The Business of Pharmacy Podcast™
April 3, 2023

Building Trust and Credibility Among Pharmacy Colleagues | Ned Milenkovich, PharmD, Atty, Much Law

Building Trust and Credibility Among Pharmacy Colleagues | Ned Milenkovich, PharmD, Atty, Much Law

  • The podcast episode features Ned Milenkovich, a seasoned pharmacist and industry expert, as he shares insights on the importance of building trust and credibility among pharmacy colleagues.
  • The episode explores various strategies for establishing and maintaining strong relationships within the pharmacy community, including effective communication, collaboration, and transparency.
  • Ned emphasizes the value of active listening and being open to other perspectives in building trust among colleagues.
  • The episode discusses the role of networking and social media in building trust and credibility within the pharmacy industry, with Ned providing tips on how to make meaningful connections.
  • The impact of technology on building relationships is also touched upon, with best practices for leveraging these tools discussed.
  • Examples of challenging situations that Ned has faced in his career are shared, highlighting the importance of navigating these situations while maintaining trust and credibility with colleagues.
  • The conversation wraps up with a discussion on the ongoing need for building and nurturing relationships within the pharmacy industry, with Ned sharing some final thoughts on how to do so effectively.

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Speech to text: 

Mike Koelzer, Hosts: [00:00:25] Ned, for those that haven't come across you online, introduce yourself and tell our listeners what we're talking about today

Ned Milenkovich, PharmD, Atty: My name is Ned Milenkovich. I am a pharmacist and I am a practicing attorney in the area of drug and pharmacy law. And today I'd like to talk about digging the well before you're thirsty.

Picking different directions in your lid and your career in a methodical, somewhat methodical manner. 

 I treat all of my relationships as organic ones. I don't look at individuals as a business transaction. I look at people in terms of friendships, colleagues, referral sources. Perhaps they are direct clients. Sometimes people will come to me as a client on one particular issue, and I'll never hear from them or see them again.

 Others. I will develop a relationship with them that, that has lasted decades

 Everybody is gonna be different. The most important thing that I can do for myself and for the community in which I am practicing and living my career, so to speak, is to continue to cultivate relationships in a positive way.

utilizing and helping people however their needs arise, frankly. I find myself doing a lot of things to help people that aren't always legal. they could be relationship based. 

Mike Koelzer, Hosts: You don't mean they're illegal, you just mean that they're not focused on the legal part of your


Ned Milenkovich, PharmD, Atty: Yes, 

Mike Koelzer, Hosts: I just wanted to clarify. that.

Ned Milenkovich, PharmD, Atty: I need to be very careful when I use that word. I meant in terms of legal needs, not anything illegal. Thank you for that, Mike. I appreciate that.

Mike Koelzer, Hosts: As you get to know these people, it doesn't hurt to. be in different lanes. So people see you in different lanes. And what I mean by that is, years ago, Ned, they had the yellow pages, right? And so people would be going through the yellow pages and they'd see your name.

And they didn't necessarily come to the pharmacy because the yellow page sold them. But it's like, oh, I might have heard Mike on the radio, or my cousin knows 'em, or I've seen their pharmacy before. It's kind of this, uprising of attention. And then when they do want to make that decision, they have trust in that.

And I think with your stuff, well, even having you on the show, it's like when I look at your stuff, I'm not just seeing the legal part of it. I'm seeing podcasts that you've had on LinkedIn and different articles. And I see that you're in the law here and I see that you're,on the board there, and pretty soon you start to put those puzzle pieces together in your head and you say, Hey, Ned's, the real thing here.

He's not focused on one area. And I think it also proves what you are saying is that it lends to the fact that you're not narrow focused on something that's only good for you by having your det in these five different areas more. But the five that I saw, it's like this can't be necessarily for him because you're dividing yourself too thinly, unless you are truly doing it for other people.

Ned Milenkovich, PharmD, Atty: My passion really drives me for certain things in my career. number one, the law. Number two, healthcare. I'm a pharmacist. Number three, I absolutely love, since I was in high school, to be part of journalism, whether it be, writing a column,modern day.

