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Week 6: Opportunity by Kelley Ratermann

If I could choose one word to describe my sixth and final week at AACP, it would be opportunity. As this rotation wound down over the past week, I took some time to reflect on all that I have experienced here and realized what a great opportunity it has been. To sit alongside many of the best pharmacy academic leaders in this office has been a true blessing and I have learned a great deal of information simply by listening. The wide range of experiences I have been fortunate to gain while rotating at AACP has broadened my outlook and helped me to tailor my long-term goals towards a future in academic pharmacy.

This rotation has definitely lived up to my expectations; each day I learned a new aspect of academic pharmacy. For example, when I spoke to Cecilia about the new iteration of the Center for the Advancement of Pharmaceutical Education (CAPE) educational outcomes—focused on evolving pharmacy curricula—or when I sat down with Lucinda to discuss her recent publication in JAPhA about assessing quality in pharmacy education during this era of rapid expansion, I was amazed by the intricacies of these tasks. It has become evident to me that every employee at AACP works with a purpose, driven by tasks that are created to relate back to the strategic plan. The six critical issues that compose AACP’s strategic plan include:

1.       Human resources for education, research, and service

2.       Academic resources and program quality

3.       Professional practice development

4.       Advocacy

5.       Research and scholarship

6.       AACP financial resources and infrastructure

These overarching categories encompass the daily activities that occur at AACP and allow for a focused, concise direction for the staff to complete tasks in a timely fashion. This is important as the profession expands and the needs of faculty increase, so that staff can serve the membership to the best of their ability and engage pharmacy faculty in pioneering initiatives on behalf of the Association.

As I move from this rotation back to Kentucky and begin new challenges, I will be diligent in remaining an active member of AACP and look forward to integrating my goal of becoming faculty into my career. I am certain that the knowledge I have gained regarding higher education and forming lasting relationships on a professional level will continuously serve me in future endeavors. I cannot thank Jen enough for her insight and allowing me to gain such varied experiences during my time at AACP from collaborating on my projects, to enjoying apothecary tours after work, sharing delicious food in San Francisco, and even singing off-key at a Third Eye Blind concert. I am invested in the mission of ACCP and promise to always promote professional and graduate education and research throughout my career and personal advocacy efforts. Here’s to continuing the pharmacy legacy by training top tier faculty and encouraging student pharmacists to capitalize on the opportunity to be champions of the profession.

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