Thursday, October 1, 2009

The many hats we wear

Posted by Akin at Thursday, October 01, 2009

As a fourth pharmacy student, my duties extend far beyond experiential rotations. I must also be thinking about completing my PharmD investigational research project, preparing for an hour-long seminar presentation, applications/interviews, and student organization obligations to name a few… just enough time-consuming requirements to make P-4 year anything but a vacation.

Another duty we P-4s have is to mentor first-year pharmacy students (P-1s) who are assigned to us. They shadow us on our rotations for a few days each semester. It is our responsibility to be a source of advice and support to them whenever they need. I have two P-1s assigned to me this year. Some might consider this as a double burden, as most students have just one P-1 student. But I see this as an opportunity not only to be a mentor, but also more importantly to “show-off”. (Smile.) Additionally, I can use this opportunity to reflect on my own P-1 year, and to see how far I’ve come in three years.

My P-1s came to Mott Children's Hospital to see me on my pediatric rotation service -- each on different days. As they asked me questions about my daily P-4 activities and my career goals, I began to realize that it wasn’t so long ago that I was in their shoes asking those same questions. When they asked me about my own aspirations after graduation, I told them what I wanted to do. But when I told them that there are many ways to get there and that I wasn’t 100 percent sure which route was best for me, I was reminded that I, too, need more guidance. I hope to get that at the ASHP Midyear Clinical Conference in December, and from my own mentors who are faculty and alumni.

It is good to have P-1 buddies to whom I can (hopefully) provide some wisdom that will last long after I graduate. I look forward to several more opportunities for them to shadow me as the year goes on. I want to give a shout-out to Courtney and Victor. You both are very enthusiastic students. But, just wait ‘til P-2 year!

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