Meet Our Expert: For Maggie Ryman, It All Starts with Diving Right In – No Matter How Deep the Waters

Discover why, to Margaret Ryman, the business of pharmacy is personal.

Read time: 3 minutes

By: McKesson Health Systems, Margaret Ryman

Starting her education as a marine biology student, Margaret (Maggie) Ryman has always been something of an adventurer. Her jump-right-in spirit is something she credits her parents with instilling in her from a young age. “My mom and dad always empowered and encouraged me to explore and pursue any opportunity I was interested in, even if it was totally out there. They made me believe anything and everything was worth doing and, more importantly, that I could do it.” And for years, Maggie has continued to live by that mantra in both her personal and professional lives, always comfortable getting out of her comfort zone and empowering those around her to do the same – because, “There’s so much that can be accomplished if we look beyond what we’re used to seeing.”

Uncharted waters

After graduation, Maggie recharted her course and began pharmacy school in St. Louis. Though it may have seemed like an unusual next step for a marine biology major, Maggie admits that she doesn’t typically do things as the crow flies. “Over my career, I have taken a very non-traditional path for a pharmacist, but I wouldn’t have it any other way.” Still, her entry into pharmacy school may not have been altogether unexpected – or at least unprecedented. In the early 1900s, Maggie’s great-great-grandfather went to pharmacy school in Germany and, shortly after, moved to the United States and became one of the first licensed pharmacists in the state of Wisconsin. Maggie recalls hearing stories about how he and his brother, a doctor, collaborated on patient care even back then. It was that, Maggie guesses, that may have unknowingly inspired her to become a pharmacist in order to accomplish what she found to be her primary goal in whatever career she chose – “I just knew I wanted to help people and make their lives better.”

From there, Maggie continued making her own, unique way – first completing a residency in Drug Informatics and serving as a clinical pharmacist before moving south and accepting a role as the Assistant Professor of Pharmacy Practice and Drug Informational Specialists at Auburn. It was that position, she remembers, that really solidified her lifelong love for development, education, and learning. Never one to shy away from the challenge of the unknown, Maggie later took on the role of Director of Clinical Services for a startup PBM (pharmacy benefit manager) in the hospice and palliative care space – a completely new endeavor for her in every way – and one she thrived in.

Beneath the surface

Ultimately, Maggie landed at McKesson, where we now know her as Margaret Ryman, BS, PharmD, BCPS, Vice President of Health Systems. Her roles as a Clinical Advisor in McKesson Health Systems and an inaugural member of McKesson RxO (beginning in 2008 and still thriving) were instrumental in positioning her where she is today. As part of her work with McKesson, Maggie is passionate about helping both her health system customers and her team succeed. One of her most fulfilling experiences, she says, is seeing someone turn a corner and finally overcome whatever challenge they’ve had in front of them. “Whether it’s helping teammate, colleague, or customer succeed – or playing a part in the resolution of a complex issue and the cascade of positive impacts that has – solving problems and driving development can be so rewarding for everyone involved.”

Supply assurance and drug shortages, in particular, motivate Maggie to continue taking an innovative, forward-thinking approach to her work. As part of McKesson’s Critical Care Drug Task Force, Maggie partners with multi-disciplinary colleagues across the organization to work toward the common goal – albeit an exceedingly complex one – of preventing and mitigating supply challenges. Asking the right questions, critical thinking, and – of course – looking toward paths less traveled – can often lead to answers that may never have been found otherwise, she says. And she reminds us that despite the many challenges and complexities that health system pharmacies face overall, “Remembering that there is a patient at the other end of all of this really simplifies things. That’s who we’re doing this for.”

Beyond the horizon

Based in Atlanta currently, Maggie’s family is spread across the country, but they remain as close as ever and still support each other in whatever new adventures they’re jumping into. When she’s not visiting relatives, Maggie takes every opportunity she can get to travel somewhere new – but not just to get away and relax. “I travel so that I can see new places, and really, to learn new ways of doing things.” And it’s that same eagerness, openness, and perhaps even fearlessness that has helped Maggie not only carry on her family’s trailblazing legacy – but start one of her own.

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