The Business of Pharmacy Podcast™
Dec. 6, 2021

Is Pharmacy School Worth It? | Tim Ulbrich, PharmD, Co-Founder & CEO, Your Financial Pharmacist

Is Pharmacy School Worth It? | Tim Ulbrich, PharmD, Co-Founder & CEO, Your Financial Pharmacist

Tim Ulbrich, PharmD, of Your Financial Pharmacist, answers the question "Is Pharmacy School Worth it?"


Is Pharmacy School Worth It? | Tim Ulbrich, PharmD, Co-Founder & CEO, Your Financial Pharmacist

(Speech to Text)

Mike Koelzer, Host: [00:00:00] Tim for those who haven't come across you online, introduce yourself, tell our listeners what we're talking about 

Tim Ulbrich, PharmD: today. My name is Tim Ulbrich. I'm the co-founder and CEO of Your Financial Pharmacist, where our mission is to help pharmacy professionals achieve financial freedom. You and I, I think are about to go down to discussion for someone here in 2021, as we look at the return on investment of the pharmacy degree and, and entering that profession of pharmacy, the advanced degree, the time investment, the financial investment, does it still make sense?

Right. And, and what, what is different today perhaps than it was even when I graduated back in 2008, 

Mike Koelzer, Host: I've got a handful of kids and none of them are going into pharmacy. Yet that I know of. I'm happy about that. And here's why I'm happy because I say, don't go into pharmacy thinking you're gonna do anything in this building and this business, cuz I have, I have no idea what's gonna happen.

So at least I tell them that. And I say, if you fall in love with the [00:01:00] science, great, go do it. But don't do it because of this. But then I kind of stop there and I'm thinking, what do I tell a junior college age kid about the future of Pharmacy. You've got so many people in Y F P that are successful beyond pharmacy.

That's my question. Are they successful because of pharmacy or should they just skip the whole damn thing and jump into some of the other things that you're teaching? 

Tim Ulbrich, PharmD: It's a hard question. And, you mentioned your kids. I think about it with my four boys, you know, none of them have yet to ask me, my oldest is 10 have yet to ask me like, Hey dad, should I go into pharmacy?

But I've been trying to think of what is the answer to that question and, and where I think of it from primarily is the lens of the debt load relative to the income. And what is the ROI of the degree? What's the math behind it? What's math? And, you know, just to throw out a couple numbers here for a moment, 2021, [00:02:00] here we are.

The graduating class of 2021 had a median debt load of $170,000 now. Good news and bad news. Good, good news is that for the first time that I've been looking at this metric over the last 12 plus years, it went down. So 2020 went from 1 75 to one 70 bad news is it's $170,000, right? It's still a really big, big number.

And if we look at that relative to 2010, just over 10 years ago, we've gone from a hundred thousand dollars as the median debt load, which was a big number back then still would be a big number today to 170,000. So we've seen a $70,000 increase in the debt load of a pharmacy graduate. Over a decade now, why is that?

You know, is that justified? Is it not? We could go down, you know, some, some rabbit holes there, and there's a myriad of reasons that are likely contributing to that. Some that are directly related to how student loans are issued, some that are related to the institution and kind of the culture around borrowing.[00:03:00] 

But nonetheless, the next natural question is, okay, if debt loads are going up, are salaries going up at a pace that equals or exceeds the rise in debt load and you and I both know the answer to that question as a resounding no, it's not right. And again, we're generalizing here and I want folks to remember that, that.

You know, I talk with some pharmacists that are in, you know, throughout a couple career paths, whether it's in, uh, pharmaceutical industry career paths, whether it's somebody who's in hospital health system, pharmacy, administration management, you could argue that they have some significant upside long term and salary.

But as we look at the data as a whole, for the profession that comes out and as reported by the bureau of labor statistics, it's been flat. And if you account for inflation, it's probably negative, right? And so we've got this rise up, that's happening in debt loads, and we've got this flattening. And in some cases decreasing, you look at some individuals having hours cutting other things.

You know, you could argue that the debt to income ratio, which is one of the things I'm looking [00:04:00] closely at, is a good indicator overall, the financial health of our profession. Is certainly going up, the debt to income ratio is going up. And so, you know, is the ROI there? Maybe I, I think the answer is, it depends.

It depends on, you know, why are you going into this career path in the first place? I take myself back to being 18 years old, making a decision to go to a zero six pharm D program. I had no idea what the profession of pharmacy was about in 2002, but, you know, I loved the sciences. I had guidance counselors say, Hey, you should think about pharmacy.

And I looked at it, saw a good, you know, outcome perhaps, uh, in terms of salary and, and career options and so forth. But that was it. I didn't know anything about the different career options, the different things I could or could not do. And, you know, I think for some folks still today, you know, you may, you may identify with pharmacy students that have never worked in a pharmacy step foot in a pharmacy.

Don't have a good understanding of why they're choosing [00:05:00] pharmacy and others have done extensive homework and, you know, might be because of. Situation of a family member where there's an illness or something that really ignited a passion and, and wanting to understand more about this field. But what is the reason behind entering first, I think is really important because if we just look at the numbers on, on, on the surface, if debt loads are going up, if incomes are relatively flat, if we look at what is perhaps on the horizon, when it comes to.

Things like automation and the role of the pharmacist and so forth. If you're not in it with some love to begin with, I think we've got some hurt and pain that might be coming down the road. And so I think we have to first ask ourselves, what's the purpose? What's the reason why we have chosen this profession?

And then I think we could talk to Mike on the outside. After we graduate, we've got some work to do in terms of what could I be using this degree for? And, you know, one of the things I felt in school and I would argue many graduates still feel today is that the pharm D can be perhaps a pathway to [00:06:00] community pharmacy, or a pathway to complete a residency.

And if you look at the workforce survey data, that's out there, you put those two together. That's a big piece of the pie in terms of what pharmacists are doing and are entering upon graduation. But what I'm really interested in is what is the rest of the pie and all the sliver that are out there and how might the pharm D be a pathway to really open up some career opportunities that we haven't yet fully explored or that students and graduates haven't yet considered.

And I think this comes full circle to the financial peace because Mike, if I got $200,000 of debt staring me in the face. Am I willing to take some risk? Am I willing to take a lower paid position to pursue something that I might feel like is more aligned with my goals and my interests and my passions?

Or might I have that feeling of golden handcuffs because I've got a lot of debt to pay off. Right? So I think we've got some issues that are really confusing. The answer to that question. 

Mike Koelzer, Host: If you could take a [00:07:00] graduate five years out of college, 10 years ago, versus a graduate five years out of college.

Now take away the remuneration. If you can, job satisfaction goes down the same. 

Tim Ulbrich, PharmD: Yeah, again, generalizing. Right. But I think it's fair to say overall. Um, it's down and, and I think that, you know, we, we, we we've got work that's happening on a national level, on a state level here in Ohio, we've got the state board of pharmacy.

