This month, we had a chat with Christina White, Associate Chief of Pharmacy at the Indianapolis VAMC, about the wealth of opportunities VA offers pharmacy professionals. She began her VA career as a post-grad year one pharmacy resident and went on to help build the hospital’s PGY2 health-system pharmacy administration program, for which she now serves as Co-Residency Director. After residency, Christina spent some time as a Business Manager for the Pharmacy Recruitment and Retention Office (PRRO), and served as an HR Recruitment Consultant. This year marks 10 years at VA for Christina. Her extensive experience means plenty of sage advice for pharmacy professionals considering a future with VA.
How has VA evolved over the past 10 years?
I have seen VA become more innovative and more willing to try new technology. As a result, our department has spearheaded new initiatives and implemented new technology to improve patient care. The role of the pharmacist has grown a lot.
What would you say to those interested in working for VA?
The sky is the limit at VA, whether you want to stay in pharmacy or branch into leadership, regionally or nationally. First and foremost, you have to be dedicated to our mission of serving Veterans. It’s a calling to serve this patient population. Candidates usually have a personal connection to the mission, myself included—both my grandfathers were in the military. I have their pictures hung in my office. It’s a great reminder to serve those who’ve risked so much to ensure our freedom.
Why should candidates choose a career at VA over a private health care system?
VA allows pharmacists to work at the top of their license. There’s a lot of autonomy in our practice, which you won’t see in private systems. Compared to retail pharmacy, you don’t have to deal with as many insurance frustrations, which can eat up a lot of time. You have more time to counsel the patient and discuss clinical info. Also, there are a lot of great leadership development programs (if you want to go into management) as well as teaching opportunities.
Take advantage of all VA has to offer, from competitive benefits and salary to training programs and education support. And experience the pride of delivering world-class care to our deserving Veterans.
Explore our available positions and apply today.