Have you ever been curious as to what a day in the life of an AACP APPE student is like? So have we!
The American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy is proud to announce that they are now accepting applications for APPE students who wish to complete a rotation and find out more about association work. Dr. Jennifer Adams, Senior Director of Strategic Academic Partnerships at AACP, is the primary preceptor for student pharmacists for the duration of their APPE rotation. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions you may have about the AACP APPE or related topics.
*For rotations occurring in the fall 2013 and spring 2014 time frame, AACP will accept applications until Nov. 1, 2012. All applicants will be notified by Jan. 30, 2013 of their acceptance status.
This blog will serve as an innovative forum for students to post their weekly reflections about their experiences at AACP and provide unique insight into the great work that the association does for academic pharmacy. Feel free to post your comments/feedback/suggestions and we look forward to sharing our journey with you!
Week 2: Mentorship vs. SponsorshipSeptember 8- September 12
It’s hard to believe my second week has already come to a close! Throughout this week, an open mind, flexibility, and the ability to work in a fast paced environment where each day’s schedule has a high degree of variability have been key. This week, I have done everything from attend my very first Washington Nationals baseball game to participating in meetings with PharmCAS committees to attending a briefing on Capitol Hill. Of all of these exciting opportunities, I found the Hispanic-Serving Health Professional Schools (HSHPS) briefing entitled “Eliminating Hispanic Health Disparities: A Collaborative Effort to Diversify the Heath Workforce” to be the most eye opening.
Being the first briefing I have attended, I was excited and eager to see what a session like this could offer for myself, AACP, and the other audience members who sought similar goals as this organization. Walking up the stairs, passing through security, and down the halls lined by congressional members’ offices, I was increasingly curious to learn more about HSHPS efforts to help diversify the healthcare profession as it pertained particularly to the pharmacy profession. Within the welcoming and opening remarks, I quickly learned the strides HSHPS were taking in medicine and public health to address the urgent issue in the gap between the Hispanic emerging leaders in public health and research and those leaders who are graying or nearing retirement. I found that up to 50-80% of under-represented minority (URM) physicians and other health professionals go on to practice in areas upon graduation with predominately underserved minority patients. That being said, a gap in future URM physicians will lead to an increased gap in care for the URM patients and communities. As the briefing discussed the opportunities created for URM physicians thus far, I was excited to hear their desire to expand their efforts to recruit and support URM students into the pharmacy and dental healthcare professions additionally.
Aside from the desire to create an interdisciplinary workforce, they also desire to help support and encourage Hispanic students to become leaders within their fields through relationships with strong and meaningful mentors. As stated by HSHPS president, Maureen Lichtveld, “Expand, Engage, and Sustain. Without those three we will get nowhere”. With these words and the discussion to follow on the need for mentoring of Hispanic students pre and post higher healthcare education, I began to reflect on the importance of a mentor’s role to expand their students’ knowledge, to engage them in these educational opportunities in a hands on manner, and to sustain this relationship by fostering leadership skills in the student’s passion. HSHPS discussed the potential benefits of layered mentorship programs in which a medical attending would mentor fellows, who would mentor residents, who would mentor medical students, who would mentor undergraduates, who would then mentor high school students. They also discussed a mentor’s increased service when he or she offers the “gift of invitation” in which they bring students on their journey with them. Finally, they discussed the distinction between a mentor and a sponsor. They defined a mentor being one who guides you throughout your career and a sponsor being one who goes a step further to be your advocate. A mentor may advise you on best practices or career decisions without telling you which path is the one to choose. A sponsor will mentor in a similar manner, but is also willing to stick their neck out for you and potentially put their reputation on the line in efforts to endorse you to their colleagues for opportunities such as residencies or job interviews. Therefore, just because you have a mentor doesn’t mean you will have a sponsorship relationship. However, often an excellent mentor comes hand in hand with an excellent sponsor.
Looking back on my personal experiences in pharmacy school thus far, I have had many mentors ranging from professors, to advisors in student organizations, to practicing clinicians, and most recently as preceptors. Luckily in many of these mentor relationships I have recently realized I too found sponsors who would advocate for my success, whether it be for opportunities in leadership development or in educational growth. Moving forward in my 4th year of pharmacy school and in my career, I hope to take my new perceptions of mentors versus sponsors to help guide my decisions on who I will seek mentorship from. I realize that not all mentors in my life will have to also serve as sponsors, but I have actively decided to strive to connect with passionate and meaningful individuals to serve as potential future sponsors, while continually building upon my current mentor and sponsorship relationships to help guide my path.
Quote of the Week: “Expand, Engage, and Sustain.”-Maureen Lichtveld, MD, MPH President, Hispanic Serving Health Professions Schools Profesor and Chair, Tulane University School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine
Lauren ClouseUNC Eshelman School of PharmacyPharm.D. Candidate, Class of 2015