Tennessee Pharmacists Association

Masthead_for_webpageMARCH 3, 2017

Lindsey WatsonA New Appreciation
APPE Student Rotation, July 2016

by Lindsey Watson, 2017 PharmD Candidate
Lipscomb University College of Pharmacy

Before pursuing a career in pharmacy, I was a teacher during the time that a new evaluation process was being implemented, payment scales were changing, and new Common Core Standards were being introduced.  The teaching profession was undergoing a considerable amount of change.  Rather than get involved with the Tennessee Education Association and try to make a difference, I “gave up” on that career.  Once I began pharmacy school, I saw there were several similarities between health professions and the teaching profession – new rating scales and payment based on outcomes.  I knew that I could not “give up” on my pharmacy profession too.  I decided to get involved in our association.

“Have you ever thought about the planning involved in hosting and organizing a meeting?  …It is a monumental undertaking, and yet they do it twice a year!”

CMS.  MAC.  AWP.  PBMs.  CSMD.  TPREF.  TPRN.  PharmPAC.  As I think back to my first TPA meeting during my P1 year, alphabet soup comes to mind.  There was a great deal to learn about pharmacy in general, as well as what TPA does and the legislative process.  Having just attended my third summer meeting, I can still say that there is much to learn about pharmacy, but at least I now know the acronyms.  And, after this rotation, I also know more about what TPA does.

Have you ever thought about the planning involved in hosting and organizing a meeting? This July, I was able to see some of the work that goes into organizing the summer meeting.  The staff has to think about CE topics to cover, find speakers, write speaker bios, gather nominations and decide on award recipients, write award winner bios, order awards, write scripts for the sessions, organize exhibitors, find sponsors for different events, design and print brochures, and organize member registration.  That list does not even include the planning that goes into social activities and what food is served, nor does it include organizing the technology for the event (I would have shown up without the projectors, and then the speakers would have been very upset!).  Needless to say, it is a monumental undertaking, and yet they do it twice a year! I can only imagine what February must be like, when TPA has the winter meeting and the legislative session is underway.

Even in July, TPA was working with legislators to answer questions, develop ideas, and promote the profession of pharmacy.

Since the legislature was not currently in session, I did not get to experience the hustle and bustle involved with committee meetings or votes on important bills.  However, that does not mean that TPA was not thinking about legislation or meeting with Senators and Representatives.  They were still working with legislators to answer questions, develop ideas for bills, and promote the profession of pharmacy.  Dr. Micah Cost and Dr. Lucy Adkins attend the Board of Pharmacy meetings to ensure that you, the valued members of TPA, are kept abreast of any decisions made by the Board.  They, and the rest of the staff, are dedicated to our profession and are passionate about their work.  After spending a month at TPA, I have a new appreciation for the staff and the efforts they make on behalf of our profession.