That's looking into this issue in terms of, you know, satisfaction in the workplace and the ability of the pharmacist to do their job and provide patient care in a way that is both effective and safe. And is that at risk because of, you know, the workload issues and the environment that they're in. And I think that attention around it is not a bad thing.

And part of that attention around it may mean that we're feeling [00:08:00] more of what has been there for a while. But I, I think overall, if I think about my class 2008 graduating, and if I think about, you know, where they were at in terms of their workplace satisfaction career, a few years in versus a graduate today, I, I think overall it's, it's, it's fair to say that that satisfaction is down and the stress is up.

Now. I think Mike, where we need to continue to evolve the conversation is so much of what I hear around the pharmacist satisfaction. their workplace, you know, what am I gonna be doing for the rest of my career that we, we, we tend to look at that in a silo and you could take two pharmacists from the same graduating class, five years out, and you could get two very different outputs in terms of how they're using their degree, what types of roles they're, they're doing in their job and how they view, uh, the future of the profession and the role that they're going to play in that.

And it feels very much like we've [00:09:00] got kind of a divergence of our profession. Um, you know, and again, I'm gonna be dramatic here to make a point, but on one hand, we wanna be as far away from the product as we possibly can to use cognitive skills. And we need to get compensated for that appropriately with the asterisks of, we've gotta have the compensation to make that a viable business.

And then we've got, you know, the other. Again, part of this dichotomous relationship being dramatic to make the point of we've gotta, you know, hold onto the product, which is the revenue source that it is while we look at continuing to evolve these other things. And, you know, I think we start to see this divergence in how folks are using their license and perhaps how they're then connecting that to how optimistic they are, or are not about their own roles, as well as the viability of the profession going forward.

And so, you know, what does that mean? 10 years from now, 15 years from now, 20 years from now? Um, I, I think it's complicated because of regulatory things that may, you know, slow down [00:10:00] some of what feels inevitable. You know, if we just look at it from a business sense, you know, I, I look at just the other day for the first time, maybe I don't watch enough TV, but for the first time I saw commercial for Amazon pharmacy, we've been talking about it, but actually to see the commercial and, and I start to think about, for my own sense, you know, I'm a prime user, I've got a young family and, and if I can have access to medications at the doorstep and ideally pair that with telehealth or something else, I'm there, we're there.

Right. And so, you know, I think that we're starting to see more and more of that disruption and how automation might play an important role. And one of the things that keeps me up at night to be Frank is we got 45% of our workforce. That's in a community pharmacy setting. Right. And if we look at the connection.

To the product going away or the business case of that, perhaps not being viable because of com competition, uh, because of technology and, and, and so forth. What does that mean for [00:11:00] 45% of our workforce? What does that mean for the retraining per potentially or the redeployment of 45% of our workforce? Um, and how does the pharmacist role evolve to be able to accommodate that?

And I think if I'm a, you know, high school senior, as I was back in 2001, these are the things I'm thinking about, and it goes back to me in part due to the, why am I entering this? And, and how can I put myself in a position that I'm not financially tied at the end of this road, because who knows what's gonna happen in the six or eight years of my school?

Not only to the profession, but also my interests. And if I'm counseling that senior in high school or that undergrad student. What can we do to get to this point of obtaining a degree with as minimal financial stress as possible? So we can leave as many doors open as possible to pursue whatever those areas of interest may be.


Mike Koelzer, Host: An earlier comment I gave was to my [00:12:00] children about you shouldn't go into the pharmacy because of this building in this store. And if a high school or college person came to me and said, I'm going into pharmacy, what do you think? I would tone this down a little bit, because it's like, well, they already made up their mind, sort of, I don't wanna dash their hopes, but if someone comes to me and says, what do you think about pharmacy?

If it's not my children, the next thing I'm saying to them is I would only go into pharmacy. Maybe any profession, I would only go into it. If they have an idea. Kind of a novel idea, what they're going to do with it outside of the norm. Mm. Any professions like that? If you're gonna be an engineer, you might not get there, but have an idea in mind of what you're gonna invent, you know, or if you're gonna pharmacist have an idea in mind of what handheld [00:13:00] app you're gonna make and bring it into this or that.

But then it's like Tim, given what you said about higher debt, lower pay, lower job satisfaction. And then I take somebody who I say, well, if you're gonna go in there, have an idea. That's gonna make you fly beyond the norm. I'm not sure who I'd recommend for that, because if the person has that kind of idea, it's.

Do you wanna spend six to eight years unless you really need that degree? That's right. Maybe you take it and do something 

Tim Ulbrich, PharmD: else. And I think what you just said is really important. Do you need the degree or not to be able to pursue that idea or area of interest or potential ideas? Now the, the, the hard part of that is like, do I know that at 1822 or 23, you know, and you don't know, you don't know, but I think that's such an important, you know, [00:14:00] point of, of where is that degree critical or not.

But Mike, what you said to me is, is, is really key because, you know, one of the things I'm so passionate about is great ideas are killed by financial stress. Right? And, and I would even take that a step further that great ideas are not even allowed or welcomed in to even consider that opportu. To have the mindset to receive those ideas and think through them when financial stress is heightened, right?

Because yeah, we've all lived this firsthand, you know, if we're struggling financially and we could define that in, in a, in a myriad of different ways, like we're, we're not focused on what opportunity might I create, what risk might I take, right. And what we need in our profession right now, in my opinion, is we need some people to be taking some calculated risk.

And we're seeing, you know, small scale examples of this. But if somebody is 26 with a great [00:15:00] idea and $200,000 in debt, and they've got a hundred thousand dollars off for sitting in front of them and option B. Is, I'm gonna take on some more debt to pursue this idea. And I look at the SBA, small business administration statistics about success of business.

Like, and I look at my percent chances of succeeding and maybe I don't have a whole lot of mentorship or other examples of pharm DS that have done this. Like, what am I gonna do? Right. What am I going to do? And I think for us as a profession to continue to evolve and disrupt, as we try to find what is our place between an automated process and other professions, PAs, NPS, et cetera, that might be kind of locking down more that ambulatory care space that is supplementing some of the provider shortages that are out there.

Like it feels a little bit like we aren't exactly sure where to go in between. And, and, and that's where we need some disruption innovation and I'm confident. That of the 330 plus thousand pharmacists out [00:16:00] there, we've got some pretty awesome people with some pretty incredible ideas. And what would it be like, what would it be like if we actually could allow these ideas to come to be, to flourish, to have mechanisms that support some ideas and fund some of these ideas, um, and maybe two out of 10 of them work.

Right. But we just, I, I, I think for today's graduate what you shared with Mike or today's perspective pharmacy student, and I felt this going into it, it very much is a mindset of I'm going to fall into the path that exists right now. And I, and I would argue that path today for good reasons is maybe a little bit less defined than it was when I graduated in 2008.

