If you’re reading this post, then you made it through Michelle Yi’s year (If not click here for her blog on P1 year), and for that, I’d like to wish you congratulations! You’ve probably picked up a cornucopia of skills over the course of that first year, and I can guarantee those skills are going to come in quite handy time and time again throughout your career. Your P2 year is when pharmacy school starts ratcheting up in terms of the actual clinical knowledge, time spent in a community setting, and balancing everything you are involved in.
To provide a brief overview, I had a challenging time adjusting to the workload of P1 year because after coming from a major state school (Go Noles!) and having a background in what I perceived as a tough field of undergraduate studies, I honestly thought the pharmacy school might be easy. After getting my pride in check and refining my studying skills, pharmacy school scholastics started to click. All of this being said, I want to segue into some tips and tricks that have helped me with time management this far into pharmacy school. It may sound cliché, but if you treat pharmacy school like a 9 – 5 job it is amazing what you can accomplish in any free time that may present itself during the school week. I recommend fitting studying in wherever you can to provide far less of a headache than pulling an all-nighter. You will almost certainly still have to invest time in on the weekend to finish up everything you don’t get to over the course of the week, but having that time post 5:00 pm to relax or be involved is huge. Additionally, schedule everything in your calendar – whether that’s a paper organizer or an electronic calendar. Using a calendar helps me with organization and the general thought process and understanding of when I need to study, research, exercise, or vegetate with some Netflix.
Making it past your P1 year lays the foundation for the inception of your CV, but you should start intensifying your efforts to bolster your CV. How do you do that? Get involved! I believe one of the most important parts to pharmacy school is taking advantage of opportunities pharmacy school provides and using these resources and activities to get involved on the local, state or national level. If you are not already associated with an organization at your school, find one! A leadership position is always a great option for those looking to develop and grow those skills, but organizations also provide so many avenues for networking with fellow pharmacy students and pharmacists. Also, be aware of subjects that interest you either in the classroom or that have been fostered independently and pursue those passions by reaching out to anyone who might be able to provide mentorship, research resources, or leadership opportunities. Do not be afraid to ask your counselors/teachers/preceptors/etc. if there’s any way you can play a more vital role or get involved. To give you a personal story, I have always been interested in research and I tried to get my name in the classroom setting by asking my professors if they were working on anything. Sure enough, one of my professors reached out to me to help her collect data over the phone, compile the results, and check global trends to see how beneficial health fairs are in the community. Now that you’re ready to get involved ASHP provides the tools to help build and enhance your CV!
Currently, there are papers being published left and right with respect to clinician wellbeing/resilience/burnout in every healthcare field. That’s why you need to schedule some time for yourself for whatever leisure activity you enjoy. Different people manifest relaxation differently, if you do not already have something find something that suits you whether it’s indoor rock climbing, reading a good book, or becoming a yogi find what your activity is. On a personal level, I like to use my free-time as an opportunity to hit the gym or go hiking; something physical helps relax the mental workload of the week. Pharmacy students, a lot of us have the tendency to take on more projects then we realistically should. Be cognizant if you do hit a wall. Don’t be afraid to utilize your support network and learning that you can say no if you feel underwater is hugely important.