Student Pharmacist

Written by student pharmacists for student pharmacists, Student Pharmacist magazine provides the latest on career preparation, leadership, legislative activities and advocacy efforts, patient care projects, APhA–ASP Chapter innovations, life on rotation, tips from new practitioners, and more.

Finding meaning in unmade plans

Finding meaning in unmade plans


By “Kelsea,” aka Becca McCaughey

Welcome to the last installment of my On Rotation Diary! My name is Becca McCaughey, and I am a recent graduate of the University of Iowa College of Pharmacy. Over the past year, I’ve been writing this column anonymously, but today I reveal my identity and offer final thoughts as my time as a student pharmacist comes to an end.

Overcoming adversity

Pharmacy schools across the country graduate thousands of new pharmacists each year, but the class of 2021 has conquered some unique and unprecedented challenges along the way. It started with our APPE rotations getting flipped upside down due to COVID-19, continued with national meetings and residency interviews being held virtually, and ended with revised graduation ceremonies far from those we’ve dreamt about.

Despite these challenges and more, here we are, standing at the cusp of our careers stronger and more resilient than ever before. We are well equipped to leverage our skills as we begin serving patients, expanding the role of the pharmacist, and transforming health care delivery throughout our careers as pharmacists.

Doing more with less

I wish I could say all hardship is behind us, but I don’t believe that to be true. We have all heard from preceptors and residents that being a pharmacist is challenging in a variety of ways. We all want to provide the best care to patients and expand pharmacists' roles within health care systems, but those goals may feel impossible at times with our limited resources.

Until pharmacists are nationally recognized as health care providers and sustainable reimbursement mechanisms for pharmacy services are established, we will always be expected to do more with less. Untangling and overcoming this conundrum is a top priority for APhA, and our continued membership and involvement with the organization will pave the way for a brighter future for our profession.

Taking nothing for granted

One of the greatest lessons the pandemic taught me is to be truly grateful for the people, opportunities, and personal growth I have had over the last several years. For me, isolation felt lonely and vacant at times. In this seemingly empty space, I realized how blessed I am to have things worth longing for in solitude. As our lives return to a pre-pandemic state, I hope to never lose sight of how full and joyful my life is.

Thank you for walking with me on this journey through my APPE year. Having the privilege of writing this On Rotation Diary is something I will cherish for a very long time. Best of luck to all of us in our future endeavors. Cheers to the class of 2021!

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