I suppose we could say pod podcasting might be a form of journalism. Whether it's public speaking, just being out there associated with some type of News magazine and I was with Drug Topics for many years and then I was, now I'm with Pharmacy Times. and then the fourth area public service.

getting on the board of pharmacy in Illinois, for example. and it's actually doing yourself a disservice if you're an attorney because if I'm sitting on the Board of pharmacy in Illinois, that means I can't try a case or go before the board and be adverse to them on behalf of a client. But on the flip side, it also provides me with access to 50 different boards of pharmacy across the United States and lots of people.

 People take twists and turns in their lid and their career, and especially these young people who are in pharmacy school, who are graduating pharmacy school and who are looking for something other than being necessarily just in retail and hospital pharmacy or some traditional pharmacy.

Nothing wrong with that. My wife's a perfect example of that. She's a retail pharmacist, and has been there her whole life. enjoys it passionately, loves helping people. But there's other things out there and you can intertwine and marry, like I married my pharmacy degree to my law degree to do drug and pharmacy law,

Mike Koelzer, Hosts: Ned Law is a little bit different than, other businesses and maybe I throw in their law or engineers and things like that because a typical pharmacist, if you're the owner of something, you're [00:05:25] probably going out on the ledge to get attention for your store and market and things like that.

And typically the average pharmacist employee is not, they either don't have the drive for it or they're not allowed to do it. Legal's a little bit different though, cuz you're in a firm, but you almost have to toot your own horn because you kind of have to get your own business. Is that a fair statement?

Ned Milenkovich, PharmD, Atty: It really all depends. Now, we as attorneys, have ethical boundaries that we cannot surpass.

We cannot. Markets in the same way. I don't, I, I don't think we can. Every state is gonna be a little different, but you can't get in people's faces and say, you really need to hire me because I'm an attorney and you've got an issue here and we can help you with this. Now that doesn't mean you can't put a billboard up there on the highway.

You can't, doesn't mean you can't have a 3:00 AM television commercial, it doesn't mean you can't put stuff in a news magazine. but generally speaking, I would say the best way to look at it is indirect marketing. Meaning I'm out there touting myself, but I'm not in your face.

And because that, that overreaching issue that, the bar, various bar associations are concerned about, they don't want lawyers running around out

there trying to get at people's faces. But, you're absolutely right. I mean, law firms. The most successful lawyers and the most successful law firms and the law firms that make a lot of money, are the ones that have a lot of clients and all of them look for different types of clients.

We're seeing a lot of consolidation and a lot of pacman-like activity and legal, not much different than other industries as well. so it is, it does become increasingly challenging to be out there. 

Mike Koelzer, Hosts: You're fresh.

Let's say you come in, and you've been outta school for a bit. you're fully licensed but I said to you, Ned, you cannot practice pharmacy or be an attorney for one year. What would you do during that year to dig your well?

Ned Milenkovich, PharmD, Atty: So I couldn't be a practicing pharmacist in a community or any type of practice setting.

 It's a really tough question. It's a good question, but it's a tough question. I probably would try to go into logistics because logistics associates with distribution and, I know it's, you said you can't use your pharmacist degree, but what if I was a logistics guy over at Cardinal Health, or at McKesson, or, Amerisource Bergen, or, some wholesaler.

I've always been fascinated by wholesale distribution and how all that works upstream from the pharmacy. And then after a year, you could, I suppose, be an attorney for Cardinal Health or something else. Now I actually, my first couple of years, kind of had that, I mean, I was practicing law, but the firm that I was at, they didn't have drug and pharmacy law.

So I didn't, the first couple of years of my career, I was working with a group doing healthcare bond work, which was really finance work. It was all about hospital systems, borrowing money through bonds and so that was one way I was associating with the healthcare group. but they weren't really doing healthcare work.

and then from there, I was there, there was another opportunity, where I was in a firm, which had a health law department, had sort of a FDA practice. Not really much to do with it. but I was actually trying to grow the practice, while I was working for another partner. who was doing ERISA work and he didn't really like me very much.

