PQA’s APPE Rotation: Experience for Diversified Pharmacy Careers

PQA offers a competitive Advanced Pharmacy Practice Experiential (APPE) Rotation for pharmacy students, which provides experiential learning opportunities in non-profit association management, medication use quality education, communications, research and performance measurement. PQA works with individual students to align their rotation experience with desired career goals and interests. Applications for the 2022-23 year are now being accepted. You can apply here. Visit our Student Programs page for more information. 

Aneesh Asokan and Shiyar Kapan are two of PQA’s 2021 APPE students. This blog shares their interest in the PQA program, their background, goals and experience. Learn more about them below and consider taking part in PQA’s education programs. 

Aneesh Asokan 

School: Southern Illinois University Edwardsville 

What inspired you to complete an APPE rotation in association management? 

My inspiration is two-fold. First, my school had limited options for cultivating pharmacy industry experience; and, secondwas my lack of knowledge in association management. To me, association management sounded very similar to the large-scale work that many do within the pharmaceutical industry. With those two factors driving me, and an innate curiosity for learning, I was compelled to apply for this unique opportunity.  

What drew you to PQA and our work to improve medication use safety, adherence, and appropriate use? 

What truly drew me to PQA was my lack of knowledge of what PQA’s work encompasses. I had read on their website that they worked on quality metrics regarding adherence and medication use, but that was the extent of my knowledge. We learned about the importance of all these aspects in school, but I had never thought about who creates these metrics and how they are improved or implemented. Overall, my yearning for new experiences and my desire for learning new ideas really pushed me toward the PQA and their work. 

What are your goals for your time at PQA? 

My goal is to learn as much as possible regarding professional development and put my MBA skills to good use. The best advice I heard a while back is that sometimes, you must be the sponge. For now, I will try my best and absorb as much as I can throughout this rotation. I hope that one day, I can use the ideas presented during this rotation to supplement my future career. 

Where would you like to see yourself in five years? 

Ideally, I would be in some area of the pharmacy industry working in a position that challenges me but also gives me great joy. My career goal has always been to help people, and in pharmacy school, I realized that I would be a better fit helping people at the macro level. 

Tell us something interesting about yourself that does not involve work? 

I am trying to collect shot glasses from across the United States. My criteria for collection is that I must have done something memorable in each state to be added to the collection. I have 14 out of 50 as of right now. 

Shiyar Kapan 

School: University of Tennessee Health Science Center 

What inspired you to complete an APPE rotation in association management? 

was inspired to participate in this rotation because I really wanted to explore what options there were in the pharmacy career path other than the traditional settings of residency or community setting pharmacy. Association management is one area of the industry that interests me, and wanted to see how I as a future pharmacist could contribute to this ever-changing profession. 

What drew you to PQA and our work to improve medication use safety, adherence, and appropriate use? 

I was drawn to PQA as I’ve always wanted to see the viewpoint from an organization with a national perspective in our country’s healthcare system. Many of us can relate to the issues we see at the state and local level but tend to forget about those not in our immediate area.  

What are your goals for your time at PQA? 

My goal was to immerse myself in the knowledge and experiences to be gained from this rotation. My time at PQA far and above exposed me to numerous programs, organizations, and career paths I never knew existed previously. I’ve found that my networking, communication and time management skills have improved, and I hope to be more proficient in these skill sets upon rotation completion. 

Where would you like to see yourself in five years? 

On a beach, working from home; kidding. The where is less concerning to me than the whoWe all want to make a difference in other people’s lives with our work, but I’m unsure of how I may best impact those around me as a leader of change. I’m incredibly interested in advocating for geriatric health and hope to better address the disparities that our aging population deals with by pursuing a career in this area. 

Tell us something interesting about yourself that does not involve work? 

I recently built a drifting go-cart during my month off from rotationsDoing so allowed me to discover (what I think to be) a neat hobby of building family-friendly and safe motorized vehicles. This hobby allowed me to escape from my comfort zone and discover a talent outside of my current pharmacy skills. 

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