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Your decision is as good as final—you are going to pursue postgraduate pharmacy training. You've been asking around a bit, and word on the street is that the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists Midyear Clinical Meeting (ASHP MCM) is the place to be if you're planning to do a pharmacy residency or fellowship. And now that you've made your decision to pursue residency training, you may feel like you are right back at the beginning again, trying to figure out if there's a professional pharmacy organization meeting you should attend. There are numerous opportunities and benefits associated with attending a meeting, particularly as you begin your search for a postgraduate training.

First, a few notes about what to expect at a meeting. When you attend a meeting, you can expect to be able to attend presentations, networking opportunities, exposition halls, student competitions, and advocacy and policy sessions. Meetings offer numerous programming opportunities designed to assist you in preparing for and pursuing postgraduate training programs, such as guidance for preparing your curriculum vitae (CV), preparing for residency interviews, and participating in the Residency Match. Networking is perhaps one of the most important aspects of professional pharmacy meetings, as it allows you to begin developing relationships with colleagues, learn about pharmacy practice trends, and discuss critical issues facing pharmacy practice. Most meetings offer numerous opportunities, formal and informal, for pharmacy students and pharmacy residents to network with each other and with practitioners in various fields of pharmacy practice.

Professional pharmacy organization meetings are a critical step in the residency selection and recruitment process, both for the candidate and the program. Meetings offer you the opportunity to meet and speak with numerous training programs in a single location over a specified period of time. Meetings allow you to cast a wide net and explore the potential programs you may consider, and then to narrow your search to those programs to submit a formal application.

“Networking is absolutely vital to your pursuit of a residency. Joining organizations and attending professional conferences are two of the best ways to build your network early on and help your chances of obtaining a residency in the future.”

Amin E. – Pharmacy Student, Texas

This is particularly beneficial if you are considering applying to postgraduate training programs located outside of your immediate geographic location. To put it simply, consider that you live in Knoxville, Tennessee. You are interested in pursuing residency training programs in North Carolina, Florida, Illinois, Michigan, Texas, and Colorado. You have identified programs within each of these states as a result of completing research and after speaking with a mentor about each of the programs. On the most simplistic level, the next step in your pursuit of residency training is to continue to investigate the opportunities available within each program in light of your training and career goals, to ask any questions that you ...

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