I can tell you truthfully, I didn't like him very much, and that marriage didn't last very long to begin with. But it was a way of segueing into what I really wanted to do, and that is drug and pharmacy law. And it really wasn't for three or four years, maybe five years after I got my law degree, where I was able to immerse myself fully.

And then it just took off like a meteor, the whole drug and pharmacy practice. but you know,

I think that was a real life example of you're not able to be a pharmacist. You're not able to be a, well you said you're not able to be an attorney. So I guess I was technically an attorney here, but I wasn't a drug and pharmacy attorney.

But if I had the opportunity to go back and do it differently, I think logistics is really cool. and Now they're offering degrees in this way, think about how everything is moving along the supply chain. Well, I mean, sometimes it's not moving along the supply chain these days for different reasons, but, but,ultimately I would tell you that,supply chain is a big deal and it was gonna continue to be a big deal in, in industry inclusive of drugs, as well as other, anything really for the

Mike Koelzer, Hosts: 

What step do you take to dig your well [00:10:25] deeper than the next guy? 

Ned Milenkovich, PharmD, Atty: First of all, I would say, the only person that I'm in competition with is myself.

I know that there are always gonna be people that are. Bigger, faster, stronger than me. And I know that I'm always going to have people who I'm gonna be bigger, faster, and stronger than. and where my strength comes from isn't always from within, but the people that I surround myself with, I don't wanna be the smartest guy in the room ever.

I wanna put people in that room that are much more intelligent than me. So I don't view competition in the same way that perhaps other people do. But I would tell you that if you want to distinguish yourself or differentiate yourself from others, then you've gotta be a creative thinker. You've gotta be a thought leader, but it's not good enough to be a creative thinker and a thought leader.

You have to share those ideas with people out there. And so you get to what we talked about earlier. Going to condrences, going to an association, meetings, doing public speaking, writing,sitting on boards of pharmacies where your voice is heard. getting to know other people who are decision makers, critical people, executive directors of boards of pharmacy, vice presidents, and presidents of companies who are making decisions and getting in their ear and engaging them in dialogue because these people are driven.

They know what they want. I mean, I've got some clients, they never stop. They just, they're just wired that way. They just keep going. And, they have plenty of money. So it's like, I don't understand, like, if you got at some point you're like, well, some people want to do something for the money, but these people, it's not about the money for

them. And, you know, I find the people who have the most money. Are the people that don't make it about the money, they make it about the passion and what they're interested in because from that, if they can sort of take their passion and figure out a way to monetize it, somehow the laws of nature make that work.

Mike Koelzer, Hosts: Let's say 20 years ago when you were working as a pharmacist shift, and there's somebody that you met back then, one of these people, you're talking about a go-getter in things like that. Do you feel a need to be involved with those people at all? Do you think social media is enough? Do you feel comfortable reaching back 20 years? 

Ned Milenkovich, PharmD, Atty: I guess it depends on who that person is and what they've done with their career and if they've stayed engaged. There's a lot of people out there that I've seen over the years where they have been part of the scene. They have, they were engaged in the profession and then they decided for one reason or another to, to either retire or maybe they made so much money that they didn't want to work anymore or they just had enough.

and they sort of fade out Now if they are just sitting at home, watching, Sally, Jesse Raphael or 

something, ,

I'm not sure it's as interesting as it is,to reach out to them then if they. are still somehow, shucking and jiving and doing their thing with, what, whatever they're into.

 It's a two-way street. So reaching out to people to stay in touch to obtain leverage in relationships, I think is one reason to do so. But also I believe in giving back too. and so if I can help someone, I think your example was someone who's aspiring now to be on the Board of Pharmacy where they weren't before.

and they call me or something and they say, Hey, listen, Ned, can you help me out with this? I really want to understand how this works, or who I should talk to and blah, blah, blah. I love paying it forward, and I just think the universe works in very strange ways. And I sit on the, On the Dean's, corporate council at Ohio State College of Pharmacy.

