Tennessee Pharmacists Association

Masthead_for_webpageOCTOBER 6, 2016

TPA Rotation Brings Professional and Personal Growth

Shelby Blalockby Shelby Blalock, 2017 PharmD Candidate
2016-17 President, Tennessee Society of Student Pharmacists
Belmont University College of Pharmacy

I was fortunate to be on rotation at the Tennessee Pharmacists Association (TPA) in the month of June.  The staff at TPA completely invested in me and encouraged me to be myself.  Dr. Micah Cost encouraged me to write down my 1-, 5-, 10-, and 30-year goals for my professional career and my personal life.  Dr. Lucy Adkins encouraged me to take the StrengthFinders assessment and read about leadership to find what my strengths were and how to be a more effective leader.  Drs. Cost and Adkins taught me about legislation, public health, leadership, how to work with colleagues effectively, and most importantly, they taught me about myself.

“I was surprised at how much I used clinical knowledge on a daily basis.”

While on rotation at TPA, I was fortunate to learn and understand the legislative process.  I saw the lobbying process and how all of it was intricately integrated to advance our profession.  I participated in TPCE webinars, traveled to South College School of Pharmacy to hear Dr. Adkins speak to graduating students about TPA, learned about applying for grants and discussed research currently being done under grants at the association, and participated in staff meetings—which taught me about effective leadership.  TPA has so much to offer students, and each month is a different experience, depending on the focus for the month (e.g., legislation, Winter/Summer Meeting).  However, what remains the same is that students will learn an abundance of important and pertinent information about the profession of pharmacy and themselves.  I was surprised at how much I used clinical knowledge on a daily basis.  Whether I was interpreting results from current research, reading through a bill and seeing how it would work in a clinical setting, or talking with legislators about bills, I utilized my clinical knowledge every day.  This rotation challenged me to utilize clinical knowledge in order to understand legislation and advance our profession in the most efficient and effective manner.

“They taught me that investing in the next generation of pharmacists is crucial to our profession. “

They taught me that investing in the next generation of pharmacists is crucial to our profession.  They encouraged me to continue pursuing my dreams, creating goals and accomplishing goals for myself.  I am forever thankful to TPA for teaching me about various avenues by which I can contribute to this profession.  I would encourage all students to learn more about your state association.  The Tennessee Pharmacists Association works every day to advance our profession and invests in the pharmacists in our state, furnishing them with tools to help them provide the best quality of care to patients.  It was a rotation that I encourage all students to have, due to the amount of growth you will experience professionally and personally.