“So, pharm school is real tough, I hear. As a freshman, what would you advise me to do?” An acquaintance asked me days back over lunch. I wanted to dive into complaining of how tough Pharmacology or Pharmaceutical Chemistry would get, but I let that pass. From the conversation, came 5 tips to succeed in pharmacy school that could come in handy to a pharm student in the near future.
Uno, volunteer yourself to any pharmaceutical field you can. It could be at your local community pharmacy, the health center at home, the CCC (Comprehensive Care Center) department at the nearest referral hospital et cetera… There are vast options you may venture in. Plus, Voluntary jobs have a great positive input on your C.V. Wink, wink.
Second, attach yourself to various institutions when possible. For example, during my 2nd long holiday, I applied for an attachment at a pharmaceutical industrial. This not only boosted my scores in the Pharmaceutics units I did the following semester, but also opened up my perspective on the concepts of the drug manufacture as well as research & development sectors. The long holiday that followed, I found myself in a hospital setup living my childhood dream through patient interaction. This also prepared me for the clinical pharmacy units I did in the semester that followed.
Third, keep an open mind in practice. In the medical field, practice is what makes one more knowledgable. You may find that your supervisor or superior has a lower academic qualification as compared to what you’re currently pursuing. In the several places I have been attached to or voluntered at, this scenario played out very often. However, they have taught me much more than the pharm texts have.
Quatro, make good rapport. Build a good working relationship with the people you meet on the field. Here’s an example, a colleague of mine went to this chemist on her 1st long holiday and voluntered herself to the practice. She made such great acquaintanceship with the personnel such that in each long holiday she had afterwards, they phoned her and asked her to check in. This time, under apprenticeship. Meaning someone got some ‘chums’ in her little purse by the end of the day. Just so you know, should I have any question on dispensing or a prescription I would always consider her as my 1st consult. A good rapport could see you gain great advantage over your colleagues. For instance, you could get locums over the weekends or even job vacancies through referrals built by the good rapport you created.
Finally, attend as many pharmacy and pharm-related events on and off campus. This way, you get to connect with not only other pharmacy students but also other students of the medical field. Here, you’ll get to learn more from the forums such as Antimicrobial Awareness Week Forums, Pharmacy week forums and talks, role of clinical pharmacists in COVID-19 pandemic, et cetera et cetera… Certain knowledge gained from such events may not be covered in class. Also worth mentioning is the acquaintances you’ll make from various unis and the alumni you meet will come in handy in a day or two to come.
Don’t forget to check out our previous blog post – What You Didn’t Know About Euthanasia if you haven’t already. Leave a like, share and comment down below.