Mike Koelzer, Hosts: that's where I went for my undergrad. don't hold it against me. I know you live in Michigan, so, and I went to Purdue, so

Ned Milenkovich, PharmD, Atty: anyway, to Purdue. So that's a double whammy. so, you get an opportunity to mentor some of these young students who are looking to you as sort of a guide to decide what they can do with their lives.

And let's face it, Mike, when we were 20, 21, 22, we had the same problem. Everybody was looking at us and saying, what do you wanna do with the rest of your lid? And you're like, I don't know. How do I know I'm 20 years old? . But yet, that's what they're being asked to do. And it's unfair, but that's just the name of the game and the reality.

And so, leveraging people. I think it works in different ways. And I had, I'll share this story with you. I was in high school and I worked at a store. There were about 20 stores, medic discount drugs in Cleveland, Ohio. There was a guy there by the name of Mike Buco, he's the director of pharmacy at the time.

 He gave me the job. I was working, not directly for [00:15:25] him, but I was working under him. I mean, there were 20 stores. Mike is one of the greatest guys in the world. And I I see him all the time at condrences at like NA CDs condrences and. Other condrences that he attends, I suspect at some point now,he might be retired.

I mean, he's done a lot of things after being sold off. I believe it was sold off to cvs. I could be wrong, but that was way back when. and I've been in touch with him all these years and we always laugh about it when we go to NA CDs condrences and we see each other. We always talked about the fact that I was like 16 or 17 years old and he was a young director of pharmacy and he was most recently, I think with Cover My Meds.

and before that he was with another, another company in Soland, Ohio, I believe. So he's had quite a career, and he's always been engaged. He's always been involved and I could call him anytime I. and chit chat with him about anything. And I have probably hundreds of people like him.

Not that particular fact pattern, but just, it takes time and years to gain these relationships. Why do you lose them? And it's e it's easy to become complacent, but you, it's so important to be out there and to talk to people and stay in touch with them. And, they may never need you for anything ever again, but at least you got a friendship and you got a relationship with them.

And they might tell somebody who needs you, Hey, you got a legal issue, go talk to Ned. Or, whoever else, go talk to Mike. Or whatever you need, whatever the case may be, people talk. So it's not always that you're helping them. Maybe, someone else is gonna come to you.

Mike Koelzer, Hosts: I think some of the strongest relationships are when you've worked on a common goal with somebody. Even if it's as simple as being on a committee on some small board or something like that. There seems to be a certain bond when you're working on something almost no matter how trivial it is, versus just meeting somebody and talking.

there's that bond of moving forward.

Ned Milenkovich, PharmD, Atty: Well, yeah, I mean there's several layers of that. I mean, the, first of all, the first bond, I think the most basic common bond that we all have is that we're all pharmacists,whether we're behind a counter in a retail environment or a clinical pharmacist or, whether you're net out being a lawyer, a pharmacist,really that's a bond.

and then, there's other, like you say, other layers. if you're on. Boards. If you're on at association, n a P, national Association of Boards of Pharmacy, if you're appointed by the governor of your state to be on the Board of Pharmacy, you're automatically a lid member at NA p.

And guess what? You go to the annual meeting, you go to the district meetings, you get to hang out with people that become your lifelong friends and you've got, you've got that going on. We also have another group called p, the American Society for Pharmacy Law. You could be a pharmacist, you could be a lawyer, or you could be a pharmacist lawyer and be a member of that association.

but you know, the fun part is when you're hanging out with pharmacists and lawyers because everyone's looking at you like, are you crazy? You went to pharmacy school and then you went to law school, 

Mike Koelzer, Hosts: Ned, you and I have both been through the situation of dealing with middle men and then not dealing with middle men because of the way that social media and distribution has gone. And in particular, I am thinking about when you first started off with your drug topics articles, that was more in the middle man era of you having to probably get a little bit permission to do this or be invited and so on. Now you can write an article in three minutes and put it on LinkedIn. 

