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    The unordered refill: 10 more unsolicited tips for new pharm-school grads


    Kelly HowardBack in July, Drug Topics published “10 pieces of unsolicited advice for new pharmacy graduates” [DT Blog, July 24; www.bit.ly/DRTPKelly5], in which I asked my more seasoned pharmacist brethren for ideas to share. The response, as they say, was overwhelming. New grads and veteran pharmacists alike wrote in with their own insightful thoughts and suggestions, and I had some favorites of my own that just didn't fit into the first article. So here are another 10 pieces of unsolicited advice for new pharmacy graduates.

    1. Pay it forward. Precept. Volunteer. Be compassionate. Never forget that a slightly altered set of circumstances or coincidences could have landed you in an entirely different career, socioeconomic class, etc.

    2. Know that you cannot put a price on job satisfaction. As a floating nuclear pharmacist three years out of school, I earned a paycheck that exceeded the national average for pharmacists. I also worked 90 hours a week, lived out of a suitcase, and oh, yeah — handled radioactivity for a living. I quickly learned that my employers would not have paid me that much if they didn’t have to. With my next job I took a hefty pay cut, but my quality of life increased dramatically and I certainly didn’t miss the stress or the hours.

    3. Never stop learning. Our education shouldn’t slow down when we graduate; it should merely shift and laser-focus on our particular subspecialty or area of interest.

    4. Join a pharmacy organization, if only for the networking opportunities and free CE. Know, though, that your membership fees also go a long way toward funding scholarships, advocating pro-pharmacy legislation, and supporting the future of our profession.

    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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