Lindsey Lakos summed up the sentiment of P3 students Thursday, following the send-off event that marks the end of pharmacy students’ classroom training and the beginning of their clinical rotations.
“I’m official!” she yelled out, arms in the air in a “v” when she saw Logan Gee, ACPHS’ director of Student Engagement and Wellness, in the dining hall.
The annual P3 sendoff is for students in the pharmacy doctorate program who have finished their third year of professional studies. There are 134 Pharm.D. students making that transition this semester. During the next year, each student must complete seven six-week rotations covering a different area of pharmacy, including a hospital setting, ambulatory care clinic and retail pharmacy.
Most of the Pharm.D. Class of 2024 attended the event at the Gozzo Student Center on April 27 to hear advice (see some tips below) from Dr. Leslie Riddle, a preceptor at St. Peter’s Hospital emergency room and the 2022 ACPHS Preceptor of the Year, and Alexa Nero, a 2023 Pharm.D. candidate who just completed her own rotation year, as well as faculty and staff, about how to get the most out of their rotation year.
Students also received professional business cards that identified them as student pharmacists from ACPHS, and they recited the Oath of a Pharmacist.
Attendees said they felt a combination of anxiety and excitement over the prospect of leaving the classrooms they know so well.
“I’m really nervous,” said Austin Lewerk of Mystic, Conn. “I’ve figured out the school aspect of everything. The on-the-job stuff, I’m excited about it, but really nervous.”
The sendoff eased his jitters somewhat, he said, because it was clear that mentors at the College, as well as preceptors, would still be available to him.
Dylan Knapp of Middletown, N.Y., said he was looking at rotations as a natural extension of his education, rather than starting something new, knowing that he will still need to study to prepare for his work at different sites.
“There’s so much more to learn once you get out in the field,” Knapp said.
Juliette Beatty of Bennington, Vt., said she was looking forward to interacting with patients.
“I like the fact that I’ll be able to be judged as a person as a whole and how I treat patients, and not have to take tests,” she said. “My personality doesn’t reflect in my grades.”
These tips to P3 students came from Dean Anuja Ghorpade, Dr. Leslie Riddle and Alexa Nero.