From my own experience and what I’ve seen from other pharmacy programs, I believe that all students APPE selection processes are very similar but also very unique. It is similar in that we all must gain experience in four practice settings: (1) community pharmacy; (2) ambulatory patient care; (3) hospital/health system pharmacy; and (4) inpatient general medicine patient care. But what makes each of our processes unique is who we choose/are able to complete these rotations with, where we complete these rotations, when we complete them, how we complete them, and why we complete them. There is no surprise when you hear past students who say that they simply wanted the most relaxed rotation schedule possible and wanted no struggle on their way to graduation. All I know is that I wanted a final year of pharmacy school that proved to be beneficial for myself as I continue to figure out what I want to do in my career and where I would like to go.
In my school’s APPE process we were allowed to make preferred rotation site selections that were then given in a randomized fashion. I do believe that this process is fair but I knew that I did not want to leave my APPE rotations to chance. With that in mind, I made sure to reach out to my APPE coordinator early and often throughout the process to stay up to date on the available rotation sites both in and outside of the Las Vegas area.
The first site that I was able to secure was here at RxInsider. Honestly, I found out about RxInsider through a meeting with my APPE coordinator who knew that I was willing to travel anywhere in the country to complete a rotation as long as I saw a unique and beneficial opportunity. I jumped at the chance to work with RxInsider in Rhode Island because of what their CEO/Founder Greg Cianfarani has been able to accomplish as a pharmacist.
Next, I was able to secure a rotation with the VA Healthcare System in Reno. Although many students experience rotations with the VA, I wanted to spend a considerable amount of time in a hospital setting that provided a challenging yet beneficial experience. Rotations are normally six weeks long which in my mind is too short for someone such as myself who has not worked in a hospital pharmacy for an extended period of time. Instead of just one rotation, I decided that spending two rotations or a total of twelve weeks would provide a much more fulfilling and rewarding experience.
Last, I utilized the connections that I had prior to pharmacy school to secure a community rotation. This rotation will be through my undergraduate school’s health center pharmacy. I’m glad that I was able to make this rotation happen as it allows me to in a sense, get back to my roots and be back with the first pharmacy staff I have ever worked with but this time as an APPE student.
In this post I hope I was able to convey the following points:
1. If possible, be open to rotations across the country
2. Approach APPEs as an opportunity to see as many aspects of the profession as possible
3. Look for challenging rotations that will benefit you as a professional
This post is related to:Schools of Pharmacy