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Week 4 - Wrapping Up
Wrapping Up
March 24 – March 28
 
My last week at AACP was a time for tying up loose, ends, finishing projects, giving my final presentation, and getting ready to attend the APhA Annual Meeting. As everything started to come together and I was preparing to leave Washington DC, I thought about what my time at AACP meant to me and how it will impact the kind of pharmacist I hope to be. Completing an APPE at AACP may seem like an unusual choice, especially for someone who plans to pursue a career in clinical pharmacy. But what I realized in thinking about my time at AACP is that I learned far about more than just association management or academic pharmacy. I had been revitalized and my interest in pharmacy reignited by this APPE.
 
The road through pharmacy school is not an easy one. Classes are challenging, rotations are demanding, and the strains on one’s schedule and free time can be overwhelming. By the end, many student pharmacists are ready to finish school and get a job so they can start putting to good use all the skills they have acquired. Make no mistake, I am one of those students, and am thrilled that in a few short weeks I will be receiving my degree. But what I didn’t realize previously, and can see much better now, is how those years of hard work accumulate and can exhaust students. I came to AACP, as my second to last rotation, ready to complete my rotation and be done. I left ten times more excited about being a pharmacist, and about teaching the student pharmacists coming behind me, than I was when I arrived.
 
There is an intangible quality at AACP that makes the environment conducive to this feeling. The people are genuinely enthusiastic about pharmacy. They want to take strides to progress pharmacy education, to improve the practice of pharmacy by advocating for relevant policy, and to make sure that faculty, staff, and administration at schools and colleges of pharmacy across the country have the resources they need to effectively prepare students to be excellent practicing pharmacists. To see people who had been working in pharmacy for so many years, and to feel their enthusiasm for my field of study, made me even more excited that I have chosen such a dynamic career, and gave me faith that there will always be people pushing for pharmacy to continue to better itself.
 
While I was sad to leave AACP and the wonderful people I met during my time there, I will take this newfound energy and spread it as best I can to my classmates and coworkers. I will show them every day through my words and my actions, how I articulate my feelings about pharmacy, and how I care for my patients that there is no field I would rather be in and no one I would rather be helping or talking to. I will take this attitude with me as I start my residency and I will show everyone I interact with how proud I am to be a pharmacist. I will strive to be the role model of pharmacy that I have envisioned throughout my training. It is finally my chance to be that model for someone else, and my time at AACP was the final touch to empower me to be the change.
 
Caroline Small
PharmD Candidate, Class of 2014
University of New Mexico College of Pharmacy

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