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University of Illinois at Chicago, College of Pharmacy
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College Connection

by Evan Fetten, P3 Rockford Co-President University of Illinois at Chicago College of Pharmacy

The University of Illinois at Chicago College of Pharmacy student chapter of ICHP has once again continued its tradition of promoting excellence in pharmacy throughout the 2020-2021 academic year. Our E-board showcased its collective creativity and commitment to realizing ICHP’s mission. We held numerous educational, networking, and fundraising events that served as excellent opportunities for our student body to broaden their pharmacy knowledge, sharpen clinical skills, refine interviewing abilities, improve career prospects, and support humanitarian causes. What we have in store for the current academic year, 2021-2022, is no less ambitious; this year, we have several events lined up that will further help pharmacy students improve their career prospects and preserve the pharmacy profession’s integrity and ultimately improve patient care. 

Our general body meetings last year, many of which were held in collaboration with other student organizations, consisted of conversations with guest speakers, including practicing pharmacists, pharmacy residents, P4 students, and others. The topics discussed included overviews of a wide range of health systems pharmacy roles, advice on how to combat burnout in residency programs, how to prudently manage student finances, and how to transition to working in an industry setting from a clinical and academic background as a pharmacist. These all served as excellent opportunities for students to learn about various health-systems pharmacy career paths and how to effectively pursue them. In addition to these meetings, our chapter co-hosted a workshop where students received constructive feedback on their curricula vitae. We also debuted a series of interview workshops where residency program directors and residents provided advice on interviewing for residency programs, and P4 and P1 students performed mock interviews in preparation for their residency, internship, and externship interviews before being given valuable feedback. This series proved to be a great success resulting in many students gaining helpful preparatory experience and guidance on interviewing. Complementing these events was a residency panel where residency directors presented on the different residency programs in the Chicagoland area. This served as an opportunity for prospective residency candidates to learn and inquire about these residency programs. To facilitate up-to-date education on therapeutics, our chapter hosted “Journal Club: LETS Talk” and “Morning Rounds: Cases and Therapeutics” sessions where students reviewed, critiqued, and examined journal articles and therapeutic cases from a variety of practice settings. In addition to these events, our chapter held numerous community service activities. We raised awareness and funds for various issues, including lung cancer, HIV/AIDS, climate change, and rainforest destruction. We also held an internship and externship fair to help first-year students network and inquire about different internships and externships, a mindfulness video series, an eating disorders awareness event, the clinical skills competition sessions, and the ICHP student leadership retreat. 

Our chapter has a similar series of events lined up for the current academic year. We plan on hosting all of our usual events plus some new ones. Of particular interest is that we will host a series of activities in December that will raise awareness and funding for a specific health topic. We also hope to bring back the hospital tour series for the P1 students, which has always been an excellent opportunity to learn about different hospital pharmacy practice settings. Additionally, we have many novel ideas for fundraisers that we anticipate will elicit ample engagement. With all of these plans, our goal of realizing ICHP’s mission of promoting excellence in pharmacy will manifest.

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