What would you be doing now to get articles out? And how does that differ from back years ago when you had to deal with that middle man?

Ned Milenkovich, PharmD, Atty: So I, I have a very entrepreneurial spirit, so while I might be inclined to have a middle man, I would always try to be an originator of ideas. Publications. So even during the times when I was writing for drug topics, that was just sort of one tool in my toolbox, and as long as it wasn't going to inhibit me from doing what I wanted to do, I would continue to write those articles, in other words, if the middle man didn't agree to bestow his honor to Ned, it was just a part of it and it was probably a good no big deal.

It's interesting because the way my career in its early sort of fledgling days, I wanted to create a platform that was going to be reflective of the ideas that I was espousing and I would invite people. Much like you do, not a podcast, but much like you do in the sense that you bring them [00:20:25] into a fold, into your fame and try to grow that.

And I don't know when podcasts became in vogue, but certainly, I don't think in the early two thousands they were happening like they do today. I created something called Rx Village.

 Rx Village was the name of sort of just that it was going to be where drug and pharmacy people meet.

It was a marketplace. And I probably had about a hundred, 150 people. that were members of that. And I would push my messaging out and then I would interview people. there were always one-offs. It wasn't methodical, it wasn't a program or anything like that. and then the law firm that I was working for at the time said, what are you doing?

Like, why are you doing this RX Village thing? So now I've created my own sort of little methodology of reaching out to people. Andmy employer at the time, I was an associate, said to me, stop doing that. We have a marketing department, we have a legal marketing department.

Use them to get your messaging out. Like, okay, but that costs money. and that costs time and people, and I'm the one who's putting all this time, money, energy, and effort into this. Well, we'll give you a small budget. So I sort of got off that RX Village thing and started to market myself in the, sort of the boundaries of a law firm.

So that was sort of my first step where I was getting away from trying to be my own entrepreneur and working within the confines of a marketing department. And it's always worked out for me. I'm not suggesting that's the case for everybody, but as long as they see an ROI on something like that, they'll, most firms are willing to spend the time, the money,the, you.

the human capital on getting that, pushing that messaging out to the marketplace. But I will tell you that nothing happens, and I mean, I'm sure you would agree with me, that nothing happens unless you, yourself initiate it. You gotta make it happen. 


they don't care.

At the end of the day, a lot of these people, they're looking at, they're looking at the bottom line. And unless you're self-made, unless you've already created yourself, they don't wanna waste their time with you. 

Mike Koelzer, Hosts: , what was your vehicle then? That was very early on the internet. That was maybe email and stuff like that. Were you doing any email or was it mailouts, or how were you communicating with this group?

Ned Milenkovich, PharmD, Atty: There were, as I recall, there were three functions. Things that I had going on. One was a website, I got a url, and I had gone to the printer and I had postcards and joined RX Village dot, I forget if it was net or I don't think it I was taken. and then people would sign up for it.

And there was some sort of,I guess it would be tantamount to like a team's dial-in or something where you put out a pin code and a phone number. And if people wanted to listen in on, Ned Milenkovic interviewed Don Bell, the general counsel of NA CDs or something like that.

Don's retired since then. But I mean, that's, that was one thing that I really did back in oh 5, 0 6. That's how we did it. it was very sort of, I mean, prehistoric, the way we went about 

doing it.

Mike Koelzer, Hosts: was your ROI relationships you didn't really have a revenue source for, did you? Or a revenue need or a revenue idea? It was more relationships,

Ned Milenkovich, PharmD, Atty: I would say that they were relationships that I was trying to generate in order to establish a base of clients long term.

Now one more thing that I was using back then, which has become far more sophisticated with all the algorithms that they use and much more difficult to navigate, is LinkedIn.

I was able to use LinkedIn at the time. I'm pretty sure they were around back, way back then. not the same LinkedIn as it is today again, but nevertheless, it was a useful tool, the. One more thing I was able to do because I was living in Chicago, I was trying to secure groups of people based on their geography.

