AUGUST 9, 2016
Insight, Respect, and Clarity
by Jon Golden, PharmD (TPA Intern in Spring 2016)
University of Tennessee College of Pharmacy
During my rotation month at TPA, I was fortunate enough to be exposed to a part of pharmacy I did not know existed. I had completed other “policy” rotations during my rotation schedule, but TPA was unique. Going into the month, I had no idea what to really expect or what I would be doing, but I was excited. I was excited mainly due to the fact it was my final month of pharmacy school, which I believe many would appreciate, but I quickly forgot about its being my final month. I was lucky enough to attend TPA during the month of April, which is the same time that the Tennessee legislature was in session; therefore I was introduced to the realm of politics and how pharmacy coexists within it.
Since I started in pharmacy school, I knew of TPA and I knew they were probably great, but as we all know, when we start something new, it can be difficult to keep up with everything – especially all the various pharmacy organizations with the plethora of acronyms each one contains. It did not take long for me to realize that TPA was different and that I wanted to be a member, and not only because it was $20 for a student membership, but also because TPA focuses on the current issues with pharmacy and does it on local, state, and national levels. I believe TPA is our most influential pharmacy organization.
My month at TPA was filled with meetings with representatives and senators, where we spoke to them and advocated for pharmacy on whatever issues or potential laws could cause problems for pharmacists. We worked on the TennCare budget cuts, the pharmacy robbery act, and Medication Therapy Management (MTM) policy. When we were not on Capitol Hill, we would meet with various entities and people to gain further support for initiatives being worked on in the legislature, as well as improvements to how we practice pharmacy. There are a lot of new and exciting things in the works for pharmacy, and I was blessed to have an opportunity to experience them. By spending an entire month at TPA, it only gave me more respect and clarity as to how they are truly behind all pharmacists, and that they are our friends who have our best interests in mind. It gave me the insight I needed prior to graduation, and further solidified my lifelong membership and friendship with TPA.