Lisa Garza

  • 2013 Cardinal Health Retail Independent Pharmacy Scholarship recipient
  • Graduated from Washington State University
  • Currently works at Katterman’s Sandpoint Pharmacy in Seattle, Wash.

Where are you on the pharmacy ownership path?

After I competed in the NCPA student business plan competition, I knew I wanted a career as an independent pharmacy owner. Since then, I have tried to learn as much about ownership as possible, and have stayed engaged with NCPA. I also completed a community pharmacy residency at Middleport Family Health Center, an independent pharmacy in New York. My residency gave me a chance to put everything I had learned into action and to be mentored by people who knew how to successfully run a pharmacy.

What has been the biggest hurdle in your journey so far?

I am really happy with where I am working now, and with the direction of my career, and I think I have had many opportunities that others have not. I feel like I am right on track, so it is hard to identify a major setback. However, a hurdle that I am anticipating in the future is balancing paying off my student loan debt with buying a pharmacy.

Do you have any advice for other pharmacy students who are considering ownership?

Pharmacy ownership is more than just a career; it is a different way of life. The idea of owning a pharmacy may be intimidating, but it is possible and you can do it if you have the right mindset. Go out there and meet the people who do this every day and decide for yourself if this is the type of career you want. Pharmacy owners are some of the best and most generous people I have ever had the privilege to know, so don't be afraid to approach them. You might be surprised at what you find and where it leads you.