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HelixTalk Episode #78 - Transitioning from School to Practice - Advice for New Practitioners

Date posted: May 15, 2018, 6:00 am

In this episode, we interview Janeen Winnike, Dean of the Office of Students Affairs at the RFUMS College of Pharmacy, regarding transitions from a student life to a practitioner life. With her previous role as an HR official within a large community pharmacy chain, she offers some “do’s and don’ts” for students transitioning into new practitioners.


Key Concepts

  1. Transitioning from student to pharmacist can be difficult for some students.  In particular, consider a healthy work-life balance and healthy sleep habits to be as successful in the transition as possible.
  2. Once you start working for a full salary, consider waiting on large purchases (new cars, houses, etc.) for 6 months until you have a good feel for your student loan debt and other expenses.  Many students overspend with their first paycheck without realizing the extent of their monthly expenses.
  3. Get familiar with your company's policies and procedures.  New graduates can easily fall behind on the small things (reports, budgets, cleanliness of a store) and may not receive the recognition or promotion they deserve despite outstanding work in other aspects of the job.
  4. Unlike in the APPE year, pharmacists will not typically receive the same extent of performance feedback.  Don't be afraid to ask for informal feedback for self-improvement, particularly if the feedback is from a more seasoned mentor.
  5. Change is inevitable -- embrace changes in the workplace and strive for a consistently positive attitude.  Complaining without offering solutions is generally not helpful and can worsen workplace morale.  Your life shouldn't be your job, but if you're not happy with your job, you're probably not happy with life.