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A Day in the Life of a Postgraduate Trainee: Hey P4s, Don’t Miss It!

My first ASHP Midyear as a resident! How exciting! I couldn’t wait to finally be in the position that I had so often admired. This year, I was going to be the person that hundreds of pharmacy students would casually interview, visualizing themselves in my position next year, just as I had done. But then the interrogation began…

How many programs did you apply to?

When did programs start sending interview offers?

How many interviews did you get?

What was the farthest you traveled for an interview?

What topics did you consider presenting on for interviews?


Lots of well-meaning questions about my residency application and interview process that I simply could not answer. I just couldn’t remember all the details of last year’s long and laborious residency application season, despite thinking at the time that I would not, and could not, ever forget. Aside from some frighteningly worrisome evidence that I might experience some clinical benefit from memantine, I was more than a little sad to realize that I had forgotten all about those micro-dosed milestones along the way, and with it, I was afraid I had also lost a little bit of the joy I felt at achieving them. I still remember how joyous I was when my first interview invite came through. Before even getting out of bed, I immediately texted my best friend “I GOT AN INTERVIEW!” with tons of smiley face with tear emojis, of course. I may not remember the exact date, or which program it was, but I wish I did because it would make reminiscing about that success so much more tangible when I retell the story to my APPE students and residency applicants.

A cool kid once said: “Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.” Wise words from a guy who loved life and just wanted to enjoy an extravagant day off in the middle of an otherwise normal, boring week.

Now, while I’m not condoning that you go full–Ferris Bueller and shirk all of your responsibilities to spend a day galivanting around a large city with your friends impersonating cured meat royalty and committing egregious property damage, I *am* wholeheartedly encouraging you to really try to enjoy the process. Whether you’re applying for residency or your first professional role as a pharmacist, stop every once in a while and give yourself credit and kudos.

Stop to consider that, right now, you are at a place that was once a goal for you. You used to want to be done with undergraduate classes, complete your PCAT, get your pharmacy school applications submitted, get through pharmacy school interviews, and get into pharmacy school … and now you’re getting ready to graduate and move on to your first professional role! Take a second to really let that sink in, and congratulate yourself on all that you have already accomplished! Undergrad you is so proud of where you are today, and in high school, you couldn’t even comprehend the joy that you must be feeling at the prospect of completing your doctorate and getting hooded on stage in front of all the people who endlessly supported you on your way to and through pharmacy school. Don’t let them (and Ferris) down by not relishing the little moments that should serve as big reminders of just how amazing you are. Now get out there and talk yourself up in interviews, and make sure you write down the day your first interview invite was delivered so that you can celebrate it properly this time next year.


About the Author:

Sammy is a PGY-1 resident at Sun Life Health, a Federally Qualified Health Center in Casa Grande, Arizona. She enjoys the time she gets to spend helping her patients manage their chronic conditions and is especially excited about the new pediatric opportunities Sun Life's clinical pharmacy department is initiating! All of her & her husband's free time is spent doting on the love of their life: their Dalmatian, Kiwi.

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