By: Alissa Karr, Purdue University College of Pharmacy Pharm.D. Candidate c/o 2012
Alissa Karr is a PharmD Graduate from Purdue University College of Pharmacy, Class of 2012. She is the current secretary of the American College of Clinical Pharmacy (ACCP) StuNet Advisory Committee. Her post-graduation plans are to obtain a pharmacy practice residency at Indiana University Health in Indianapolis, IN. She hopes to complete an oncology specialty residency after her pharmacy practice residency, in order to become an oncology clinical specialist at an academic medical center.
As I prepared for APPE rotations, I was concerned that I was no longer going to be actively involved in professional pharmacy organizations. This was a concern to me as I filled the majority of my extracurricular time at Purdue as an active member of Rho Chi, Purdue’s Student Society of Health-System Pharmacists, American Pharmacists Association-Academy of Student Pharmacists (APhA-ASP), and Phi Lambda Sigma. I did not want my leadership skills and advocacy for the pharmacy profession hindered while on rotations, so I discussed this with my mentors. After much discussion, I chose to apply for an appointment to an American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP) Advisory Group, the Indiana College of Clinical Pharmacy (ICCP), and the American College of Clinical Pharmacy (ACCP) National StuNet Advisory Committee (SNAC). It was my honor to serve as a student representative for ICCP and the secretary of SNAC.
It was an exciting and challenging time to hold both state and national leadership positions, but I knew the benefits would be worth the extra workload. I will admit that my knowledge of ACCP was lacking when I accepted my position, but I have found ACCP to be a perfect fit for me professionally. The purpose of ACCP “is to advance human health by extending the frontiers of clinical pharmacy, through strategic initiatives, partnerships, collaborations, and alliances.” Members of ACCP range from students, residents and fellows to practitioners, scientists, educators, and administrators. The diversity of membership allows for a lot of networking opportunities within and outside peer groups. ACCP also offers 22 Practice and Research Networks (PRNs). These networks serve an area of practice and interest. Each PRN holds a business meeting during the ACCP annual meeting. Students are encouraged to join and participate in the PRNs. Currently, free membership to one PRN is included with student ACCP membership fees. The PRNs are a great resource of information via email digests as well as access to current practitioners in a specialty area. The PRNs may also present student leadership opportunities.
Being SNAC secretary has been an invaluable experience. Meeting students from across the country has been the highlight of my appointment. It is exciting to hear about the passions and initiatives at other pharmacy schools. It is also great developing a nationwide network of peers. My main secretarial duty has been to take minutes at our meetings. We had one face-to-face meeting at the ACCP Annual Meeting in October. Our other meetings have been via conference call, and we communicate a lot through email. Each year, the ACCP Board of Regents (BOR) presents SNAC with certain charges. These charges provide the framework for the SNAC agenda during the appointment year; however, the committee has the freedom to tackle the charges in its own manner. Interim reports sent to the BOR throughout the year allow BOR to provide feedback on the progress of the charges. This prevents wasting time heading in the wrong direction. The appointment year concludes with submission of a final report. It is rewarding seeing the committee’s hard work in writing.
Being a student member of ACCP has many benefits including leadership, networking, and education opportunities. The ACCP Annual Meeting has specific student programming as well as opportunity to present posters. This meeting is a great networking opportunity as it has much lower attendance than the ASHP or APhA annual meetings. You do not feel that you are lost in the crowd. A program piloted at the ACCP Updates in Therapeutics® 2012 Meeting called “Emerge from the Crowd: How to Become a Standout Residency Candidate” helps current professional year students who are not yet on APPE rotations. Additional seats procured to accommodate the participants shows the large interest in the program. This program will likely become a regular program at this meeting as pharmacy residencies continue to become more competitive. Additional benefits to membership include an online CV review, career development resources, and access to a student published newsletter. I encourage everyone to take time to peruse the website, www.accp.com, to learn more about what ACCP can offer you.