In light of the growing number of students opting for postgraduate training, colleges and schools of pharmacy may consider offering electives aimed at exposing students to postgraduate career opportunities and providing guidance to succeed.
Pharmacist careers have evolved far beyond the old drug dispensing roles, and it is clear that perception has not kept pace with reality regarding modern pharmacy practice and roles. The role of the pharmacist can conjure up the now outdated image of someone who simply puts pills in bottles.
With the growing number of career options, it may even imply different meanings depending on where the patient-pharmacist interaction occurs. Pharmacists are increasingly using their clinical knowledge in many different settings, including traditional community pharmacies and hospitals, as well as in alternative settings, such as primary clinical practices that engage patients.
Additionally, changes have occurred in pharmacy, such as an expanded role for pharmacy technicians, increased use of automated dispensing systems, and more patients opting for mail order or pharmacies. online, which has allowed pharmacists to consider alternative ways of providing health care in the community.
Among these, postgraduate/residency programs offer pharmacists a unique opportunity to enhance their therapeutic expertise and play an important role in optimizing patient-centered care, in collaboration with other health care providers. health. We often come across pharmacists working in areas such as informatics, pain management, cardiology, rehabilitation and public health.
There has also been significant interest in pursuing post-graduate training programs. In light of the growing number of students opting for postgraduate training, colleges and schools of pharmacy may consider offering electives aimed at exposing students to postgraduate career opportunities and providing guidance to succeed.
Even though many schools and colleges of pharmacy now offer electives, incorporating them into a curriculum could pique students’ interest early on and encourage them to pursue experiences that will not only make them qualified, but also make them competitive. for residency programs. In addition to resources such as resumes, letters of intent, and letters of recommendation, several organizations, such as the American College of Clinical Pharmacy and the American Society of Health System Pharmacists, provide guidance in these areas. By joining these types of organizations for a nominal membership fee, students can access their seminars/webinars or residency workshops.
Through one of the webinars, I learned that residency programs assess applicants using a metric system that incorporates individual skills, academic performance, publications, academic posters, leadership skills , professional experience and APPE experiences. When applying for residency programs, prospective pharmacists should familiarize themselves with these assessment metrics early in their careers so that they can secure such experiences during their studies and gain a competitive edge during residency programs.
That being said, there may be students like me who feel like they don’t fully understand the whole process of applying for residency and, in addition, may not be familiar with some of the assessment parameters themselves. , which makes the experience somewhat daunting for them. .
While future pharmacists are aware of the myriad of career options within the pharmacy profession, adapting this information into a program that provides greater clarity and guidance on how to approach these diverse options can prove useful.