Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Living My Why - Involvement in Pharmacy School

Over the weekend I attended one of my favorite pharmacy meetings. It’s called APhA-ASP’s Mid-Year Regional Meeting (MRM). My region is #5 – the Midwest. I have been highly involved with extracurriculars since I can remember. Kiwanis club from elementary to high school and involvement in multiple pharmacy organizations at my university. After spending the weekend at my 3rd MRM conference, I wanted to share my opinion on being involved. My experiences are tailored to pharmacy but it's my belief that no matter what your career, you are involved in communities to advance yourself and the profession. Here are some reasons why:

Feel free to add more to the discussion below!

•   Networking – You’ll hear this a million times but pharmacy is a small world. Being a member of an organization and actually participating in it allows for opportunities to meet peers and mentors who could someday influence your chances of getting hired. For real – I worked with a pharmacist who is now employed by one of her classmates. You just don’t know. So don’t act a fool and make every opportunity count! Even if they themselves don't hire you, they may know someone who can and will hook - you - up.

Half of our herd.

•   Inspiration – Attending MRM was different as a fourth-year professional student because I didn’t go home to my chapter and implement all the amazing ideas that were shared. Typically, when I held a chair or executive position, these meetings would add fuel to the fire for motivation and growth within the organization. This year was more about personal development and getting excited to be a new practitioner. The theme of the weekend was “Live Your Why”. As you can see in the photo below, I actually hashed out my first mission statement of sorts! *Snaps for Tori* I created my “why” statement to be general enough to apply to what I want to accomplish here in pharmacy, here on the blog and in daily living as well. Side note: I was also inspired to start studying for my NAPLEX board exam after winning the newest APhA review book!

Pharmacy school advocacy
I re-wrote this for you all 4-5 times. And by you I mean me.

•   Advocacy for your profession – This meeting specifically has a heavy focus on policy and what we as students can propose as ideas to advance our profession. To be more detailed, chapters attend this meeting and present proposals (i.e. supporting immunization certification training prior to the third-professional year, adding methadone clinic data to the PDMP, changing “baby aspirin” labels to “low-dose aspirin”) with the expectation to guide the practice in an improved direction. It's a little taste of the legislative process, without having to deal with all the politics behind the scenes.  

I love to talk.

•   To simply have fun – pharmacy school can be a long, soul-sucking (I typed that, then erased it, then typed it again and crossed it out – I’m trying to be real here) road. Backpacking off the networking bullet, it’s great to have friends in pharmacy who understand the trials and triumphs of the process. These colleagues are the ones that understand the need to go out once in a while and let loose. Pharmacy students party hard! Or so I've heard. Really, I'm boresville.

The social was Great Gatsby inspired and we were flappers - how'd we do?

Being engaged in your future profession by joining an organization (and also interning) will give you experiences you won't get in school or through studying - hence, the term extracurricular. Those experiences are worth more than 4 more points on your test! Anyway, this post felt brief so if you have specific questions on organizations I joined, how to get involved or want to share your own experiences - leave a comment!



  1. Thank you for sharing! How much longer do you have and how do you get involved with these organizations?

    1. Hi Shateya!

      I am half way through my last of six years! I think it will be campus specific but at my campus, NDSU we have an involvement expo where we are able to learn about the organizations our university offers. From there I just attended a few different meetings to determine which group was a fit for me and the members helped me to signup and pay dues. Now, as far as APhA-ASP - at some schools you are automatically enrolled as a member after paying dues during your first professional year (or so I've heard.) Does that clarify?