Yeah. Because I, when I entered in 2002, I was very much thinking about, okay, that six figure job with a community pharmacy and, you know, with a little bit of guidance, mentorship and forethought, like. The inevitable disruption that was coming to that, you could start to see that probably pretty, pretty early on, you know, maybe not [00:17:00] as obvious as we do today, but I think it's very difficult for somebody entering into pharmacy to be open, to, and to be thinking about an alternative path than what has already been defined either for them role modeled by faculty or alumni.

And then to add onto that, to be in a position financially. Uh, where they can take some of that calculated risk. And then the thing I would add on top of that too, Mike is, and one of the things that jacks me up so much about the work that you're doing in talking with other pharmacists entrepreneurs and business owners, is we need more examples out there.

And, you know, not, not to say that anybody's going to hear what I've done with Y FP or, you know, what so many other fascinating pharmacists entrepreneurs, a few that come to mind, you know, Blair, Teo Meyer and the work that she's done, Brittany Hoffman, new banks, and the work that she's done with medical writing, uh, landing Connors developed very successful photography business.

I mean, there's just some really, really cool examples. Not that they're gonna hear any one [00:18:00] of those say I'm gonna do exactly that, but it gets us thinking a little bit more creatively and differently about how might the pharm D be a starting point and a ticket to many different potential pathways and not necessarily the end line or the finish point, even with postgraduate training involved.

And I think that's just such a different mind shift from where we're at. I'm a 

Mike Koelzer, Host: big believer in forward momentum. Mm-hmm you don't want someone sitting on their ass and saying, they have this idea. It's like, well, be doing something you're already moving. And so the inertia is gonna perhaps send you forward.

The problem with that debt that you're talking about is when you're a 26 year old, it's one thing to say, all right, I'm gonna live with five or six buddies, real low rent. I have this idea. If it doesn't work, I come back and eat my Mac and cheese. I will try again tomorrow. That's all good, but it's not so good when you have $150,000 in debt and [00:19:00] golden handcuffs.

We're talking about golden handcuffs, maybe when you're 40 and you don't want to do something, but these are like true. You're down in the dungeon with real handcuffs on, you know, those are true handcuffs. So yeah, we have to question whether anybody who enters pharmacy school, it's like, oh, they're gonna enter pharmacy school.

All right. Well, let's move them off the list of a future entrepreneur, unless something really clicks for them. That's 

Tim Ulbrich, PharmD: right. That's right. Yeah. And, and I think, you know, one of the things that gets me so excited, I mentioned that pie earlier, you got about 45% of the workforce in community pharmacy practice.

You know, I'm using round numbers about 25% or so in hospital health system practice. And then the rest of the pie to me is really fascinating. Right? So I keep thinking about 45%, and again, I'm gonna be dramatic to make the point here. 45% of our workforce gets paid. right. At some point in my lifetime, I'm confident that's going to happen.

Now. I think there's another optimistic side of that story that I'll come back to you here in a moment. But if [00:20:00] 45% of the workforce ends up, like what else are we leaning into those smaller sliver of the pie that we can really accelerate other roles and redeploy? What are folks that are trained?

I think, to do some incredible work that can have a really positive impact on patients and on healthcare teams. And, you know, there's lots of great pilots. I think that is going on. I think a lot of those have been on a state by state basis. I know the associations are doing a lot of work here, but at the end of the day, I think it is something we need to think about.

And it reminds me of, um, I was reading Andrew Yang's book, uh, recently, and I'm drawing a blank of it, the name, not his most recent, but the one before that. And he talks about this concept when he talks about the percentage of, uh, the workforce that our truck drivers and he's envisioning a future state where there's autonomous.

truck drivers. Yeah. That's what's happening. Right. And so what does that look like if you take away every one of those jobs that might be on the road today? Now, again, that's dramatic. It's gonna take time. It's perhaps further than we originally [00:21:00] thought, but I think those are the types of things we need to be having conversations about as uncomfortable as they are.

Yeah. And, you know, perhaps we have think tanks or groups that get together that put these questions on the whiteboard and start beating 'em up and, and throwing 'em out there for people to react to. And intentionally are a bit heated and emotional to get people uncomfortable and thinking. And one of the things I look back on my own journey graduating 2008, it was very, very comfortable.

It was very comfortable. And, you know, I didn't necessarily realize the impact of the debt load, comfortable options that were in front of me and salary. That was true for my classmates. Comfortableness does not equal disruption typically. Right, right. And so one of the silver linings, I think is we look at the other side of this coin with the debt load today.

As we look at salaries, perhaps flattening or some positions being disrupted like that naturally, I think will encourage some ideas and generate folks that are asking themselves, well, what else is out there? And what, [00:22:00] what else might I use the pharm D for? But I keep coming back to this concept of the debt load and the golden handcuffs, because that's going to be real.

If I've gotta pay back $1,800 a month for 10 years, what, what do I do to be able to mitigate that risk so that I can take on some of these other, other opportunities that are there. Now, I mentioned, I wanna come back to this, you know, I said 45% of our workforce in a community pharmacy. The other thing that I think about often that gets me excited is if you zoom out and I know this will sound very naive to folks that are in this every day, but if you zoom out for a moment and we think about the dispensing of medications getting disrupted mm-hmm , we have a physical footprint.

In almost every community, sometimes more than one, right. That is across the street all across the country. So that's a really interesting opportunity that you've got a healthcare provider that has a unique skill set with proven value that is embedded all across the country. Now, maybe we've got, I think the [00:23:00] conversation today is a mismatch of what that individual is needed for and how they're being compensated and what else might that person be doing?

But we have people deployed all across the country. I, in these pharmacist roles that are able to be embedded in their communities. So how does this physical footprint of thousands and thousands and thousands of pharmacies and pharmacists, if that role does get upended, you know, as we look at Amazon pharmacy and other examples, how might we think about that role within a community differently?

And how does that embed with telehealth and other technologies as well? And I think these are the conversations that. I don't know if it's because we're protective of our current role, if they're uncomfortable to have, but we're not, we're not having enough of them. In my opinion, you look at like 

Mike Koelzer, Host: blockbuster and yep.

They had chances to get more into the online Netflix ideas. [00:24:00] And maybe it was because they were hopeful that because they had a store in every community, like pharmacies that instead of saying we do, we better act fast. We've got it true, but because we have it, let's not switch the cart and the horse.

Let's not assume because we're here with a building that we're still needed. It's day to 

Tim Ulbrich, PharmD: day. I think it's a great point, right? Let's not be a family dollar, you know, every time I go by a family dollar, I don't know if those are across the country, but in our neck of the woods, you know, that, that is still there.

And you see some being converted to coffee shops and other things, it does feel like there's a hanging on to the physical footprint. Right. And so I agree. I mean, just because the physical footprint is there does not mean their success. I think what I'm prodding a little bit is how might we leverage that physical footprint?

And is there a business model to leverage that physical footprint? For sure. Um, and is there a business [00:25:00] model that warrants a physical footprint? You know, if I'm, if I'm Amazon pharmacy. I'm finding, and they're probably a hundred steps ahead of where I'm thinking I'm finding a telehealth provider or even a provider that has a physical footprint that I can partner with.

