Happy New Year Student Pharmacists!
I hope everyone had a great holiday break and has come back to the new semester refreshed and recharged! With the New Year, I believe it is a perfect time to reflect on goals to be achieved in 2020. These goals may be personal or academic, such as improving well-being or preparing for the next semester. For P4 students, goals may be more professional as preparation continues for residency, fellowship, or job interviews. Whatever your goals may be, it is important to consistently refer back and evaluate the progression of completing the goal.
December brought the 2019 ASHP Midyear Clinical Meeting in Las Vegas, Nevada, and I hope those who were able to attend the meeting found beneficial networking opportunities. This was my first year attending Midyear and I understand why it is such an important aspect in the pharmacy world. I found Midyear to be both very rewarding and inspiring.
The student programming at Midyear was worth the conference alone. Student programming consisted of a variety of topics including residency preparation, curriculum vitae building and self-marketing, strategies for personal and professional success, workforce well-being and resilience, and what to do when the unexpected happens. Each session provided a unique insight into topics important to us as students and as we transition into the role of a new practitioner. ASHP does a great job of recruiting pharmacy leaders who are passionate about sharing their experience and advice for students. Every speaker I encountered was more than happy to stay afterward to answer questions and share contact information for follow-up conversations.
Navigating the Residency Showcase can be very intimidating however, having a plan and goal will go a long way in relieving anxiety and make the Residency Showcase an enjoyable experience. I suggest P1-P3 students do some research beforehand about a few programs. I did not find it necessary to talk for a long time with a program and I found that just a couple minutes was more than sufficient. Keep in mind that programs want you to feel comfortable and gain value from this experience.
Overall, I loved my first Midyear experience because I was able to make a connection with more pharmacy students and pharmacists from across the country who offered great advice! Midyear provides a substantial amount of information to help guide us as pharmacy students. Keep in mind that ASHP provides even more resources online and on ASHP Connect to support students through residency preparation, curriculum vitae building, student leadership development, and career planning.
Remember, pharmacy school is not a sprint; it is a marathon. A successful technique is to self-reflect by creating and evaluating short- and long-term goals to get through this challenging yet rewarding experience!
Pharm.D. Candidate 2021
Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine
Vice Chair, ASHP Pharmacy Student Forum Executive Committee