Muhammad Elsweesy looking at a computer in a pharmacy with a woman.
Alumni | 6/14/2024

Multimedia Spotlight: Meet the Young Leader Driving Innovation at CVS Pharmacy

By Jennifer Persons

Muhammad Elsweesy, PharmD, MBA, working with a pharmacist at a CVS in Salem, Mass.

Muhammad Elsweesy looking at a computer in a pharmacy with a woman.
Muhammad Elsweesy, PharmD, MBA, working with a pharmacist at a CVS in Salem, Mass.

Muhammad Elsweesy, PharmD, MBA, inspires and supports pharmacists across the Boston area so they can improve patient care.

Dr. Muhammad Elsweesy’s first job at CVS Pharmacy was as a cashier in his hometown of Melrose, Mass. Today, he’s one of the youngest District Leaders in the company, overseeing 20 locations in the greater Boston area.

“I believe my pharmacists have the best jobs in the world,” he said. “I want to support them and give them all the tools and resources they need to be successful.”

Dr. Elsweesy, PharmD ’19, MBA ’22, began that cashier job while studying at Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences (MCPHS). He just wanted to get in the door at a major pharmacy, aspiring to move behind the counter one day and work directly with patients.

“I really wanted to work my way up. I became a technician, then an inventory specialist, then a pharmacy intern,” he remembered. “At that point, I delved deep into the business side. The pharmacy manager took me under his wing.”

Upon graduation from MCPHS, Dr. Elsweesy was promoted to pharmacy manager, where he was responsible for all aspects of pharmacy operations, managing technicians, inventory, and most importantly, customer care. He held managerial positions in Stoneham and Wakefield, just a stone’s throw from his hometown.

“It’s been amazing to work in the communities I grew up in and give back in that way,” he said.

Muhammad Elsweesy standing in a pharmacy.

But something was pulling Dr. Elsweesy to learn more about the business of pharmacy and how to develop other managers. He leaned into that feeling and returned to MCPHS to earn his Master of Business Administration in Healthcare Management (MBA), studying remotely due to the onset of the pandemic. During his coursework, he earned the Dean’s Excellence Award for his commitment to patient care during this challenging time.

“We were at the forefront, administering vaccines at clinics and residential living facilities,” he said. “Sometimes, we were the first people patients had seen in a year. It showed me how important the work we do is.”

At the same time, he was advancing into leadership at CVS. He became an Emerging Leader on Cape Cod before being promoted to District Leader in January 2023 at just 27 years old.

“I wouldn’t be in this position without MCPHS,” he said. “I learned so much, and the relationships I built there are my favorite part of my education.”

Elsweesy credits his success at CVS to the support and mentorship of the faculty he studied under in both the School of Pharmacy and the School of Healthcare Business and Technology.

“One of my favorite things I learned during the MBA program was the difference between a transactional and a transformational leader,” he said. “A transformational leader is someone who leads by example, and that’s someone people want to follow. I’m trying my hardest to be that person for my team.”

For Dr. Elsweesy, pharmacists are the glue of retail pharmacy, connecting the business and the importance of patient care.

“We are the most accessible healthcare providers. A lot of patients rely on us. I am here to support every one of my pharmacy managers and pharmacists so they can give the best possible patient care they can.”

Dr. Elsweesy spends most of his days on the road, visiting his pharmacy teams across the region.

“It’s important for me to be face-to-face with them in the store, to experience what they experience. I really understand what pharmacists are going through, the difficulties they face in their jobs, and how they can be successful.”

Muhammad Elsweesy standing at computer with woman in a pharmacy.

His district has also been at the forefront of innovation for CVS, trialing programs and initiatives rolled out across the country. “These programs make our pharmacists jobs better and lives easier, and I can’t wait for every pharmacy to experience the innovations coming,” he said.

While Dr. Elsweesy remains open to the possibilities, including continuing to grow as a leader at CVS, his focus remains on his pharmacists and making their experience positive.

“When I hear somebody tell me, 'I love my job and working for you,' that’s all I need to know that I’m doing a good job."

Watch the Full Video About Dr. Elsweesy's Journey

Muhammad Elsweesy