Reflection on Pharmacy Leadership Society's Leadership Summit

Third-year pharmacy student Momitul Talukdar attended the recent PLS Leadership Summit at NEOMED and shared the following reflection on the event.

The Pharmacy Leadership Society (PLS) held a Leadership Summit on Tuesday, Oct. 18, where participants discussed leadership, failure, vulnerability, identifying our life’s purpose and entrepreneurship. Keynote speaker, Dr. Tim Ulbrich [cofounder and CEO of Your Financial Pharmacist], encouraged his audience to find their “why” by digging deeper.

“Maybe this is a question you ask yourself often to reenergize yourself or you’re asking yourself for the first time,” he said.

Though we get busy with our seasons of daily commitments as students, he encouraged us to stay hungry. “My educational journey started at the end of my residency.”

As students, we believe we are on a never-ending educational journey, riddled with a parade of exams, assessments and nerve-wracking Wassons. What we sometimes fail to see is the bigger picture. Though we may suffer through our anxieties of these constant tests, it prepares us for the real world. We will eventually enter a world where we are not prompted for an answer or expected to “pass,” but rather be responsible for the welfare of a patient.

Dr. James Pizarro reminded us why it’s important to have passions outside of medicine. An internal medicine physician by trade, he produces films on the side. “I thought after my film making became successful, I’d leave medicine, but it turned out to be the opposite. It made me excited to see my patients,” he said.

He reminded us to not be defined by our career, but for it be a part of who we are. “Being a doctor should not be who you are, but what you do. You choose to define yourself outside of your profession” pursuing hobbies outside of medicine makes us better health care professionals, because “you don’t want to end up resenting your patients”.

Jaclyn Boyle, Pharm.D. (’12), assistant dean in the Office of Student Success in the College of Pharmacy, taught us how to silence our inner critic. “You are the top 5% of society, earning a doctorate, you should be proud of yourself!” She talked about imposter syndrome and how often we feel like someone will discover that we don’t belong here. She encouraged us to not critique ourselves on the length of our CV, rather marvel at our achievements. “Next time you open your CV, take a look at all that you have achieved,” she encouraged. Too often, we rush to attach our CVs to an email to prospective preceptors and employers that we don’t stop and look and appreciate ourselves.

I left the Leadership Summit inspired, reminded of my why and a sense of belonging at NEOMED.

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