So I can do what I'm good at, which is distribution and logistics. And I can partner with someone who can help us standardize the actual provision of care in a convenient way, all across the country. So, you know, might there be a day where a CVS or Walgreens, whomever partners with an Amazon, um, that becomes the primary care clinic.

I still think that's too outdated of a model. I go back to what I said earlier. Like, you know, if I'm a father of, of four and, and my wife and I have a busy schedule, like if I have the option to hop on and see someone like you and I are talking right now, mm-hmm, for 80% of conditions that perhaps can be done via telehealth.

We can have a conversation that saves some time. And two hours later, the medication shows up at the door or less like. We're it, right? Yeah. You know, [00:26:00] I think, I think that people are gonna be in for that convenience. So yeah, I'm, I'm by no means suggesting that the footprint equals guaranteed success, but, you know, I think we need to be having some more of these conversations and asking some big questions.

Like what would it mean in 2030? Instead of 45% of pharmacists in community pharmacy. It's 20% because a lot of disruption has happened. And, and the rest of the 20% that remains is inevitable that it's gonna keep going down. Well, what does that mean for the 300 plus thousand pharmacists that are out there?

Yeah. What does that mean for those that are graduating? What does that mean for those that are entering? Because still to this day, you know, many students that are coming in, although this has changed many parents of students that are coming in still have a very traditional view of pharmacy and how that license might be used.

And so if it becomes more non-traditional what does that mean from a marketing standpoint of our profession? What does that mean for getting perspective, students that are excited, uh, to go into and ultimately use that degree. [00:27:00] 

Mike Koelzer, Host: All right, Tim, we talked a bit here now. The 18 year old U comes to you and says, Tim, what do I do right now?

Are you entering pharmacy again? 

Tim Ulbrich, PharmD: That's a great question, Mike. I don't think I would have entered pharmacy at 18. Um, I may or may not have gotten there eventually 

Mike Koelzer, Host: and I'm talking like 20, 21 now. Not back then, but now not 

Tim Ulbrich, PharmD: back then. Yeah. Yeah. The reason why is I say, you know, 18, like me, my maturity, my self-awareness at 18 did not yet have a full appreciation or understanding of what that investment of time and money was going to be making.

Right. You know, obviously my bias is coming out in the current work that I'm doing, where I use a lot less of clinical training, a lot more of, of some of the business. Yeah. You know, side marketing, finance, et cetera. Um, I think I, I could have benefited greatly from an undergraduate [00:28:00] business degree or, you know, perhaps even think a little bit more progressive, like might I have piece together, some course Sarah courses or some Google courses got some real time work experience, um, done an apprenticeship, you know, learned more from my father and our family business, you know, but that's very, non-linear.

Right. That's very non-linear. And I think as a parent advising their child, or even a child who's entering into that, like what's comfortable is linear. Yeah. And, I think about what I just described. Like that's a very non-linear path that I'm on, I'm guessing my parents may not have been promoted and I may not have felt very comfortable along the way.

So, you know, I, I've never regretted going into the profession because I, I, I can see a direct tie to everything I've done today through every part of my career, which goes all the way back to obtaining that pharm D which led to a residency and the relationships and the mentors I had, which opened up my eyes to [00:29:00] different opportunities, which led me to academic experiences.

Yeah. And new skill sets and mentors, which has led me ultimately to have the confidence in doing what I'm doing now and growing that. So I, I very much can see all the dots connecting and I, and I think what. I wish for students coming in right now, as I think about wishing this for myself would be some more exposure and opportunities and discussions around potential opportunities and pathways with the pharm D mm-hmm um, and that's something that's still just, you know, breaks my heart.

When I hear students kind of talking about a dichotomous decision of community, pharmacy or residency. Yeah. And again, I think that's changing, but there are so many other things out there that people could be doing. 

Mike Koelzer, Host: All right. Now I'm Tim at 23, I've got my undergrad, this and that. Now you think I'm gonna ask the question, Tim, would you go into pharmacy at 23, but I'm not gonna ask it that way.

I'm gonna say Tim, you can either [00:30:00] go into the pharmacy at 23 or here's $170,000. I'm gonna give it to you. You get to have in your pocket now what's that choice in my mind, I'd have a hard time saying. Right. I'm gonna go into pharmacy instead of taking that 170,000 and putting it into my pocket after I have an undergrad. I can't see who would really make that choice now, am I wrong?

Tim Ulbrich, PharmD: It's an interesting question. I've thought about that. Um, and I think objectively, if, if you look at it at the surface level, absolutely gimme the 170 and, and I'm gonna see what I can do. Worst case scenarios. I burn through it, best case scenarios. You know, you turn that into something that can multiply and grow into a business and, perhaps , take some calculated risk.

Now, the reason why I say the service levels, I dig a little deeper and just think about my current experience and all the lessons I've learned that have allowed me to now be doing the work that I'm doing. And I'm probably gonna say the same thing in 10 years and another 10 years, another 10 years, right?[00:31:00] 

Like the experience, some of the maturity, some of the self-awareness, some of the readiness for risk. Like here I am at, at 37, like, I don't think I was ready before that. Mm-hmm I, I don't think I was ready to take a leap of faith in myself and in the business before the age of 37. And that was a 13 year progress in training to get my mindset right.

To get there. And I, and I feel like I'm still just scratching the surface, I think, on the mindset and, and what is possible going forward. So I think objectively, yeah, $170,000, let's take it and let's see what we can do. But I think of just the experience and the maturity and the self-awareness and the mentorship, and, you know, being in difficult conversations and work scenarios and, and all of that was training in a very protected, safe environment that allowed me to get repetitions.

That has allowed me to do what I'm doing today. And I think that cannot be understated, uh, for how, how [00:32:00] important that experience is. But the question is a valid one. Certainly 

Mike Koelzer, Host: You have to look at some of the people that you mentioned earlier, right? Blair and so on, and your stuff, those initials behind your name make you part of that club.

And I would think you have to say your business now is more profitable than if you come in saying that you're Tim, a friend of pharmacists, but not one yourself, 

Tim Ulbrich, PharmD: a hundred percent Mike. And, and I think about the early stages of Y F P. And I still think to this day, I mean, we're, we're creating content and services that are based on what we're hearing from our community and what I have experienced and our, and the rest of our team has experienced ourselves.

And so, you know, I, I think that's certainly right now, do I use my pharm D in the clinical sense for what I'm doing today? Leading YFP in the business now I don't. Right. But I think so. The connectedness to the profession, the living, it firsthand the understanding of going through a residency and some of the career transitions and what [00:33:00] for sure, a hundred percent, a hundred percent.

And, and I think, you know, and this is a great example, what we're building, what we're doing at Y F P I always tell people personal finance is personal finance. It's been around forever. And there's one of them, you look at the top books in Barnes and over on Amazon, many of them are personal finance. And sometimes you wonder how many new books can come out about some of the same topics.

