5 Ways to Make APhA2017 a Reality for Pharmacy Students


How many pharmacy students can’t go to the APhA National Meeting because of money?

In putting up a Facebook post to support 2 students’ registrations to the American Pharmacy Association’s national meeting, I found overwhelming support for student leaders in APhA-ASP (Academy of Students of Pharmacy)

While a pharmacist can readily afford the trip, getting to and staying in a city like San Francisco may take some more creativity. Here are some tips for getting to this important meeting. Many schools of pharmacy have discretionary funds from alumni and here are 5 ways you can make your case to the administration or the college’s foundation.

1. Bring knowledge back. While at APhA2017 there are over 80 education sessions, so it is important to make clear how you will bring what you’ve learned in these sessions back to your college and the organizations there. It’s especially important that you focus on the most trending topics such as medication safety, new medications like novel biologics and biosimilars, MTM, and self-care.

2. Recruit and represent your college. With so many pharmacy organizations and students there, you can be the face and voice of the novel work that your college is doing. It’s important to not only create professional relationships for yourself, but that you can create the kinds of relationships that will work towards being national news.

3. Connect with vendors who can support your organization. Many companies are spending thousands to be in the exhibition hall. Inviting them to talk to your organization and spread the word about their product or company can help solidify a relationship that might allow for financial assistance in the coming years.

4. If you don’t ask for a raise, you likely won’t get it. Instead of asking for an extra dollar an hour or something that might be out of the pharmacy manager’s hands, consider asking for support to the meeting and to interact with the company’s charitable arm.

5. Just ask a pharmacist. The cost of a student registration is 0.25% of the average pharmacist’s salary or about a half day’s work. Many people gain their value and happiness from giving, by not asking them, you are denying their ability to help you. Just ask, I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised.

If you want to get to a meeting like APhA or to a goal, the biggest barrier is often your own self-esteem. There is an expression, you can double your income as quickly as you can double your self-esteem. That comes from the ability to ask for the help you need by articulating the value that you have. I encourage pharmacists to give to those students who have shown leadership but need the support of a pharmacist or pharmacy.

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