It might seem a bit odd to discuss ASHP Midyear before the holidays, but it’s never too soon to start looking ahead.
If you really want to distinguish yourself, find your first perfect gig after pharmacy school, and maneuver the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP) Midyear 2018, it is time to get prepared.
Midyear is one of the largest pharmacy meeting gatherings in the United States, with over 20,000 individuals attendees every year—so don’t go unprepared if you want an amazing residency or fellowship after pharmacy school. Competition is stiff, fierce, and steeper now than ever for the increasing number of budding pharmacists.
Based upon past student successes in conquering this very intimidating and overwhelming experience, here’s what I recommend:
Find a P4 mentor. If you’re a P2 or P3, find a P4 student who can help walk you through this process. There’s no better mentor than someone who has “been there, done that” recently; some pharmacy schools will assist with this through a process called layered learning.
Challenge yourself to find your first postschool gig before Midyear. This might sound crazy—after all, the point of Midyear is for students to look for a cool residency after school, right? Wrong. Shopping at Midyear as a P4 is too late. You need to do your homework before Midyear and plan far in advance.
Plenty of residencies and fellowships recruit long before Midyear. Interested in industry? Look at the Industry Pharmacists Organization’s FellowMatch program. If really want a residency, the match program is not the only avenue, however; you could even consider a nonaccredited residency. Every residency was not accredited at one point, and wouldn’t it be more unique and challenging to help build something new instead of fitting into a decades-old mold?
Create a list of companies you admire and go off the grid. This approach may seem strangest of all, but sit down and write a list of companies you admire inside and outside of pharmacy, then research them online. Do they offer internships or apprenticeships? Do they have in-house health care services for their employees? If not, could you help build that for them? Can you jump in and add to the conversation about employee wellness?
For example, one of the companies I love the most outside of health care is Pinterest—they have a “Pintern” program. How cool would it be, as a Pintern, to help them establish a foothold in improving health care and pharmacy? I’ve never worked for them, but perhaps you could.
If you really want to be an active attendee at Midyear instead of simply part of the chaos, follow these steps. By the time the meeting rolls around, you can breathe, avoid panicking, and perhaps even have some fun. Now go earn that A+!
Erin Albert, PharmD, JD, MBA, PAHM, is a writer, pharmacist, attorney, and former professor. Follow her on Twitter (@ErinLAlbert) or at her website (erinalbert.com).