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ACCP Report

President’s Column

Clinical Practice, Wellness, and Thoughts from Neil Young: I Believe We Are at 11!

Written by Brian Hemstreet, Pharm.D., FCCP, BCPS

Brian Hemstreet, Pharm.D., FCCP, BCPS

In his 1979 song “My My, Hey Hey (Out of the Blue),” Neil Young delivered one of the most enduring phrases in music history: “It’s better to burn out than to fade away.” This has been quoted many times over the years in various contexts, including in many subsequent songs by other artists. In his 2016 interview with Dan Rather, Young states that the reference is to the potential adverse effects of the rock and roll lifestyle and environment on passionate and talented artists who are often at the height of their success. Alternatively, he states that life in general is much different and has many more meaningful components, such as family and relationships, to which this famous phrase does not apply.

Although Young’s observations were focused on the impact of the environment on musicians, our passionate and talented health care providers, including clinical pharmacists, are facing ongoing issues of burnout in the workplace that in many instances are causing them to leave direct patient care roles at the peak of their success, or in some instances leave their profession. Ultimately, this not only significantly affects clinician well-being but may also potentially reduce patient access to their providers – causing high-quality care to slowly fade away as highly skilled clinicians leave practice. The issue of burnout is pervasive among all health care disciplines and has been identified as a major priority by the U.S. Surgeon General ( For ACCP, an organization composed largely of experienced clinicians, educators, and researchers on the front lines of patient care, this is truly an important issue that has also risen to the forefront of ACCP members’ minds.

Recent publications by ACCP members have explored the multifactorial causes of burnout while raising awareness of and recommending approaches to addressing burnout in a variety of professional settings. Most of these appear in the Journal of the American College of Clinical Pharmacy and include emphases on both current practitioners and trainees. They include systematic reviews, commentaries with calls to action on both burnout and attrition, and guidance on assessing and studying well-being within clinical pharmacy.1-4 It has been remarkable to see these member responses to addressing burnout, the sharing of ideas and perspectives on the ongoing challenges and opportunities, and the support of the College and the profession.

From an organizational perspective, ACCP’s leadership recognizes that addressing burnout and fostering member well-being are high priorities. This was a topic of discussion at the April Board of Regents meeting and is a priority in the updated ACCP strategic plan. Your ongoing feedback and input on how ACCP can meet member needs with respect to burnout and well-being will be essential in this discussion, and I encourage you to share your ideas and thoughts with us. ACCP also continues to work with other pharmacy organizations to address other systematic issues facing the profession, such as improving workplace efficiency, structure, and support. Although it seems that addressing burnout and well-being is a monumental task, our efforts as an organization will be critical in both supporting ACCP’s members and sustaining the ability to deliver high-quality clinical pharmacy services.

In closing, when reflecting on my presidential theme for this year, “What’s Next for Clinical Pharmacy? Rising to the Challenges, Leading the Way, and Turning It Up to 11,” I sincerely feel that the needs of the clinical pharmacy workforce and the concerns surrounding burnout are issues where our attention has been turned up to 11. It’s only with ongoing dialogue and action that we can continue to make progress toward meaningful change. Similarly, although I am a dedicated fan of Neil Young, in the context of clinical pharmacy and patient care, it’s definitely not desirable to burn out OR fade away. Thank you again to members who continue to dedicate themselves to providing direct patient care despite continuing challenges and to the ACCP membership as a whole for serving as an ongoing network of support. Be well – and have a great summer.



1. Hagemann TM, Reed BN, Bradley BA, et al. Burnout among clinical pharmacists: causes, interventions, and a call to action. J Am Coll Clin Pharm 2020;3:832-42.

2. McQuade BM, Reed BN, DiDomenico RJ, et al. Feeling the burn? A systematic review of burnout in pharmacists. J Am Coll Clin Pharm 2020;3:663-75.

3. Rech MA, Jones GM, Naseman RW, et al. Premature attrition of clinical pharmacists: call to attention, action, and potential solutions. J Am Coll Clin Pharm 2022;5:689-96.

4. Reed BN, McGonagle AK. Research and scholarly methods: studies of workplace well-being and other organizational phenomena. J Am Coll Clin Pharm 2023;6:1279-88.