Right. But, here's the thing about personal finance. because I experienced this for myself, until that information reaches you in a way that you can connect with and then exactly inspires and motivates you. It doesn't matter how many books are out there. Yeah, exactly. And that really is our mission.

And what we're doing is to one, be that source of inspiration and connectedness to the topic and by sharing stories and bringing other pharmacists and, and really being a facilitator, you know, so much of what we're trying to build is build community of pharmacists that are committed to this, this mission of achieving financial freedom.

And we are, yeah. The connector and the facilitator of doing that and sharing another [00:34:00] story, especially as my story gets old, right. Is gonna be more and more valuable. Another pharmacist said, yeah, I've heard about budgeting 15 times in student loans, a hundred times and investing, but I heard it this way and I can see myself in that person's choice.

And that is a source of inspiration for me to really be the catalyst to, you know, wanna do this better for my own journey. And so, yeah, I think it matters big time. Um, it, it really does. And you know, as I look at many other people that are in the financial services industry that are serving pharmacists, like have a lot of them been successful.

Yes. Uh, are they doing it as well as we are? I'd like to say no, because I think we can connect and relate with people on a different level. Asking that 

Mike Koelzer, Host: question makes me think, like, instead of me being a pharmacist to relate to people, maybe I'm better off finding other people that like to eat butter, pecan ice cream at night, 

Tim Ulbrich, PharmD: you know, I do love butter pecan ice 

Mike Koelzer, Host: cream.

Yeah. See, we could have bonded like that, Tim, without having all the cost of a degree. That's right. You [00:35:00] mentioned seeing stuff for the first time, it's like, I've got some things like maybe I'm reading some psychological book or something like that. And I'm like, how come no one told me about this?

And then you find a book on this topic that was like copyright 1975. And you're like, oh, I guess it was out there. I just wasn't ready to hear the story. That's that. Wasn't related. So what do you say about new stories and hearing it over and stuff? It's true. Yeah. 

Tim Ulbrich, PharmD: And I'm reading a book actually.

I've read it twice. I'm on my third time right now and is recommended by, uh, a mentor of mine called the war of art by Steven Pressfield. He's got a second 

Mike Koelzer, Host: one too. On one of the 

Tim Ulbrich, PharmD: chapters turning pro that's right? Yes. Yep. Turning pro. I heard the one you mentioned is better. They're both. I mean, just game changers of, of mindset.

And I, I, I would say as I look back at the last year, and this is in part due to some great mentors and coaches like. I never realized how much head trash I have going on. And, and that I didn't, wasn't able to articulate or fully [00:36:00] understand. And as I peel back the layers of that yeah. And better understand some of our own resistance, you know, and some of the potential, uh, barriers to success and perceived success, the limitations we put on ourselves for a hundred different reasons that are unique to us, our own individuals.

Yeah. Um, that has been the most transformative experience I think I've ever gone through in my life. It has been the last year of trying to really dig deeper, dig deeper, dig deeper, dig deeper. And naturally, do you just start asking yourself more and more and more questions? Yeah. And, and you start to, I think, get to a root of like, who, who am I?

Yeah. And what do I want to be doing? And what's the reason behind all of that? And, you know, I think as you start to uncover those layers, and I think for, for pharmacists that are. struggling in the work that they're doing or looking for, you know, what might, might be more fulfilling, meaningful, purposeful work, asking some of those questions and, and really evaluating some of those barriers that might be in the way, [00:37:00] um, is just incredibly important.

And I think your comment about readiness, like, as I mentioned, 37, you know, kind of working full time on the business, like at 26, 28, 30, 30, 2, 34, like I wasn't there yet. Right. I wasn't there yet. And I think I'll probably look back at 47 and say, oh my gosh, I can't believe I took that risk. Cuz I'm I'm if I would've known myself now versus then maybe I wouldn't have.

Right. So right. Um, it is a journey and you know, those are things that you're just not gonna get in a pharm D or an MD or any other, you know, training program that are going to be just part of that continuous learning and lifelong development 

Mike Koelzer, Host: Tim. So somebody comes to you and let's say you're part of this new game show.

And they take all guys like you with four sons. Okay. and they say, Tim, you have to pick one of your sons. They have to get a farm D [00:38:00] degree. But the one with the most money at 40 wins, you're playing against a bunch of other dads in this kind of, uh, what was that one with Jim Carey? Oh yeah. Yeah. I forget the one where they were watching his whole time, a Truman show, the Truman show.

So you're playing this Truman show game or something and you've gotta take one of your kids. Let's take away all the stuff of saying what their desires are. Doesn't matter for this game. This game is all about getting one of your children. They have to get a pharmacy degree, but the one with the most money by 40.

Wins. There might be a lot of other careers to go into, but what if they had to go through pharmacy school? How 

Tim Ulbrich, PharmD: would you play that out? Yeah, the first thought that comes to mind, Mike is, um, one of my boys is, um, gifted in a nonlinear [00:39:00] creative thinking and mindset. Um, and my first thought was to pair him up with the pharmacy degree.

Uh, and the reason why I had that thought is back to your comment earlier of like, you know, you said something along the lines, like if, if somebody can go into pharmacy without an acceptance that they're gonna be walking into, what is the status quo today? I think that's a really interesting combination.

I think that's a, something we need to keep thinking about a little bit, a little bit further, and I think that would be him, you know, he, he wouldn't last. A day in, in a, in an insert name of a community, pharmacy filling 300 square. You just wouldn't. Yeah. It's not for him. And so assuming it doesn't get kind of beat down from the, the rigor and the, the, the linear nature of the training.

Yeah. Like I would be really excited to see what the output of that degree is. And how does he use that gift as a creative, more abstract non-linear thinker to be applying [00:40:00] to the profession that we love and coming up with potential roles and disruptions and ideas and services. 

Mike Koelzer, Host: So this son, you love him, but you love him in a Truman show kind of way.

mm-hmm you really wanna see him as the richest person at 40. I know there's more to life than this, just for the sake of this question. You need him to win at 40, have the most money, but he had to spend. Seven years in pharmacy school. How would you direct all of that? Don't worry about being a good dad and all that stuff.

and about his desires and all that stuff, I'm just saying you need to win this game. What would that look like? When does he go to pharmacy school? When does he spend that time? And even if it's not worth it, he has to do it. So what does he do? What businesses does he open? What does he invest in? We're not gonna talk about whether he is married with children and all that kind of stuff, but what road does he take?

What risk does he take to be the winner with the most money [00:41:00] at. 40. 

Tim Ulbrich, PharmD: Can I seed him with money or 

Mike Koelzer, Host: no? Um, no, no. He's gotta end with the average debt of 170 let's say, 

Tim Ulbrich, PharmD: okay, he has to get 

Mike Koelzer, Host: to that debt load or he has to delay school or expand school. So maybe it takes him 20 years to get his degree, but he's working in the middle of it and investing instead of paying for pharmacy school, he's got 20 years to spread it out, all that kind of stuff.

