Happy New Year, Student Pharmacists!
We hope you had a wonderful holiday break and are able to return to classes or rotations refreshed! The New Year is the perfect time to reflect on 2020 and on that what you wish to accomplish in 2021. Setting realistic and achievable goals contributes to well-being and resiliency and provides motivation for your future. Many of our goals as student pharmacists are likely academic in nature, but I encourage you all to incorporate goals that enhance your overall well-being and resilience. Whatever your goals may be, remember to check in periodically and evaluate how you are progressing towards the completion of those goals.
December brought us the 2020 ASHP Midyear Clinical Meeting virtually. For those that were able to attend, I hope it was an experience filled with networking, exploration, and education. We had the pleasure of hearing from two exceptional plenary speakers, actor Tom Hanks and Dr. Anthony Fauci, during the opening general sessions on Monday and Wednesday. The student programming at Midyear consisted of a variety of topics to develop student pharmacists and help them transition to new practitioners. The Pharmacy Student Forum Opening Session featured speaker Meagan Johnson, a generational expert, speaker and author. The Executive Committee also encouraged students to engage in discussions on ASHP Connect, considering topics such as Virtual Residency Exploration, Virtual Events and Best Practices, Well-Being Strategies, and Challenges and Opportunities during COVID-19. Don’t worry if you weren’t able to attend all the sessions you wanted to. This year you can make the most out of your Midyear experience with on-demand programming by accessing the Virtual Meeting Platform, which will be available for all meeting registrants until March 10, 2021!
This was my first year attending Midyear, and it was definitely an interesting and rewarding experience. Although we were not together in person, the virtual experience was incredibly valuable and demonstrated why this meeting is important. Navigating the Residency Showcase can be overwhelming, and time can slip away from you. A couple words of advice certainly stood out: completing research ahead of time and having a plan in place for visiting programs that you are interested in, and visiting programs that are not on your list, as you may find programs you are interested in that you had not considered. In the ever evolving virtual space, a nice thank you note or follow up always leaves a good impression, and may earn you some additional exposure time with the programs if you didn’t feel that the showcase helped you get to know them. Overall, my virtual experience was an enjoyable one – all from the comfort of my own home (and sometimes… pajamas!).
For those continuing the residency journey, be sure to take advantage of the plethora of resources that ASHP has to offer on the Student Residency Guide. Especially note the section on virtual interviewing, as it may come in handy for your interview prep.
This year was truly unexpected, and the COVID-19 pandemic has challenged our adaptability and resilience. I commend you all for your ability to adapt and remain resilient during this time. Although many changes have taken place, we have all learned just how important our profession is to the care and well-being of our communities. Stay strong and stay safe.
Vice-Chair, ASHP Pharmacy Student Forum Executive Committee
PharmD/MBA Candidate 2022