I am writing to you all today to talk about preparing for your APPE year. APPE stands for Advanced Pharmacy Practice Experience, and it is the final year of pharmacy school. APPE’s allow us experience nine one-month rotations in different settings to 1) make sure that we are well-rounded, and prepared to sit for the NAPLEX and 2) help us determine which area of pharmacy we might want to pursue upon graduation. Whether that means a residency, fellowship or preparing to transition into a full-time position somewhere, your APPE’s are the best way to integrate all of the knowledge you’ve learned in your didactic curriculum into real-world experiences with real patients! Ohio State offers some really wonderful rotations, too!
One of the very first things I did to prepare for my applications was polishing up my CV. Liz Trolli and the fantastic staff in Career Services are excellent resources for reviewing CV’s! Once the rotations were made available to us through Dr. Legg, I was able to see the application based rotations that were being offered. For those of you who do not know, Liz Trolli is the Program Manager for all of our Experiential education, and Dr. Legg is the Director of Experiential Education. Liz helps make sure that our IPPE’s are assigned to us in a way that works with our school schedule, and she also helps guide us with other important things that we need to have completed each year, like community health service hours and making sure that we submit proper documentation and forms for various things. Essentially, she ensures that we have everything completed before we can begin our APPE’s. Dr. Legg is the professor that is in charge of our entire APPE application process. She meets with every single student (often more than once) to discuss their interests to help ensure that they get rotations that will be of interest to them. She is also a great person to talk about rotations with, as she is very knowledgeable and knows a lot of the preceptors in the area, so she can give a lot of insight to different rotations.
I began working on my Letters of Intent for those applications I wanted to apply to so I could have those done fairly early. There are other rotations available that are not application based, and those get ranked in PharmAcademic. (All of this will be explained during the first few weeks of your P3 year, so don’t worry!)
As of right now, the ACPE requires that we complete two hospital rotations, two community rotations, and one ambulatory care rotation. The other four rotations are considered elective rotations, and you are able to tailor those to your individual interests!
To be honest, it’s a little stressful and overwhelming to think about these rotations, as they begin to mark the end of my pharmacy school career. To hopefully make this experience a little less stressful for you all, I have some pieces of advice:
- Keep your CV up to date! This means updating your CV after every rotation and volunteer experience throughout pharmacy school. You will be thankful you did!
- Start a list of the various rotations you might be interested in. Do they require an application? When are they due? Keeping track of all of these things will help deadlines from creeping up on you!
- Decide if you want to travel out of town/out of state/out of the country for your APPE’s. There are many rotations located outside of Columbus and in various states. They are excellent opportunities, so it’s a good idea to look into all of them to see if they might be of interest to you!
- Double, triple check your application, LOI’s and CV! Have friends, family and faculty read over your materials before submission.
- Don’t be afraid to put yourself out there and apply for a unique rotation. For example, Ohio State has a great nuclear pharmacy rotation, which is something not a lot of students have exposure with. This is your chance to find out what you really like (if you don’t know already)!
I am excited that I am able to rank rotations and find really interesting electives. Pharmacy is such a cool profession in the sense that it is extremely multi-faceted: there are so many different practice settings that a pharmacist can immerse themselves in!
As always, if you have any questions, don’t hesitate to reach out to me!