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Week 1: Refreshing by Kelley Ratermann

Hello - my name is Kelley Ratermann and I am currently a fourth year student pharmacist at the University of Kentucky College of Pharmacy. I am Dr. Adam's first APPE student for the 2012-2013 school year and I am excited to delve into work at AACP headquarters here in Alexandria, Virginia. It was decided that we have so many innovations and progressive programming occurring on a daily basis at AACP that a more broad audience would enjoy hearing "our story," therefore the idea for this blog became a reality. For the next six weeks, each of my blog posts will have a theme, denoted in the blog title by one word that I best think describes my experiences at AACP for that week. I hope you enjoy my weekly reflections and look forward to any comments or feedback you may want to share.

If I could choose one word to describe my first week at AACP, it would be refreshing. Working at AACP is quite different from my two previous rotations in infectious diseases and emergency medicine, and I like the change of pace this new experience has provided. Having previously worked in association management, I was unsure of what to expect due to this association’s focus specifically on academia versus serving a broader membership. I was overcome with surprise as I was greeted by staff with coffee and doughnuts on the first day. This warm welcome set the tone for the remainder of my week; every staff member at AACP has been very pleasant and forthcoming whether we arranged a formal meeting or simply had a casual exchange in passing. It is often noted that first impressions can have lasting impacts, and I can say with certainty that my impression of AACP after only one week was extremely positive and enjoyable.

I have several aspirations for my time here and one of my main goals during this six-week rotation is to sit down and have a discussion with each of the AACP Senior Staff members. This will serve to help me understand how the roles of these individuals function separately, as well as integrate with other important projects and programs to successfully operate AACP and serve the members. I have already met with over half of the senior staff and each meeting was distinctive and insightful for different reasons. After each interaction, I was able to bring the AACP picture into clearer focus in my mind and gain additional respect for what this organization strives to accomplish on a daily basis.  My final goal is to successfully delineate a web-based financial aid tool for current and prospective student pharmacists to utilize and increase their own personal finance literacy. I am hopeful that the wonderful people and resources at AACP will enable me to complete this necessary goal and remain refreshed through the duration of this rotation.

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