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    8 reasons to become a pharmacy preceptor

    Kelly HowardKelly HowardNot infrequently, students and pharmacists alike ask me why I choose to precept pharmacy students. The short answer is that I precept students for essentially the same reason I write this column. I’ve made a shocking number of missteps and bad choices in my career and, having emerged relatively unscathed thus far, I feel compelled to share with my colleagues in an effort to prevent them from following in my shaky footsteps. Or, as I say to my students, “Laugh at my pain — and then learn from it.”

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    If you are not a preceptor, you might feel justified in not taking it on. Here are eight reasons to make you reconsider.

    1. Pay it forward. We all have a favorite preceptor whom we remember fondly and credit for some of our successes as pharmacists. You could be that preceptor to a fledgling student, and you should certainly try.

    2. Stay current. I pride myself on learning something new at work every single day. When I have a student, I may learn 10 new clinical pearls or facts that day. PY4 students are literally unmined gold; their knowledge base is current and robust.

    3. CE credit. As a North Carolina-licensed pharmacist, I can earn up to five hours of live CE credit every year for precepting students. Check with your state’s board of pharmacy to find out whether your state offers a similar incentive.

    See also: Rethinking ASHP's 2020 initiative

    4. Expand your network. Just as kittens grow into cats and puppies into dogs, pharmacy students grow into pharmacists. You may currently be preceptor to a student who will someday be your manager or a practice innovator — or the first Pharmacist General of the United States.

    5. Elevate your job prospects. Obviously, being a preceptor can be viewed as a resume builder, but what you might not have considered is the idea that your current student could be your future co-worker or employer. The last time I was actively seeking a job, I reached out to former students and asked them to notify me of openings at their places of employment, which did turn up some good opportunities.

    Kelly Howard, BS, PharmD, BCPS
    Kelly Howard is a blogger and freelance pharmacist in Southeastern North Carolina. Contact her at [email protected] or ...

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