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Christopher Thomas Pharm.D., BCPP, BCPS
CPNP Treasurer

Clinical Pharmacy Specialist and Residency Program Director of PGY-1 and PGY-2 Residency Programs
Chillicothe VAMC

Mentoring is a brain to pick, an ear to listen, and a push in the right direction. - John C. Crosby


One of the five pillars of CPNP’s strategic plan is entitled “Our Organization.” In this section of the plan, CPNP commits to not only maintaining a fiscally and operationally effective organization but also to cultivating new leaders, improving committee structures, and enhancing the member and volunteer experience through involvement and participation.

This goal will require multi-faceted, prolonged efforts and our work in this area will never be done so to speak. With student and resident members being the two fastest growing segments of our membership, implementation of efforts in this arena was logical and a place where we could make an immediate impact.

CPNP has always been interested and involved in development of students, residents, and new practitioner members. For the past several years, resident and student committees have been actively involved in addressing the issues that are important to this subset of the CPNP membership.

CPNP 2015 hosted a record number of residents and students providing us the opportunity to showcase additional programming/activities to fully engage these members. The 86 resident members in attendance served as the pilot group for a resident track offered on the opening day of the Annual Meeting. Programming was specifically tailored to the needs of residents and included the topics and speakers below:

  • Leading Change, Barbara Wells, PharmD, FASHP, FCCP
  • CPNP and Leadership: What Can CPNP Do For You, Jerry McKee, PharmD, MS, BCPP
  • Starting From Scratch: Creating a New Practice, Beth DeJongh, PharmD, BCPS, Kelly Gable, PharmD, BCPP, Korin Richardson, PharmD, BCPP
  • Ready, Set, BCPP, Cynthia Kirkwood, PharmD, BCPP, Bill Ellis, BPS, Beth DeJongh, PharmD, BCPS, BCPP, Amber Riesselman, PharmD, BCPS, BCPP

The Student Committee implemented a beta mentoring program. This program is intended to serve the student members of CPNP but also grow into a program that helps the organization to identify and cultivate future leaders. This beta program involved matching student attendees with an active member in attendance at the Annual Meeting in Tampa. Pairing of the mentor to the mentee was based on the member and student interest listed on their Annual Meeting application and their CPNP membership profile.

Out of the eighty-two students in attendance, seventy-six students requested mentors. Mentors and Mentees were asked to set up a time to meet in Tampa in order to answer questions and discuss future plans. As represented in the mentee quote below, mentees appreciated the insight into our organization and profession.

“The mentoring program was very useful and MUST be continued on a yearly basis for those new members.”

As far as the mentor experience, 100% completing the post assessment survey found the mentoring experience rewarding and 100% agree or strongly agree that the program should continue in the future. It was also noted that the majority of these mentor-mentee relationships will continue to grow outside of the annual meeting as mentees request insight in the form of career advice, CV reviews, etc.

“Was [a] rewarding experience. Student was well prepared with questions and conversation was excellent.”

“I think having established mentors in CPNP for our student members is a great idea. Hopefully these mentor relationships will continue past the AM.”

I personally really enjoyed my conversations with my mentee and met many other students thanks to mentor introductions. I look forward to continued communication with my mentee and am excited about piloting more mentoring opportunities for our students and active members in the future based on the success of this successful beta program.

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