Yeah. How do you get somebody to win this deranged game? The 

Tim Ulbrich, PharmD: The first thought that comes to mind is we need to avoid as many traditional pharmacy experiences as we possibly can to insert more non-traditional experiences. Now, if you can appreciate the traditional model, it's going to insert some ideas of what you can do from a disruption standpoint.

Right? So if I spend. Three months in a large community pharmacy filling 500 scripts a day. I'm probably, uh, and, and I have some ideas for disruption. I'm probably [00:42:00] going to use that experience to appreciate what could be done. Sure. Right. So we have to get some level of that. I, I don't want that to be mistaken, but here, here, here's why I'm saying this.

One of the things I often encourage pharmacy students to do is stop working for the summer in insert big box name, pharmacy stop. Right. And, and the reason why is, if, if we're talking about the disruption that we think is going to be happening and the long term, 40 plus year career that you have, and what we see in terms of the satisfaction and the value of those folks in those roles, why are we investing that time with the hopes of landing that job and being in that long term environment?

Right? If, if, if, if I'm a student pharmacist or advising my son, it is. What are some of the healthcare startups and some of the, uh, companies here in Columbus, let's start reaching out and how, how can I work for free for the summer? What, what value can I provide as a pharmacy student? And by the way, if you [00:43:00] start to get some traction there, maybe we pause the degree.

Maybe that degree does take 10 or 15 or 20, and maybe we don't finish it. Maybe we do. I don't know who knows where it's gonna go. But what I do know is we can't follow. If we're playing the Truman show game to get there by the age of 40, and he's in his mid twenties, we can't follow a traditional six to eight year pathway of occurring.

A bunch of debt delaying a bunch of savings. Without having something that's gonna have a potential for a significant ROI in a relatively short period of time, I'm avoiding tradition. 

Mike Koelzer, Host: When would this child start school? At what 

Tim Ulbrich, PharmD: age? The pressing nature of the 40. Obviously we've got some time limit on it, but I probably would encourage some type of, uh, if you wanna call it a gap year or something to start getting some experiences and exposure, um, prior to starting school.


Mike Koelzer, Host: Maybe at 18, they go around to businesses, maybe startups, and they say, I'm really thinking about going to pharmacy school. I'm probably gonna go next year, but I'm really interested in that kind of person. Can I work [00:44:00] for 

Tim Ulbrich, PharmD: you? Can I work for you? Can I, uh, spend two hours with you? Can I, uh, pick your brain?

Who else can you introduce me to? What's been the successes, the challenges? What, what, what would you wish you would've known at 18 years old? Uh, what advice would you have for me going into this pathway and, and maybe that affirms the interest. You know, to that degree, maybe, maybe it doesn't, but if nothing else, if they're going into that pathway, they're going into it with a new mindset.

And they're building connections through that. 

Mike Koelzer, Host: So in this game they have to do it anyways. They have to get the degree, but that might make it easier because they're at least more interested in it. 

Tim Ulbrich, PharmD: Absolutely. Yep. I think so. Um, I think there'd be the passion. I think more than anything, even with the passion interest, which I'm hoping is there.

But even with that, my, my thought being that if, if the goal of the game, you know, you quantified it in terms of dollars, which I would argue, um, successful disruption is probably what I'm more interested in, which is gonna equate to dollars, um, or has the [00:45:00] likelihood of equating to dollars. Then that's where I was going down the non-traditional path with non-traditional.

It has to be. Exposure and experience in non-traditional pathways very early on exposure. Exposure. Yeah, absolutely. So if they get to graduating at 24, 25, 26, and they've got 14 years left before the game ends and they're very much down a traditional pathway, best case scenario at the end of the game is let's call it an average of 100.

Maybe it's, you know, going up a little bit. Yeah. Times 13 or 14 years, like that's not gonna win the game, right. I mean, no, that's not gonna win the game. That's not gonna win the game. And I wanna be clear. I know you're asking in the context of the Truman show game, like. You know, I think if I'm advising any current student or prospective student or my son, like, you know, there's, there's, I'm a big believer.

There's, there's a baseline financially that has, has to be there, you know, to give you breathing room and, and comfort, to be able to take [00:46:00] risks and do some of the things that you enjoy. Uh, but beyond that, they actually, the literature is pretty convincing that you start to get to somewhat of an inverse relationship, you know, with money in terms of earnings, at least what do you mean by that?

So when you look at some of the research around things like happiness and money, um, obviously it depends on where you live, cost of living, how many kids you have, all those things, but generally speaking, there, there you get to a threshold. If you think about it as a, as somewhat of a bell curve, where there's enough that you have that covers your basic necessities, some small, you know, minor Lux things that you enjoy.

But after that, you really start to see a fall off as income continues to go. With the exceptions of experiences in giving, you know, are kind of the two things that really focus on some of the happiness associated with money. So, you know, if we're, if we're in this example and game kind of after the money, I guess where I was going with that is that's a factor, but what I'm after and part with some of the disruption and having an impact and having significance and a positive change, [00:47:00] like I'm somewhat assuming that that's going to lead to, you know, the, the financial peace as well.

But at the end of the day, that's that, that's much more important to me. And I think it is probably more important to many, many pharmacy students as well. The 

Mike Koelzer, Host: satisfaction. 

Tim Ulbrich, PharmD: Yeah. The satisfaction, the significance, the autonomy. What, what is the money gonna afford me to do all of those things? Of course, 

Mike Koelzer, Host: of course.

But in this game, I mean, cuz I wouldn't have 10 kids. In the real story, I wouldn't have 10 kids if I didn't think there was more to life than amassing wealth. Yeah. It's just for the point of this game. So what I would say is a happy 30 year old who has 10 more years of earning might earn more even than a non unhappy one, depending on where the happiness comes from.

Mm-hmm , if it comes from a bunch of kids, maybe not, but if it's just from job satisfaction. So we know that someone who goes the traditional route is not going to [00:48:00] win this game, which none of us want to be in, but it is the game that I set forth. It's non-traditional so they pick up some non-traditional stuff in the summer.

but maybe not so much in the school year, where are they picking that up then Tim, to be non-traditional enough to really have a chance of winning this game. 

Tim Ulbrich, PharmD: Yeah, I think, you know, and, and I'm operating based on my experiences in academia operating on, on kind of a fixed traditional curriculum that's out there.

Right? So one of the things that came to mind when you asked this question was I think there's some research I'd be doing to, you know, look at what curriculums might afford me, different opportunities that are entrepreneurial experiences, flexibility, schedule, things like that. And unfortunately, when we look at a, a professional degree program, you might see some little variances here or there, although they could be significant, but, you know, it's, it's, it's largely a fixed curriculum where all hundred or whatever students are going through that pathway at the same time.

So if [00:49:00] we could change or disrupt some of that and. You know, a program that lasted longer and afforded more time. Like I would certainly encourage if we could make up an example where instead of a four year pharm, D maybe it's a six year pharm D but you've got more time and availability to go get some of these experiences.