So we would have meetings at, we would pick a restaurant or, gather 20, 30 people, grab lunch or dinner and have just exchanges of ideas,topics , in, within the drug and pharmacy

Mike Koelzer, Hosts: There's a million ways to make excuses too. I mean, like me, I'm not gonna be a influencer because of my looks, We know [00:25:25] that 

Ned Milenkovich, PharmD, Atty: You are not that bad looking. 

Mike Koelzer, Hosts: oh, well then years ago, I liked social media, so I'm thinking, okay, I'll push social media stuff.

This was 10 years ago, when things were relatively new. And it's like, nobody wants to look at an old gray-haired guy, And then you start thinking, okay, what's next? Well, podcast, I've been told I have a face for radio. But. When people do see me, the gray hair lends itself because you think of Johnny Carson andDave Letterman and things, a person who kind of groups up people, and things like that.

So there's no excuse to say that you're a certain type, and so you can't do it. If you have any desire, you've gotta find your niche. even your look. if you want to go that far and say, where does that fit? and then go for it, because there's a million excuses that you can have.

Ned Milenkovich, PharmD, Atty: Everybody has strong points that they can exploit about themselves and they have weak points that they need to cover up and hide and not show that side. and medium, points where, you're not maybe the best at it, but you got a little bit of something going on there they can hit, hit that angle.

I've got friends who can say stuff, which is blatantly offensive. I mean, it's just absolutely unacceptable. And they'll say it and they'll get away with it because of the way they look, the way they say it, me, I'm dead meat. I know that. And I just know to keep my mouth shut.

Mike Koelzer, Hosts: right?

Ned Milenkovich, PharmD, Atty: just the way it is, I mean, the world's not a fair place,

Mike Koelzer, Hosts: 

  1. It's not a fair place, but there's room for everything. There's room for all those personalities and things like that, hundred percent. A hundred percent. I mean, you're not gonna be, you're not gonna be great at a hundred percent of the things that you try to do. I mean, that would be fantastic, wouldn't it? I mean, if you could be like a sport, a professional athlete, a professional golfer, a professional baseball player, a professional basketball player, all in one.

Ned Milenkovich, PharmD, Atty: there's a dw rare examples of that, I think. but even those guys didn't, they weren't long for the world in that regard. So you sort of have to pick your battles and excel at what you excel at. And sometimes it, it takes a little bit of time to figure out what you're good at and 


you're not good at it. And I think the key there is moving. 


Mike Koelzer, Hosts: in The social media, what has been your deling of individual communication? I used to write quite a dw notes to people, and besides being lazy and not wanting to do it much more, I found that I like emailing more, thanking people and so on, because then you get a reply back, it's more of the back and forth, but it's not as fancy as a nice note.

you see the presidents, they've got these books of, George Bush's letters, things like that, the golden seal and all that kind of stuff. What are your personal communication habits as far as that goes?

Ned Milenkovich, PharmD, Atty: Well, you know, they've evolved. and early on I had I. I'd go to the Hallmark store or wherever they sell thank you cards, and I'd buy a box of 50 and they would sit on my desk and I would work on a project for a client and we would finish the project. Or if I were to see them at an event or something and wanted to thank them for something, I'd whip out one of those cards and write a thank you note and stick it in the envelope and put a stamp on it and address it and throw it in the mail.

with the US Mail service being what it is today, they'd probably never get it.

Mike Koelzer, Hosts: That's right.

Ned Milenkovich, PharmD, Atty: you'd probably have to ddEx it to them. 


Ned Milenkovich, PharmD, Atty: so that was how I used to do it.

Mike Koelzer, Hosts: Yeah.

Ned Milenkovich, PharmD, Atty: Now I, I guess I'm, I'm more, it's more efficient to do an email thanking someone. It loses that personal touch. it loses that, well, someone actually wrote me a note, and stuck it in a card and mailed it. It's like, oh, I just got another email.

