The Power of the Patient in Patient Care





Dr. Dorothy Smith


Dr. Dorothy L. Smith Delivers Commencement Address to the
Pharmacy Class of 2008 at the University of Maryland


McLean, VA — May 16 , 2008 — Dorothy L. Smith, Pharm.D., delivered the Commencement Address to the 2008 graduating class of the University of Maryland School of Pharmacy. Dr. Smith is a noted patient advocate and the president and CEO of Consumer Health Information Corporation, a Washington, DC-area company specializing in patient adherence and education programs. She has seen many changes in the practice of pharmacy in the 36 years since she received her degree and shared several humorous and also some serious anecdotes about her career path.

Dr. Smith stated that this is an exciting time to be entering the pharmacy profession but stressed the ongoing need to incorporate the power of the patient into patient care services. A key message that she imparted to the graduates was to make sure to always “Listen to your patients. As newly-minted pharmacists, you might make some mistakes in counseling patients. However, patients are human and they will give you the encouragement you are going to need to stay on track. Always try to do your best and learn from each experience.” She continued, “How you care for your patients is going to determine whether pharmacy becomes a career filled with the satisfaction that you have really made a difference in a patient’s quality of life . . . or whether it becomes just a job with a lot of paperwork.” She posed the following questions to the class:

  • How are you going to deal with the fact that one out of every two prescriptions you dispense will not be taken correctly by the patient?
  • How are you going to work with your employer so that you will be given the time you need to counsel patients and answer their questions?
  • How are you going to show your patients that you really care about them?
  • How are you going to handle patients who do not follow your advice?

Dr. Smith concluded, “Your career is going to be shaped by how you respond to the needs of YOUR patients. It’s all about passion – and how much you believe in what you are doing to help them. It doesn’t matter how much information you have in your all depends on how you can take that information and customize it to each of your patient’s situations. You need to be able to communicate with your patients and hopefully it won’t take too long before they start asking for you when they come back to the pharmacy.”

Consumer Health Information Corporation

Consumer Health Information Corporation ( is internationally recognized for its innovative patient information and patient adherence programs. The company develops evidence-based patient education and consumer awareness programs on medication use and disease management. They have produced a broad range of award-winning print and multimedia materials that have helped millions of people learn to make wise decisions about their health and medications. Clients include pharmaceutical companies, consumer organizations and Fortune 500 companies, national healthcare and professional associations, managed care organizations, insurance companies, and pharmacies. The company is also a teaching site for several schools of pharmacy across the United States.

About Consumer Health Information Corporation

Consumer Health Information Corporation was founded by Dorothy L. Smith, Pharm.D, an internationally recognized clinical pharmacist with expertise in patient adherence and patient education. The mission of Consumer Health Information Corporation is to help patients learn how to manage their diseases and prescribed treatments safely and wisely. The company has developed more than 4000 evidence-based patient education programs for medications, medical devices, disease management and Phase III clinical trials worldwide.  A respected clinical and educational source, Consumer Health Information Corporation has won major national and international awards for excellence in patient and consumer education programs that have significantly increased patient adherence. Dr. Smith is the author of more than 130 professional articles, 23 books and has delivered more than 150 professional and scholarly addresses.

Copyright 2012 Consumer Health Information Corporation. All rights reserved.

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Consumer Health Information Corporation  

Experts in Patient Education and Adherence Since 1983
8300 Greensboro Drive, Suite 1220
McLean, Virginia 22102

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