How to Check the “Leadership” Box on Applications with Pharmacy Residency Podcast Host, Tony Guerra

In this episode, Hillary Blackburn (host of Talk to Your Pharmacist) joins Tony Guerra of the Pharmacy Residency Podcast, who asks about how applicants should fill in the “leadership” checkbox of the big five that programs look for: clinical, research, teaching, service, and leadership and how you did it on your way to residency. Then he asks what is the advice you would give to yourself as an applicant after you’ve talked to these leaders in the field, what are the RPDs and residents looking for under leadership?

Tony thinks leaders find it hard to do the humble brag. He’s seen letters of intent that completely omit regional and presidential leadership positions, but this is a gender thing where he’s never seen a male omit this, but women sometimes do. Students think the reader will go to their CV, when the reader might not get to the CV if the LOI doesn’t mention these qualifications.

Tony dives into pages 80 and 81 of my book, How Pharmacists Lead, with the personal versus professional accomplishments, reticence for networking, and recognition that some recommenders will do a much better job “talking the candidate up” while others might not. In a book, it’s always better to point someone to a chapter rather than a book so that they have a place that they might connect with and get immediate help with their pain point, but Tony always saw Chapter 4 as outlining the challenges and the rest of the book as the solutions.

Tony thinks many students may lack the president or VP position but might have a story like this that demonstrates leadership. Tony thinks that How Pharmacists Lead does a great job of telling stories that these students applying for residency can lean on as a framework to write their own. He asks how Hillary would tell those kinds of stories that demonstrate leadership outside of formal leadership roles.

Guest – Hillary Blackburn, PharmD, MBA of Talk to Your Pharmacist podcast
Host for the Episode – Tony Guerra, PharmD of the Pharmacy Podcast Network

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