Each Friday in May 2022, I’m publishing an interview with a pharmacist mom in honor of Mother’s Day, which was Sunday, May 8. Today’s episode is an interview with Janet Titkemeier, RPh.
Thank you for listening to The Pharmacist’s Voice ® Podcast episode 152!
Janet Titkemeier earned her BS Degree in Pharmacy from The University of Toledo College of Pharmacy in 1976. She retired from clinical pharmacy practice in 2018 and lives in Toledo, OH with her husband Tom (also a retired pharmacist). Janet maintains an active Ohio pharmacist license and volunteers as a medical missionary. She enjoys bicycling, traveling, and spending time with family.
Mentioned in this episode
Ryan Pharmacy Toledo, OH
Magruder Hospital Port Clinton, OH
St. Vincent Mercy Medical Center (“St. V’s”) Toledo, OH
The Pharmacist’s Voice Podcast episode 3 featuring Tom Titkemeier
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Highlights from the interview
Pharmacy was Janet’s 2nd choice, but it was a good choice. Initially, she wanted to go to veterinary school.
Janet retired in 2018, after more than 40 years of pharmacy practice. Her internship (during pharmacy school) was at Ryan Pharmacy in Toledo, OH. She worked at Magruder Hospital in Port Clinton for a year. Then, she worked at St. Vincent Mercy Medical Center (“St. V’s”) in Toledo, OH for more than 40 years. During that time, she served a number of roles as a pharmacist:
- Main inpatient pharmacy
- Peds, neonatal, L&D (labor and delivery), and Peds chemo
- General medicine floor
- ICU and ICU satellite pharmacy
- Midnights as the solo pharmacist with 2 techs (~8 years)
- OR satellite for open heart and vascular surgery (~10 years)
- Outpatient pharmacy
Being versatile has its advantages. Janet could float around as needed. When she worked part-time as a new Mom, she could cover shifts in a variety of areas.
As her kids grew up, her roles changed. Janet went from part-time in various areas to working full-time on midnights for 8 years. She worked four, 10-hour shifts per week. Then, she moved to day shift. At first, she worked Peds and floated. Then, she worked in the OR satellite for open heart and vascular surgery during the last 10 years of her career. Her community practice skills from her intern days came in handy throughout her career. She floated to the outpatient department throughout her 40 years at V’s as well.
Getting a pharmacist job has changed over the years. She got hired on the spot during her initial interview in the 1970’s. She was qualified. Plus, the person interviewing her knew her internship preceptor and understood the depth of her training.
Mentors are important. Janet had a great mentor at Magruder Hospital as a newly licensed pharmacist, and she was able to mentor a number of students and new pharmacists throughout her career.
Many pharmacists feel like they don’t know enough upon graduation and passing their licensing exams. Janet advised a pharmacist to get a notebook and write down important things in it. That pharmacist said it was the best piece of advice anyone had ever given her. To help with quick retrieval of important information, Janet created 3-ring binders with drug information, departmental expectations, etc. Those binders pre-dated online resources. Later in her career, the binders were great references during computer down time and in case of emergencies. While working on midnights, those binders were very helpful and helped her collaborate effectively with other midnight pharmacists seeking information.
In her retirement, Janet and her husband Tom (also a retired pharmacist and featured on The Pharmacist’s Voice Podcast episode 3) are medical missionaries with Christian Medical and Dental, a subgroup of Global Health Outreach. Services offered are a medical clinic, dental clinic, eye clinic, and pharmacy. Janet and Tom’s mission trips have taken them to Nicaragua, El Salvador, Lebanon, and The Gambia (Africa).
Each trip is 7-10 days long. Medical missionaries meet the medical and spiritual needs of the people they serve. Pharmacy students from Cedarville University School of Pharmacy have been on their trips too.
Interpreters are important members of mission teams. Interpreters help pharmacists counsel patients on Tylenol, ibuprofen, antibiotics, antifungals, and more. Tom and Janet plan to continue mission work during retirement.
During the second half of our interview, we talked about family and motherhood. Janet and Tom have been married more than 40 years. They have 3 adult children and 7 grandchildren. Topics we discussed include:
- A good time for a pharmacist to start a family
- Favorite things about being a Mom and a Grandma
- Developing friendships with other parents
- Words of wisdom for speaking to your adult children
- A book recommendation: Doing Life with Your Adult Children: Keep Your Mouth Shut and the Welcome Mat Out by Jim Burns, PhD
- Bedtime routines and staying organized
- Work-life balance
- Planning things to look forward to
- General advice for pharmacist moms
Thank you Aunt Janet for being my guest on The Pharmacist’s Voice ® Podcast episode 152!