What can pharmacy graduates expect now?

For those of you who crossed the stage and started your careers recently, this is a serious question. You’ve achieved something remarkable, and you’ve got a wide-open future ahead of you. You can expect change. You can expect that many things you learned in school will become obsolete as science evolves. You can expect that being “settled” is a transient thing in careers.

Meeting so many student pharmacists and practicing pharmacists in all stages of their careers is one of the best things about my job as APhA CEO. Knowing what you’re excited about—and what keeps you up at night—helps us determine how we can add value. These days I hear more uncertainty as health care disruption accelerates. While the future is easy to predict, it’s hard to predict “when” we’ll be affected, or when changes will take root.

The changing nature of health care means potential opportunities to grow and contribute in new ways. That is why we continue to develop resources to help pharmacists remain relevant in their practice today and in the health care systems of the future and ensure that patients have access to the services you spent many years studying to provide.

APhA is focused on supporting pharmacists both new and seasoned. We emphasize the importance of lifelong learning, which not only keeps you on top of your game but also inspires and lifts up the innovations that can enhance the way we practice.

One of the ways you can continue to build your pharmacy expertise is through professional connections. Our Mentor360 program facilitates the mentoring process by connecting pharmacists on subjects of common interest. Trusting, connected mentor–mentee relationships are for many the key to building fulfilling and fruitful careers. They can endure for as long as you practice and are mutually beneficial, regardless of your years of experience.

Turn to APhA’s New Practitioner Network to share both concerns and successes and to ease this transition from student to fledgling practitioner. Realize what you are going through is common and that there are places and individuals to turn to for guidance and support.

As a united profession, we CAN enhance the big picture of patient success with their medicines, and we can help the individual pharmacist who wants to make a difference. As embodied in our code of ethics, those ahead of grads and new practitioners have a special responsibility to support those who come behind us—to pay it forward along with paying back to those who have supported us.

APhA never stops working to ensure you are supported and prepared for whatever we face in the future. Keep showing up in our profession! We’re all better off when you do.