Written By: Elodie Tendoh, Second-Year Student Pharmacist

The American Pharmacist Association-Academy of Student Pharmacists (APhA-ASP) prides itself on serving as the collective voice for student pharmacists, improving health care, advancing the future of the pharmacy profession, and providing opportunities for its members’ professional growth. Becoming a member as a student pharmacist gives you access to leadership opportunities, scholarship awards, patient care projects, international learning experiences, and professional and career development programs.

It is said that knowledge is key. Continually arming yourself with knowledge will enable you to make well-informed decisions about your future career. As student pharmacists, there are many ways that you can acquire knowledge about your profession. Attending professional meetings is one of the most important ones. Here are 10 reasons why you should consider attending the upcoming APhA Annual Meeting March 16-19 in Nashville, Tenn.

  1. Networking: Meet passionate students and pharmacy practitioners from a wide range of practice settings across the United States. You’ll get to know members of other student chapters and make friendships and connections that will last a lifetime.
  1. Exposition: Discover the breadth of pharmaceutical companies and programs available across the country. You’ll have opportunities to network with managers and recruiters and establish relationships that will help you land an internship or future job.
  1. House of Delegates: The APhA Annual Meeting is your chance to get involved with the organization’s House of Delegates and take an active role in upholding the responsibilities that student pharmacists have to help advance the pharmacy profession.
  1. Leadership Training Series: Take part in this interactive training series that will not only help you grow professionally, but also provide you with a certificate that will enhance your CV.
  1. Chapter Officers Breakout Sessions: Special sessions are held throughout the conference for current and prospective executive board members and patient care project chairs. These sessions offer an opportunity for student leaders to share ideas and gain knowledge that will help them better serve their communities. First-year student pharmacists are highly encouraged to attend these sessions, especially if they plan to pursue a leadership position with the student organization in the future.
  1. Continuing Education: The conference boasts a wide range of continuing education (CE) sessions focused on new developments and challenges that affect the pharmacy profession. Attending one of these sessions is a great way to begin learning about pharmacy practice and current innovations in the profession.
  1. Explore the Vastness of Pharmacy Practice: Attend sessions focused on health-system pharmacy, academic pharmacy, industry, and many more areas of interest. You might even discover the area of pharmacy that you want to pursue as a career.
  1. Federal Forum: Learn about the many different ways that you can get involved with the pharmacy profession in the federal government, including Veteran Affairs and the Indian Health Service, just to name a few.
  1. National Executive Committee Elections: The APhA Annual Meeting offers attendees the opportunity to meet the future leaders of APhA-ASP and become inspired by their ideas and experiences. You will also have the chance to voice your opinion about who should lead the organization and support the members of your chapter who are running for leadership positions.
  1. Awards: Being at the meeting as your chapter is recognized for the work its members are doing for both the profession and community is an incredibly fulfilling experience. Be part of this celebration and get inspired to become even more involved in your chapter.

Now that you know how important (and fun!) it is to attend the APhA Annual Meeting, hurry now and register for this year’s conference before the early bird registration period ends on Friday, Feb. 2. And, if you are not already a member, I encourage you to join APhA-ASP after attending the conference so that you can continue to enjoy all of the resources that our organization has in store for enthusiastic student pharmacists like you.

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