend time with our patients so they receive excellent service. They are not our customers, but they are our patients.
I am very involved with my community and church just like my dad. Some of our services we provide align with my goal of giving back to the community. We provide after-hour service, participate in Chaplain's fund (discounted medication for patients who cannot afford it), consultant to an area jail, and provide HIV meds in partnership with the state.
We also provide delivery service, individualized compounding service, DME supplies, wheelchair rentals, nursing home & hospice service, consults to local hospital & surgical centers, back support, and we have an excellent wound care section. Regardless, I still believe the biggest thing that sets us apart is that we genuinely care for our patients. All of our staff goes above and beyond to make sure our patients feel like they are part of Parker's City Pharmacy's family.
What are your biggest challenges?
I have been helping patients with durable medical equipment for a long time. It has become increasingly challenging to continue providing quality service. Currently, patients from my county have to travel very far because of restrictions set by government entities and PBMs. It is very difficult to see patients suffer because of the things that they can't control. Nonetheless, we continue to discover ways to help alleviate the burdens our patients may face.
Describe a recent, rewarding experience with a patient.
Recently, a physician consulted me about a hospice patient. This particular patient had been suffering from wrist pain for quite some time. The patient tried steroids, topical NSAIDs, high doses of oral NSAIDs, and other things with no relief and on top of that, patient was at high risk for stomach ulcer. I recommended and compounded a Ketoprofen PLO gel for them and the patient was able to be pain free with no harm to their stomach. I have been doing this for 44 years, but helping patients achieve a better quality of life is just a tremendous part of my job and I enjoy it dearly.
How has NCPA helped your business?
NCPA gives us the voice. I can't imagine independent pharmacies existing today if it weren't for NCPA standing up for us.