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Residency, Fellowship, or Find a Job: How to Approach this Fork in the Road

It’s about to get real. If you’re in your final year of pharmacy school, you have some big decisions coming up. If you are not yet in your final year, then use this as an opportunity to get a jump-start!

When you are on rotations, everyone asks you what you want to do after graduation. How can you possibly answer when you still have a gazillion rotations left? Pretty soon, you’ll hear other students answer that question with more ease – such confidence, you may think. Before you know it you’ll either jump on the Midyear train or not. Whether you think you’re ready is besides the point. No one ever really feels ready!

Ok, so you see this fork in the road coming up. What can make you feel more confident about your next steps? It’s simple yet not always easy: start talking to more people.

  • Current residents

  • New grads

  • Pharmacists who wanted a residency and didn’t match

  • Fellows in industry

  • Fellows in non-industry positions

  • Pharmacists who are 5 years past their post-graduation training

  • Your mentor

  • Your supervisor at work

  • The pharmacist who has the job you think is your dream job

  • The pharmacist who has the job you think is the worst

  • The professor at school who seems to know a lot about this stuff

Make a list of these people. You should ask them about the following:

  • Their job

  • What excites them

  • What frustrates them

  • What they wish they knew as a student

  • What they would do if they could do it all over again

  • What they would tell a graduate of 2021

If you do this, you will start to feel better about the upcoming fork in the road. A little better, but just enough to make a decision. Remember, this isn’t final! It just feels heavy and confusing and life-altering. But in reality, all of your career options are still options for you one year from now. And later. And later.

When we let go of needing to know what the future will hold, we’re more ready to make a plan for what makes sense for us right now.

Share this with someone who is in their final year! Then catch up on our last couple blogs, Worried You Haven’t Found Your Purpose? Welcome to the Club, and Managing Expectations: The Skill That Never Gets Old. Make sure you see all of our content on our website, listen to our podcast, and join our private Facebook group.


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