Midyear Managed: Preplanning Your Paperwork

Pharmacy CareersPharmacy Careers Fall 2017
Volume 11
Issue 4

The American Society of Health-System Pharmacists Midyear Clinical Meeting and Exhibition is one of the largest and most intimidating pharmacy meetings of the year for pharmacy students.

The American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP) Midyear Clinical Meeting and Exhibition is one of the largest and most intimidating pharmacy meetings of the year for pharmacy students. In 2016, Midyear broke attendance records again, and it was well over 20,000 attendees nearly a decade ago. It’s that big!

When facing any daunting challenge such as Midyear, it is important to manage the mischief and maximize your time via preparation and practice—including polishing your paperwork. In this article, I will share resources that I and others have recommended to P4s in the past so that you can focus on what is most important for managing Midyear: you, and what you want to do after pharmacy school.

P3 Preparation

While the bulk of this article is focused on how students in their final year of pharmacy school (P4s) should prepare, here are some suggestions for P3s who are reading this ahead of time:

  • Find a P4 mentor or resident from your school now who can help guide you through the menagerie.
  • Choose advanced pharmacy practice experiences (APPEs) that have residencies or fellowships so you can interact with the residents and fellows while you are on rotation.
  • Shadow individuals in sub-specialties, as some postgraduate year 1 (PGY1) residency sites don’t offer postgraduate year 2 (PGY2) residencies.
  • If you’re not already and if your grades are good, get involved in leadership at school, and take on extra projects and groups; if a group doesn’t exist in an area of pharmacy you have interest in, start one!
  • Pair up to do research and publish with faculty or other students, especially if you want a residency.
  • Start working on your letter of intent, and follow everything else I am about to share with the P4s.

P4 Pre-Midyear Paperwork Preparation

First, you must begin with the end in mind. Who are you, and what do you want from your first post graduate experience?

Next, prepare your brand materials, because you need to brand yourself if you’re going to Midyear to stand out from the (very large) crowd. This would include:

  • A CV
  • A résumé
  • A polished LinkedIn profile
  • A “one page leave behind” on you
  • A business card

Résumés are more for fellowships, and CVs are more for residencies. It depends upon what the site requests from you on which document to hand over and when, but generally you want to have both prepared before Midyear. Your pharmacy school will most likely have sessions or a career development department to help you with your CV and résumé, so take advantage of every free offer you have in reviewing and tweaking either document. They need to be perfect in terms of spelling, grammar, and formatting. Try to get someone outside of pharmacy to review these documents as well, to catch acronyms that should be spelled out or to ensure that your syntax is clear on your descriptions in both documents.

After you have your CV and résumé ready, next go after your LinkedIn profile with the same level of tenacity, as many employers will take a glance at your LinkedIn profile long before they even look at your CV. Do all 3 of these documents match? Is your story consistent? With your LinkedIn profile, you can also deviate a bit and talk about who you are today where you want to go tomorrow. Match your pharmacy school experiences to the keywords in ideal residencies or fellowships you want next. If you want a specific residency down the road and have a job description, you can create an appropriately tailored cover letter. You may also consider uploading your CV online; if you are concerned about privacy, use your university or school address on your CV instead of your home address.

Your business card should include your name, address, phone number, and email address, as well as a URL to your LinkedIn profile, a shortened URL to your CV, and, if you keep them strictly professional and pharmacy-focused, other social media portals and handles. You might also choose to make your business card a unique shape or size to help distinguish it from the rest of the pile.

The one page leave behind is a document somewhere between a résumé and a business card that allows you to be creative and demonstrate who you are beyond pharmacy. For example, do you lead a fraternity or sorority? Do you play a college sport? Do you volunteer for nonprofit organizations outside of healthcare? Did you earn a cool scholarship for something you did or led? These are items that can tell a larger story about you than the information on a résumé or CV. Residency and fellowship directors appreciate the person beyond the future pharmacist, and want to know how you stand out from all the other pharmacy students at Midyear.

There are several other areas to prepare for before heading to Midyear, such as picking your top 10 post-graduation positions, mapping out where they are, preparing thoughtful questions, and picking attire. However, this article can hopefully get you started on the paperwork long before you head to sunny Orlando. Good luck!

Erin Albert, MBA, PharmD, JD, PAHM, is a health outcomes pharmacist, Pharmacy Podcast Network co-host, writer, entrepreneur, attorney, preceptor, career coach, STEM advocate. She has written several books on careers in pharmacy, including The Life Science Lawyer and The New Pharmacist: 46 Doses of Advice. More on Dr. Albert can be found on her website, www.erinalbert.com.

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