3 Tips for Life on Pharmacy Rotations

AUGUST 19, 2016
Pharmacy school is a long process, lasting anywhere from 5 to 8 years. Students count down the days to graduation, and it’s a big relief when we’re finally released from the classroom and given the opportunity to apply all our knowledge in the real world on rotations.

I recently completed the classroom part of my pharmacy career and am in my final year on rotations before I become a licensed pharmacist. From this vantage point, I’d like to share some tips I’ve learned from my own journey, as well as some advice I’ve received from friends who’ve already graduated.

1. Choose Carefully
When picking your rotations, it’s important not to take the easy way out. Don’t pick a site because you’ve heard the preceptor lets you out early after 3 hours of work. Although that may seem like a pretty good idea at first, you must remember you’re paying tuition to be there and work for free.

The whole point of pharmacy rotations is to apply all the knowledge you’ve accumulated throughout your studies. Although you’ll have real-world application opportunities when you’re a pharmacist, right now, you have someone guiding you through decisions and helping you along the way, unlike when you’re actually a pharmacist and have to figure it out on your own. I chose several preceptors who are professors or have teaching backgrounds. I do receive extra daily work from them, in addition to the assignments already expected of me by my school, but I can honestly say I’m already learning so much.

Picking your rotations may not seem like a big deal, but it really is. You want to make sure you’ll benefit from it in the long run because it will not only help you further prepare for the North American Pharmacist Licensure Examination (NAPLEX), but also bestow knowledge that will potentially stay with you for the rest of your career.

Shelby Leheny, Pharm D, B.S
Shelby Leheny, Pharm D, B.S
Shelby Leheny received her Doctor of Pharmacy Degree from Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine (LECOM) and her Bachelor's of Science degree at the University of Pittsburgh. She is a pharmacist at CVS.