Hello student pharmacists!
I hope you all have had a successful start to the New Year. The spring season brings with it state legislative sessions and new opportunities for us as student pharmacists to advocate for our profession. As we settle in to the Spring semester, many SSHPs are beginning to plan Legislative Day activities. This is an exciting time for us all to actively engage in the advancement of our profession.
As many students do, early on I found advocacy and policy to be intimidating topics. They felt intangible, and I wasn’t sure how as a young student I could have an impact. However, as I become more involved with ASHP and explored ASHP’s student advocacy resources, I felt more at ease. I realized that advocacy is a professional responsibility, and there are many opportunities to promote the advancement of pharmacy practice. If your SSHP or ASHP state affiliate hosta legislative day, your participation would be a great opportunity to share your story with local representatives. If you are unable to visit in person, a letter writing campaign on ASHP’s current legislative initiatives can be an effective way to reach representatives and share your voice. These small interactions can result in policy changes that will positively impact our patients.
On a smaller, but equally important level, we can advocate for our profession every day. While on rotation or while participating in interprofessional activities, take the opportunity to educate other learners about pharmacy. Our healthcare colleagues often do not know about the extent of our academic programs or rigor of pharmacy post graduate training that shapes us to become the medication experts on an interdisciplinary team. Additionally, share how pharmacists impact patient care with your family and friends who are less familiar with our profession. These seemingly small conversations can have a large impact on the perception and advancement of our practice.
If you do have the opportunity to speak with local or national representatives, it is important to understand the current issues in pharmacy practice. The ASHP Government Relations staff and your ASHP state affiliates have resources available to research current local and national issues. For example, just this year, students have played an essential role in advocating for the passing of the CREATES Act, as well as CMS pharmacy residency funding. Additionally, AJHP and the ASHP Foundation recently released the 2020 Pharmacy Forecast, which shares practice trends and challenges expected over the next five years.
I encourage you to embrace the opportunity to share with others what we as pharmacists are able to do. Enhance the pharmacy brand by sharing personal accounts of ways you have collaborated with an interdisciplinary team, positively impacted a patient’s care, or supported members of your community.
I look forward to seeing how our student community can come together to make an impact for the advancement of our profession. Lastly, to the P4 students applying for post-graduate positions, and to the P1-P3 students kicking off their Spring semester, I wish you all the best of luck this season.
ASHP Pharmacy Student Forum Executive Committee Member