Q&A with Dr. April Segal, PharmD, BCPS APh | Founder of Remedy Holistic Pharmacy
Posted on March 02 2020
About Dr. April Segal
I am a traditionally trained pharmacist who is passionate about combining western medicine with more natural and holistic approaches. Before opening Remedy, I was practicing in a large healthcare-system where I saw first hand the long-term effects of medication overuse. This inspired a desire in me to use more natural treatments to combat pharmaceutical dependence. My step-wise approach to pharmaceuticals emphasizes the incorporation of herbs, supplements, and other natural modalities to support resilient health. I opened Remedy in order to empower my community with more choices leading to a healthier body, mind, and world and I continue to be very passionate about community development and environmental sustainability.
Image courtesy of Remedy Holistic Pharmacy
Tell us about your career path leading up to starting your own business.
My formal training consists of a Bachelor of Science in Nutritional Sciences at the University Texas A&M, a Doctorate of Pharmacy at the University of Texas Austin and then a Post-Graduate Pharmacy Residency at the University of California San Diego . After that, I started practicing as an Ambulatory Care Pharmacist, which is a pharmacist that sees patients in a doctor’s office.
What made you want to start your own business?
I wanted to practice pharmacy in a different way than I had ever seen before. In my role as an Ambulatory Care Pharmacist, I would help people who had complex medication regimens, where it wouldn’t be shocking to see people on 20+ medications. It was during this time that I really started to understand the toll of medication overuse. Not only were there serious drug interactions, side effects, and depletions but also major personal and psychological tolls. Ninety percent of the patients I saw would state that their number one goal was to get off of the medications, but they didn’t know how or where to start. That is when I really started to develop a passion for herbal medicine as a way to help wean and even replace medications. My patients were so appreciative and I felt a sense of satisfaction that I rarely or never found with medications. That’s when I realized I wanted to start practicing pharmacy in a new way. There wasn’t a place to do that so I decided I needed to open my own pharmacy, a new kind of pharmacy!
How did you go from idea to execution?
I started planning Remedy in March of 2018 and we opened our doors in October of 2019. During these 20 months, I started with writing a business plan, getting funding, getting licenses (the most difficult part, SO much paperwork), designing the physical space with my amazingly talented architect husband, and then deep dives with my herbalist to find all the best natural remedies! I also spent this time learning more extensively about the clinical use of medicinal herbs since most of my formal training is based on allopathic medicine.
What were some unexpected hurdles you faced when starting your business?
Even though I knew that the licensing and contracting part of opening a pharmacy was going to be daunting, I still underestimated the time and patience this portion would take. I really wanted to be able to offer insurance on day 1 and so I started all my applications as soon as I got my pharmacy license. Nine months later I was still waiting on responses from the insurance companies. Luckily, I now have all my contracts finalized and can take all insurances but it was definitely a long and stressful process!
Best advice you’ve received?
Follow your passion. It sounds like pretty basic advice, and it is, but I keep coming back to it over and over. There are hundreds of decisions a small business owner has to make on a daily basis and they can mostly be summarized as a decision on where you invest your time and money. Sometimes they may seem like small decisions but in the end, they drive what your business stands for and what direction it is heading in. I always try and remember Remedy’s mission and my passion for why I started this business even when I am making small decisions.
What does Support Your Local Girl Gang mean to you?
Amazing things can be accomplished when women support women. I can tell you one thing, I would not be here without my Local Girl Gang! It means sharing stories, lessons, fears, and laughter! I find it so inspiring what the women in my life have accomplished as independent businesswomen and it gave me the courage to make the leap to follow my passion too!
Favorite books, podcasts, tools, and or apps:
Favorite podcasts include Okay Sis when I just want to relax and feel like I am hanging out with my friends and Broken Brain when I want to learn more about concepts I incorporate at Remedy. My favorite app is currently Canva, which although pretty mainstream, is seriously a godsend for small business owners.
Girl Gang members can get a $50 gift card when booking their first private herbalist consult (reg $125) at Remedy by mentioning Girl Gang!