Um, but within the system and the cards that were dealt, you know, can I align my experiential rotations, you know, with some of these opportunities? Can I not only just be in the summers, but can I be looking at opportunities throughout the academic year? What, what city am I living in an area that might have some of this, you know, healthcare startup type of culture and climate.

Um, am I at a university? You know, I think of a university like Iowa that appears to have a reputation for some entrepreneurship and business activities. Right? So tho those are the things that I think you're trying, in my opinion, to put some of the cards in your favor, at least as, as many as you can, 

Mike Koelzer, Host: if you went to a school and said, Hey, my dad's got me in this game.

I want to take. [00:50:00] Nine years to do this. Were any of them allowed to do that? 

Tim Ulbrich, PharmD: Yeah, my experience is, you know, I don't know if I would say not allowed, but it's, it's definitely not the norm by any means. I mean, there's situations where there's extended pathways because of leave of absence, you know, medical situations, family situations, hardships, et cetera.

But here we're talking about a planned mm-hmm pathway that is not, not because of a hardship, but because of pursuit of opportunities and other things. Um, I was at one institution where they actually were looking at, I think, what they were referring to as like a decelerated pathway. Um, but again, it was more out of the context of the load of the curriculum and allowing students a longer time period that might be struggling academically to complete it and complete it successfully versus this 18 or so credit hours a semester.

It was not under the. discussion here. We're talking about this pursuit of our more experience [00:51:00] career, not because of academic challenges or other other hardships, but because of an intentional decision from a career standpoint, I'm not aware of. Of that, that exists. I know there are some, I think there might be some rules around accreditation, ACP about timeline to degree in completion or that the institution may have.

But I think it's fair to say it'd be very difficult from a system that is largely cohort based. Um, and that has very little flexibility within a curriculum outside of some elective hours and experiences. They might. 

Mike Koelzer, Host: Pick a college that is maybe known for a little bit more entrepreneurial ideas or a little bit outside the box thinking they get done.

When they're like 26 years old, they've had summers to work for different startups and learn things like that. All right. Now they've got like 14 years left and they've got maybe debt. If they weren't able to earn it from one of these ideas, now they have 14 years left. So now what do they 

Tim Ulbrich, PharmD: [00:52:00] do? Yeah. And I would go back to a little bit, I'm thinking of an institution, like I was at Ohio State where, you know, pharmacy students are largely occupied in the pharmacy building.

You got one of the best business schools in the country, right. That you can walk across campus too. Right. So, you know, taking some of those risks and forming some of those relationships, um, how might I be thinking about my pharmacy degree in the context of business, you know, are there certain electives or coursework I can take at the business school, you know, all those things.

So what am I doing after I graduate? I mean, I think that depends on kind of where the pathway is. I, I think if the goal, the way I'm thinking about the game you've presented is I either win or I bust and 


Mike Koelzer, Host: not real life. Let's say there's a hundred participants. That's not real life because I. We can't bust.

It's not really a fair game because then you're not looking at risk and things like that, but let's say you really wanna win. 

Tim Ulbrich, PharmD: Yeah. I mean, that's how I'm thinking of the game. If I'm, if I'm playing a game, like a board game, right. [00:53:00] Where, where the, sure. Yeah. It's either, I don't wanna end in, you know, fourth place out of 10.

I'm either gonna get first or I'm gonna get last try. Right. Right. So, you know, my, my, my first thought comes down to, there has to be some type of business entity or structure in which you have ownership and equity. Yeah. That has an exponential growth value. That becomes an asset that could be sold yeah.

Or could be bought by venture capital, you know, whatever. It'd be the case, either 

Mike Koelzer, Host: a business or a brand or 

Tim Ulbrich, PharmD: something. Right. Exactly. Um, a business. Yeah. I, I, so something where you have equity. That has potential either significant linear or exponential growth. So might that be a medical diagnostics company?

Might that be, uh, a service based company that provides kind of a national glue to this challenge around provider, you know, status and clinical contracts and someone forms kind of a national network? I think there would have to be something [00:54:00] that not only had a good earning of income potential, but had good equity potential.

And I'm thinking about it from the games coming to an end at 39 and a half. And there's a sale value that has a significant return on investment. It 

Mike Koelzer, Host: almost has to be like, not too mature of a market. Well, it could be mature, but if it's a mature one, it has to be so mature that it can be disrupted or else it has to be new, but you can't really just grow something till 40, probably on a linear growth.

Tim Ulbrich, PharmD: Right. Exactly. Yeah. And, and I think something that has, um, obviously has market value. Um, but, but this, you know, really highlights the difference between W2 compensation and ownership. Mm-hmm in something, right. So you might be, you know, if you're, if you're an owner of a company, hopefully you're getting to a point where you're paying yourself a wage, but then you also have profit in that entity.

Yeah. And you're growing an asset, you know, along the way that could be, could be sold. And I think in, in, in, in a perfect world, [00:55:00] unless there's significant funding, that's, you know, gonna win the game very, very early on would be holding onto as much equities as you possibly can for as long as you can in the game, because you're taking a bet in the, in the hopefully somewhat exponential growth in the value of that company that is eventually going to be sold.

So, you know, instead of. Giving up 50% or 75% of that off the bat, if you're able to with the right expertise. Yeah. And the right funding and all that, which are big asterisks, hold on to the equity. As long as you can. Obviously the goal being that's gonna far outpace any income you're gonna earn during that time period.

Mike Koelzer, Host: It makes me think, as we're talking here and then thinking about doing this and growing something and disrupting and all that kind of stuff, and let's say somebody who wins this game with whatever amount that is, I don't seek pharmacy school as being really a hindrance at all to [00:56:00] this game. In other words, when you throw in things, Tim.

Being able to find maybe a summer job because you're in pharmacy school and maybe hitting the ground running with the owners because you're in pharmacy versus some young kid who just has an idea of things. And then you talk about being able to go to the business school across the street from the Ohio state university pharmacy school, and then being able to do this and that and rubbing elbows with different medical professionals and all that kind of stuff.

Incubators and startups. Yeah. Incubators and stuff. Yeah. And it kind of makes me think that pharmacy might have a place 

Tim Ulbrich, PharmD: still. Yeah. And you know, my academic side of me is killing me to even say this out loud and I am type of a perfectionist, but I went through pharmacy school with a self-imposed expectation of, I had to get the best grades I could possibly get, you know, at all expensive times.

And I, and I think about it. [00:57:00] The 90% rule, right? So the E the effort to put in to get to 90% versus the effort to get from 90 to a hundred percent, often, often can be about the same. Right. And I'm not for sure, not suggesting people do, you know, work that is not representative of who they are as an individual.

But I live this firsthand. I see a lot of pharmacists live this first hand, like, guess what? My 3, 7, 8 GPA at Ohio Northern, nobody cares. Right. Nobody, nobody cares, you know? Right. And, you know, I think about the time in effort, you know, I could have probably got a very solid 3 0 2, 9, 3, 1, whatever. Yeah.

