Posted on July 15, 2019 in: Professional Practice
By Catlin Page, Pharm.D., PGY-1 resident and Sandra Youssef, Pharm.D., PGY-1 resident, Henry Ford Macomb Hospital, Clinton Township, Mich.
As the school year comes to an end, many students celebrate the start of summer and the relief of completing another year of school. For some, the end of this school year is a celebration of completing a program and entering a new profession. This can be a scary transition, especially for those graduates starting their new careers as pharmacists.
The most important part of this transition is knowing that you will not know everything and that is okay! School has provided you with the foundation of your knowledge, but practice provides you with the experience. Through experience you will see so much more than school can provide, and as a young pharmacist, know your limits and don't be shy to admit when you don't know something. Ask the questions, because your preceptors and colleagues can expand your knowledge base through their own experiences. Continue to push yourself to self-teach and expand your knowledge base even when the schooling stops.
As you begin this journey, realize that you may have a lot of questions and be slower than the other seasoned pharmacists around you. Patient safety should not be compromised at the cost of not feeling embarrassed or a nuisance. With that being said, it is important to know that you are going to make mistakes throughout your career. These mistakes don't define your skills as a pharmacist. Instead, learn from these mistakes and use them as opportunities to grow.
In your career you are going to have plenty of opportunities to give back, not only in the community, but also to other student pharmacists. Reflect on your time as a student and remember the preceptors who helped you along the way. Learning from good preceptors and the "bad" preceptors will help you develop a teaching style that is all your own. It is important to know that even if you don't think you have an effect on someone during your time as a pharmacist, even just taking a second to talk to a struggling student may help them in ways you never thought possible.
Through transition we find challenge, but only through this challenge do we find our purpose. This transition period is short compared to a life full of accomplishments. Use this period to learn and grow into the pharmacist you want to be. "Understand that the hardest times in life to go through are when you are transitioning from one version of yourself to another"-Sarah Addison Allen.