6 New Year's Resolutions for Pharmacy Students

DECEMBER 20, 2016
As the year comes to an end, pharmacy students may be looking forward to a much-needed semester break. It is also a great time to pause and reflect upon goals for the upcoming year. You may be asking yourself, what can I do to enhance my pharmacy skills? Check out these 6 New Year’s resolutions to help keep you motivated.
  1. Learn something new: Learning something new can help prepare you for a career as a pharmacist.  Review a newly approved medication and educate your peers.  Check out the FDA website for information about new drug approvals. Brush up on new pharmacy laws and regulations by visiting your state board of pharmacy website. You can even take up a new hobby to help keep you motivated.  Read a book for pleasure or travel to a new destination. There are endless possibilities right at your fingertips.
  1. Join a pharmacy organization: If you have not done so already, try to join a pharmacy student organization. This is a great way to meet your peers and enhance your clinical skills. You will have the opportunity to participate in various pharmacy related activities such as health fairs and educational events.  If you are a member of a national pharmacy organization such as the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP), then you will also receive monthly journals that will help keep you up-to-date.  
  1. Update your curriculum vitae (CV): Take the time to update your CV after the New Year. Reflect upon all of your activities from the previous year so that you do not miss anything. An updated CV is always important, as opportunities may arise when you will need to send this out. There may be a scholarship or job opportunity that becomes available. If you are applying for a residency, then you should send an updated CV to individuals writing letters of recommendation.   
  1. Publish an article Seek out opportunities to publish an article. Publishing as a pharmacy student can help you stand out in the job market.  Collaborate with faculty or preceptors to conduct research or a literature review.  Participating in the peer review process can also help to enhance your writing skills.  The journal Hospital Pharmacy has a peer review training program for students under the guidance of a mentor.1
  1. Present a poster at a conference: Presenting a poster at a conference can be a rewarding experience and great networking opportunity.  Posters may include original research or literature reviews.  There are a variety of local and national conferences (eg ASHP) to choose from. 
  1. Create a professional social media presence: Social media is a great way to network and expand your professional horizons. Take the time to create a free Twitter and LinkedIn account. You can showcase your research, share drug information updates, and apply for jobs. Remember to always make sure that your posts are professional, as these platforms are very public in nature. 
The best of luck in your next semester and Happy New Year!
  1. Peer review mentoring program for students and residents. Hospital Pharmacy website.  http://www.thomasland.com/HPJ_peerprogram.html.  Accessed December 17, 2016.

Jennifer Gershman, PharmD, CPh
Jennifer Gershman, PharmD, CPh
Jennifer Gershman, PharmD, CPh, received her PharmD degree from Nova Southeastern University (NSU) College of Pharmacy in 2006 and completed a 2-year drug information residency. She served as a pharmacy professor at NSU’s College of Pharmacy for 6 years, managed the drug information center, and conducted medication therapy management reviews. Dr. Gershman has published research on prescription drug abuse, regulatory issues, and drug information in various scholarly journals. Additionally, she received the Sheriff’s Special Recognition Award for her collaboration with the Broward, Florida Sheriff’s Office to prevent prescription drug abuse through a drug disposal program. She has also presented at pharmacist and physician continuing education programs on topics that include medication errors, prescription drug abuse, and legal and regulatory issues. Dr. Gershman can be followed on Twitter @jgershman2