I mean, you'd be lucky if they don't, if they don't delete it, by accident thinking it's junk 

mail or something. So, I do think people still like to get things in the mail, and I think holidays are a good example where, if you think of somebody, you get 'em a bottle of wine or something that's a little more expensive than a thank you card, but, depending on who the individual is, and,the whole world has lost some level of interpersonal relationship through social media. However, what it has also done on the flip side, it has accelerated your exposure so that if you want to get a message out there, you can be in a party at a, at an association meeting, and you maybe have two or 300 people in the room, well, you click a button and you can reach 10,000 people if you got enough in your network.

So there's pros and cons to both, I guess. I don't know which one is better? I would say that the, that most people would probably air on the side [00:30:25] of, technology is better because it's certainly gonna get you in front of these people, faster. 

Mike Koelzer, Hosts: Tom Hanks has a documentary he's a part of. It's called a Typewriter. The whole documentary is about old typewriters and people that fix 'em and so on. And Tom Hanks is a collector of typewriters and he writes notes to people on these typewriters with all the typos and all that stuff included, you know, and it's that warmth of that.

Ned Milenkovich, PharmD, Atty: I would say that, whether it be Tom Hanks or some famous politician or whoever, they're people too. 


they just, they've just become famous people. and my sense is that we are all famous within certain places that we reside in. So, someone might be famous in their family,

 someone might be famous in their church circles.

Someone might be famous because they've got a pharmacy podcast program that everybody listens to, so the famous are different. 

sizes, But they're 

Mike Koelzer, Hosts: When somebody, likes, a thumbs up on something I do if I published a podcast or something, 

If I don't recognize that person out of the handful of people that have liked something, I try to thank them for that support. It's electronic, but it's a little bit of a touch. I think the key is 

 it's a relative scale, it's not like someone has to say that was cool of him because it was a golden boss, candle wax, stamp of the last initial I think it's a relative scale, if you can do something a little bit more to stand out, I think that is sufficient in a lot of ways.

Ned Milenkovich, PharmD, Atty: I couldn't agree more with you. It's,the, it's the little things that add up and that count. and sometimes if we get lazy or if we get disengaged, we might lose our edge a little bit. And I think you're cheating yourself, not you, but I think anyone is cheating themselves if they forget about those interpersonal details.

And so reaching out, talking to people, calling people is so important. And that's how things happen. Because otherwise everyone's just sitting around waiting for everybody else. And you have to be the catalyst of that. You have to be the person that's in the middle of it all, and it's gonna be reaching out to people.

And it doesn't have to be for some sort of financial purpose or some, it can be just because you want to get to know them. I mean, you want to be able to discuss something with them. I think there's a lot to be said there.

Mike Koelzer, Hosts: So Ned, is there a book in your future?

Ned Milenkovich, PharmD, Atty: no . 


Mike Koelzer, Hosts: that's pretty emphatic. Why not?

Ned Milenkovich, PharmD, Atty: Well, what would I write about? 

Mike Koelzer, Hosts: you mentioned it earlier. You got all those articles, they're still around, they're still archived and all that kind of stuff.

Ned Milenkovich, PharmD, Atty: I did contemplate it at one point. I still might do it someday. I really, maybe it does come down to being busy and maybe a little bit lazy, but writing a book I think is a major commitment. I would sooner write a pamphlet or some kind of short book. People might be interested.

Now, I've been in books, I've written chapters in books, , but I certainly haven't gotten to the point where I want to write, write a book. and, and a lot of those things, those are, I mean, I have friends who've done it. I mean, but it's a time commitment and it's, you really have to be passionate about it and somewhat scholarly, I might add, you have to be really thoughtful and then, so, maybe someday, but I haven't quite gotten around to that yet. my wife told me, she said, many years ago. Many years ago, meaning somewhere, oh, I don't know, 20 13, 20 12, maybe it was 10.

She said, we're gonna live in Florida, right? And I said, yeah. And she said, you gotta take the bar exam in Florida if you're gonna practice there because they don't do 

reciprocity. You know that, right? And I said,yeah, I know that. And it was like this burden on my shoulder, it's like I didn't want to do it, 

Mike Koelzer, Hosts: Yeah. 

