Christian Hartman serves as Vice President, Product Innovation for the UpToDate and Medi-Span solutions. A third-generation pharmacist, he has witnessed the industry shifts first-hand – which will continue as his daughter now pursues a career in pharmacy.
What is the legacy of pharmacy in your family? How did you get into the profession yourself?
My grandfather, a pioneer in his own right, graduated in 1952 from the Massachusetts College of Pharmacy (MCP) in Boston, Massachusetts, and chose entrepreneurship by opening a corner drug store in the nearby town of Melrose. His dedication to the profession spanned decades and his service was woven into the fabric of the community. My father continued this legacy, graduating from MCP in 1976 and running local pharmacies in Northern Maine. As a child, I remember hanging out in the pharmacy and seeing my father helping patients with their medications, providing an immense service to the community.
In 2001, I also graduated from MCP and started my professional journey alongside my wife – who is also a pharmacist! I took a very different path from my family and focused on medication safety and human research in academic medical centers, as well as focusing on digital engagement of patients, alternative care delivery models, and the use of artificial intelligence in decision making. My wife provided managed care services to patients with limited income and eventually she moved into medical writing. At its core, a pharmacist’s commitment to improving patient outcomes and ensuring the safe use of medications remains the same, regardless of how we form our careers.
How have you seen the industry shift over the years? How is the role of the pharmacist changing?
Over the generations, pharmacy has transformed in ways we could not have imagined. The very essence of the profession has evolved, shaped by advancements in technology, changes in healthcare systems, data analytics, advanced training, and a growing emphasis on patient-centered care. Artificial intelligence is revolutionizing drug discovery, treatment optimization, and care approaches.
Additionally, the role of pharmacists is expanding, branching out beyond traditional settings and into advanced practice settings. Pharmacists are becoming key players in integrated healthcare teams, focusing on preventive care, chronic disease management, and medication therapy management. It acknowledges the expertise pharmacists bring to the table and recognizes the pivotal role they can play in shaping the future of healthcare.
How do you feel now that your daughter, Brianna, has been accepted into pharmacy programs?
She is stepping into a profession deeply rooted in our family’s story – this fall was a blur of excitement as we celebrated her acceptance into schools of pharmacy, and I’m filled with pride, joy, and a touch of nostalgia. It’s heartening to see the fourth generation of Hartmans taking the helm at a time when the profession is holding fast to its roots while embracing the future. I’m immensely proud of her and am excited for the next chapter in our family’s pharmacy legacy and for the boundless possibilities that await her.