Words of wisdom for new practitioners

This spring, thousands of new PharmD practitioners are walking across the stage, collecting their diplomas, and taking a flying leap into practice. Over the last few years, I’ve been struck by how disruptive these moments are for new grads with moves, new jobs, debt, often new families, and attempts to establish new connections as old ones move on to their own careers.

As lonely as these transitions may feel, they are also an opportunity to connect with fellow new practitioners in an awesome network of those who have recently walked a similar path.

I asked APhA’s new practitioner leaders for advice they would share with new graduates based on their experiences transitioning from student pharmacists to new practitioners. Here is a brief snapshot of what some of those leaders told me:

  • Remember why you chose to become a pharmacist. Find your passion and let that drive your career.
  • Put your patients first. Treat each patient with the same care and attention you would a family member.
  • Practice at the top of your license each day.
  • Take charge of your finances. Make a debt management plan immediately and stick to it to help you get out of debt more quickly.

 As new practitioners, you have access to a network of remarkable folks through APhA (www.pharmacist.com). We are here to support you as you seek your essential place on the health care team. All of pharmacy is united to get you on the team and in the game as an important member of the emerging health care team (www.pharmacistsprovidecare.com).   

To be an effective team member, we all need to stay connected. The relatively short time you spent in pharmacy school has provided a chance to make hundreds of important lifetime connections, but that’s just the beginning! Building connections and committing to lifelong learning are the keys to continued career growth and fulfillment.

One group of new practitioners pleaded with me to make the point that letting connections fade into obscurity after commencement may seem like the easiest road. But I encourage you to keep up those relationships, no matter how difficult that might be. Show up. Get connected. Stay engaged. Serve.

For more information about APhA New Practitioner Network, visit www.pharmacist.com/new-practitioner-network.