You know, done, done fine. And, um, had a lot more time to invest, but that goes back to what we talked about. Like, I wasn't at the maturity and self-awareness and reflective point to be able to accept. That trade off, right? Yeah. You know, I, I, at 20, 21 years old, my identity and mindset was still very much framed around the achievement and that [00:58:00] academic sense, and yes, and I would argue it is even harder to unravel now with some of that achievement based mindset.

That's interesting, but I think there's a capacity margin. Now, what I'm hopeful about. And, and, you know, I have some awesome colleagues that I've worked with, like, who's gonna be an academic institution. Who's gonna be the academic providers, the career, you know, providers, the faculty, et cetera, that.

Might be able to crack this code in terms of like developing some of these flexible models, supporting students that maybe are good, good academically, but they've made an, they've made a choice for that intentionally because they wanna spend some time doing this or that. Uh, and it might mean that they don't have a three eight or a three, six GPA.

Um, but they're thinking about the end game in a different way. Um, and I think the barrier to that is we were all trained in that very traditional environment. Right. But the industry is going to be disrupted. The phar D is going to be disrupted [00:59:00] it's gonna happen. And I'm talking about the academic training side of it.

Um, now again, just like with the practice, we've got some regulatory pieces with ACP and, and Plex and licensure and other things that I think will slow that. But what we're seeing on a national conversation and what we're talking about here, the return on investment of the degree and continuous increases in debt loads relative to marginal, if any, increases in salary and output that is ripe for disruption.

And, and I think the most likely outcome short of someone developing something new all together is I think we're gonna have my ideas. I think we're gonna have a big player or a few players that are nationally recognized institutions that have some of the political clout and wait with some of the accrediting bodies that are going to do some more incremental, moderate disruptions within the mm-hmm realm of the existing system that eventually will take enough momentum and, and lead to enough momentum that will [01:00:00] slowly evolve some of the accrediting and, and others that are there.

And, and that's one of the things I, I hope for, you know, institutions that I've worked with, like Ohio State or other top 10 pharmacy schools, like. Who's gonna be the disruptor? Right? Right. Who's gonna be the disruptor that not only has the political clout to disrupt, but also can recruit students in a disruptive model because they are the university of whatever and have been known to be very successful and who can still meet Netflix, you know, rates and all those other things, but are looking at the pharm D and the pathway and how we're training students in a little bit different way.

Well, first 

Mike Koelzer, Host: of all, I am the proud torch carrier of the non students. So that's my distinction. So I already have that one. So you stay away from that, Tim. Here's what I think has to happen. Just listening here. And I pitch about this all the time. I hate the first two years of college. You're paying a boatload for stuff that you should have learned in high school.

I ain't no world traveler, but I [01:01:00] hear that Europe doesn't repeat those two years. So in other words, You don't go into pharmacy school and you don't take the history in English and all that stuff over again. That's done in high school. So I shaved two years of school off that way. Then I would have regular pharmacy school for two to three years.

All right. So you shaved off the first two years of liberal arts, regular pharmacy school, maybe two or three years. So instead of having a community pharmacist, who's seven or eight years, it's down to two or three years, then you take that other two or three years. Maybe you squeeze in some MBA stuff, but maybe it's two or three years of entrepreneurial studies or going to different businesses and things like that.

Mm-hmm you don't need someone in a community pharmacy with seven or eight years of medical knowledge, a couple years. Get 'em out for two or three more years of [01:02:00] entrepreneurial stuff, five year package. That's what I would like. 

Tim Ulbrich, PharmD: Yeah. And I think the question is, can that be done or a variation of that be done within the existing PharmD accreditation?

I, and I think incremental changes to that can happen. 

Mike Koelzer, Host: And I would say maybe not PharmD I would say pharmacist, 

Tim Ulbrich, PharmD: the pharmacist. Yeah. 

Mike Koelzer, Host: D it's like, Hey, have your fun in the hospitals have your fun. When one of these people in Mike's accelerated entrepreneurial program makes it, you can go work for him as a PharmD knowing all the clinical stuff.

But I agree. I don't know if it can be done in a PharmD program. 

Tim Ulbrich, PharmD: Yeah. 

I don't know. This is another example. Like, let's get a think tank and start beating this up and, and try to the best that we can take out the emotional , you know, reactions and things like a 

Mike Koelzer, Host: lot of emotion, 

Tim Ulbrich, PharmD: You know, it's a good question.

Could, could a P D. Be done in a way that achieves similar educational outcomes or some set of modified educational outcomes in a lesser time period. And [01:03:00] might, might there be, cause I think the initial reaction to that is, you know, there they're a business and there's revenue and there's a number of years in all that, but might there be a situation where, where there's less revenue, but more profit, might it be more efficient or, you know, might, might there be an overhaul of, of, of the student loan situation and other things?

Um, I think it's an interesting conversation, you know, for sure. And does it have to be a six to eight year pathway? Um, which is something I often think about because, you know, we talk about long-term savings and investing time value of money, money in the market over a long period of time is what matters.

And so if we've got six to eight years of training, plus several other years where we can't think about investing, cuz we've got $200,000 a debt like right now, we've got an investing problem, you know, on our hands as well. So right. Yeah. It's a great question. 

Mike Koelzer, Host: Tim, what kind of people listening to this should be contacting Y FP, who are you looking for and how should they contact you and what are they gonna see when they're on your 

Tim Ulbrich, PharmD: site?

Yeah, I think some people might, might be listening to this and be like, [01:04:00] so how does YFP can I, and I think one of the reasons I love having conversations around the profession and the career and, and hopefully do it in a way that folks can understand, you know, or intentionally not getting into all the weeds, but really trying to more than anything, I think stimulate some ideas and thinking and discussion sure is that there is a strong connection between the financial plan and the career plan.

And so we work, you know, with a lot of pharmacists. About 250 households that we work with right now do one on one intensive fees, only comprehensive financial planning. Hmm. Um, and obviously, you know, for many of those conversations, it often comes up. How does their career plan, the financial plan intersect, Hey, we're looking at making a move, thinking about working.

Part-time thinking about pursuing a, a, a business idea, and obviously the financial plan has to support that or being able to do that with confidence. So we work with pharmacists, you know, at all different points in their career, uh, investing retirement insurance, um, home buying second home, uh, real [01:05:00] estate investing, student loan, repayment, other debt repayment, uh, really customizing that to one's individual situation.

So if they go to your financial, they can learn more about one on one planning. We do a discovery call for those that are interested in learning more about that service. And then we've got lots of resources available on the YFP podcast, on the blog and through other resources on the site.

Tim, I 

Mike Koelzer, Host: I love talking to you so much. We'll have to schedule it again 

Tim Ulbrich, PharmD: for next year. awesome. Thanks Mike. All right, 

Mike Koelzer, Host: Tim, take care.