I was in your shoes. I was that student sitting in Therapeutics WAITING for a topic to speak to me. My classmates wanted to specialize in infectious disease, oncology, and cardiology. Although I found those topics fascinating, I couldn’t see myself in that niche. Until we started the women’s health module. I finally felt like I had a defined interest! But then uncertainty sunk in - I had NO IDEA if this was even a reasonable ‘specialty,’ who had a job like this, and what did I need to get there?
You may be in the same boat. Here’s a step by step guide to help YOU figure out your path.
1. Don’t worry about everyone else.
They’re on their own path. It doesn’t matter if you want to become the first pharmacist to specialize in ___ or the 500th pharmacist to specialize in ___. You are in charge of your career success and that begins BEFORE graduation!
2. Ask questions. To everyone.
Start with your college of pharmacy family. Your faculty and Dean know a LOT of pharmacists across the country (and internationally!) so they probably know someone can help/offer advice/chat about ___. Ask the pharmacists you work with. Ask guest speakers who come to class. Ask any alumni who you interact with. When you DO find someone who works in ___, ask what you need to do get a similar position. Ask what a typical day is like. Ask what other opportunities exist in that space.
3. Dig on the internet.
Pharmacy organization websites. State association websites. LinkedIn. Search engines. Use all of the key words in different combinations. Have you done some research and still not finding much on ___? Don’t give up. It doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist. It doesn’t mean you can’t do it. Keep digging.
4. Don’t ignore every other subject.
You may think you have found your favorite topic and career path. You may have already started doing steps 1-3 and have a solid idea of what your next move is. Stay open to all of the learning that is still coming your way. Laser focus is a great thing; just remember to take advantage of being a ‘student’ of your profession.
What questions do you have about your next step? Talk to us here.