Ned Milenkovich, PharmD, Atty: finally, in 2017, I sat myself down and got myself a coach out of Orlando, Florida. Went to work during the day, ran my practice, and then in the evening I'd go to the library and I'd study and I'd miss my family for like four months. And then I had to fly down to Tampa and take this hellacious exam that's designed to fail you.

And thank God I passed it. But, it was a time commitment. And I, and then when I liken that to writing a book, it's like, I would think a book is gonna take even longer than that.

Mike Koelzer, Hosts: , I've got three sorts of books I put together. One was, I wrote about some, Things between my dad and me, about our early pharmacy days, that was a pretty thick book, and so I had that one. Then, for a while, I did stuff similar to you Net. I had written some blog posts and let's say I had written a hundred of them.

I realized that about [00:35:25] 50 were personal and 50 were pharmacy related. So I broke those out into two different books. The reason I wanted to do the book is because they had a sticking power where there's a lot of people that have written articles and they're like, oh, okay. You write some articles just like, yeah, but I got a book.

It's like, whoa, you know, you got a book. Here's my problem. at least two out of the three books, I don't deal with the way I did back then. My faith has changed in certain ways. My relationships, my thoughts on this and that, my thoughts on managing and all that kind of stuff. And so what was beautiful to me by saying, this is my monument, was actually a curse for me because I look back at the things I wrote in there, and it's like, I don't like this.

 So the bigger book I pulled off the business one, I didn't like my thoughts on that. The family one is okay, but that's more personal stuff. So it's like I have these three that were gonna mark my territory, but I didn't like my territory.

Ned Milenkovich, PharmD, Atty: It's interesting you say that because as we grow older, we evolve, right? we, in, in a sort of perfectly imperfect world, you're not gonna be the same person you were, 10 years ago or 20 years ago. and maybe that's a good thing. I had a lot of, I had a lot of things,whirling in my head, 10, 20 years ago, that today, I don't deal the same way about.

and so I think that's normal. And I think that's, I think that, hopefully, without getting into particulars, but I mean, hopefully it's a wisdom thing and an age thing where, you know, you or maybe you just do differently,

Mike Koelzer, Hosts: Well, here's the problem. Someone told me, it's like, well mark your territory, then you're different. It's like, yeah, but I shouldn't have been so damn dogmatic. , because it's like, it's, I should have left a little room . So, I don't know. They're good to have 


a pharmacist is just getting out of school now, or close to graduating. What advice would you have for them digging in there?

Ned Milenkovich, PharmD, Atty: I would say start thinking about what it is that drives you. What is your passion? you learn all this science in school, you learn all this chemistry. you went to pharmacy school. I went to pharmacy school. I don't think it's changed much. maybe the drugs have, but they don't do a very good job of training these young people to dig them well.

And so they're left with,what's , in their own toolbox, really. And so my advice to them would be, number one, think hard about what your passion is. Well, you might not know. Well then, you go to these Google search engines or whatever search engine you use and start using some key terms and start thinking about, what type of careers are there in pharmacy?

And going beyond that. What type of careers are there that are outside of pharmacy that might couple pharmacy and talk to people. Talk to people who have walked that path. And while you might not do exactly what they're doing, at least you'll get some insight and you'll get their experience because they're looking back on it and you haven't been in it yet.

Go to condrences, get engaged with people, whether they be on a local level, a state level, or a national level, and start asking questions and start. Filling your toolbox with tools that are gonna help you dig that Well,

Mike Koelzer, Hosts: Ned, thanks for joining today. It's cool to get this advice from somebody who's walked both career wise, marketing wise, it's cool hearing it from you who have done that. Thanks for joining us.

Ned Milenkovich, PharmD, Atty: Mike, thanks again to, for having me on your podcast. It's a great podcast. I hope that the listening audience is growing. you're very engaging and I really appreciate the opportunity to be on this program with you today. and I wish you all the best.

Mike Koelzer, Hosts: Thanks very much, Ned. 

Ned Milenkovich, PharmD, Atty: Okay, bye-bye.