SEPTEMBER 17, 2015
TPA Rotation: A Month of Adventures
by Brandon Farmer, TPA Intern
2016 PharmD Candidate, Gatton College Pharmacy at ETSU
During my time at the ETSU Bill Gatton College of Pharmacy, I have had many opportunities to interact and engage in TPA activities. When I attended my first TPA Annual Convention as a first year student pharmacist, I knew I had to do more to be engaged in the organization. I had the opportunity to compete in the Self-Care Challenge twice, seeing my team take the victory in Hilton Head. I also had the opportunity to serve as a TSSP Member-at-Large (MAL) during my third year, and had many opportunities to interact with Dr. Micah Cost. These experiences drove me to the decision to apply for one of two spots to take the TPA rotation.
I had been looking forward to the TPA rotation since I knew it was in my schedule. I spent the first week of the rotation assisting TPA staff prepare for the TPA Professional Development and Leadership Conference. This was the second time I have attended this conference, and it remains one of my favorite conferences. I thoroughly enjoyed the speakers, give-back event, and the small nature of this meeting. I feel this meeting provides a great opportunity to build relationships with fellow student pharmacists and pharmacists across the state.
I knew before starting the rotation that TPA is very busy, but I was not prepared for just how busy and hard all the staff work. With a small staff of eight employees, it is incredible to see the amount of work they accomplish for all pharmacists across our state. As the rotation continued, I witnessed this hard work and dedication first hand, as we attended several meetings, many times leaving one with only enough time to drive to the next.
The rotation ended with a week full of meetings, including a meeting of the Tennessee Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services’ Dangerous Drugs Task Force. This was a very eye-opening meeting, as it helped show again how important it is to have pharmacists present at these meetings to represent and advocate for our chosen profession.
In closing, I have to thank Dr. Micah Cost and Dr. Lucy Adkins for all of their hard work on behalf of pharmacists and student pharmacists across the state. Through this rotation, I have truly learned the importance of being a member of TPA, and answering that call to help advocate and speak up for my profession.