If you are a fourth-year pharmacy student heading to ASHP Midyear this December, here are 5 quick tips to help you get your “ducks in a line” from a current pharmacist who was recently in your shoes.
Authored By: Kaitlyn Loi, Pharm.D.
December is an exciting and stressful time for fourth-year pharmacy students (aka P4’s). Advanced pharmacy practice experiences (i.e., rotations), job interviews, and residency applications are in full swing and it feels like graduation just cannot come soon enough.
For P4’s pursuing post-graduate and post-doctoral positions, the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP) Midyear Clinical Meeting (MCM) is an important time to gather information about residencies and fellowships as well as interview and network.
For P4’s preparing for the Residency Showcase and Personal Placement Service (PPS), here are some last minute tips to prepare you for a successful ASHP MCM in Las Vegas…
DO NOT: Forget your tie (for men) & comfy shoes (for women)!
The ASHP MCM is the world’s largest annual pharmacy convention. With over 20,000 pharmacists, industry representatives, residents, and students in attendance (i.e., a sea of people in black suits), it is unlikely that you will be remembered for any aspect of your outfit that week. Even so, remembering to pack an outfit that you feel confident and comfortable in can help minimize stress the day of the showcase or your interview.
Chances are you will be doing a lot of walking, networking, and interviewing the week of Midyear, and the last thing you want to worry about is missing or bringing the wrong attire!
DO: Remember your business cards & to do a final update / spellcheck of your CV
You never know who you will run into and when, so it is always a good idea to remember your business cards and have a PDF copy of your most up to date and spell-checked curriculum vitae e-mail ready.
Pharmacy is a small world and with a professional meeting this large, it is very possible that you could end up on a plane sitting next to the residency program director or industry representative of the post-graduate position of your dreams on the way to or from Las Vegas!
DO: Remember to eat & stay hydrated
Between poster/platform presentations, continuing education lectures, university obligations, the Residency Showcase, and Personnel Placement Service (PPS), you will feel like you are running back and forth most days. No matter how busy your day is, do not forget that you do have time to eat and hydrate!
Nothing is worse than being “hangry” or feeling irritable and jittery. This is especially true while presenting your research poster, or worse – while talking to a residency program director or interviewing at PPS!
DO NOT: Stress too much or forget to breathe
While attending the ASHP MCM as a P4 can be stressful (especially for those attending the Residency Showcase and participating in PPS), do not let it make you go crazy!
No matter how bad an interaction or interview goes, venting about it in the bathroom and on the shuttle will not help and only lead to people overhearing your conversation. Save any venting and complaining for when you get back to your hotel room and it will help avoid any potentially embarrassing and awkward situations.
DO: Have fun and try to learn something
While the Residency Showcase and PPS can be exhausting, remember to try and take a break to enjoy the rest of the meeting too. The MCM can be a fun time to catch up with classmates, preceptors, and coworkers, all while networking.
Outside of the showcase and PPS, student and resident poster sessions are a great way to network and come up with ideas to bring back to rotation and your future residency/fellowship. Also, even though you are not licensed yet, make it a point to attend a couple of continuing education presentations for your own practice.
Good luck and safe travels!
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