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Pharmacy Leaders Podcast: Inspiring Leadership Interviews

Feb 2, 2018

Thanks so much to Brandon Dyson, PharmD from who just published on his website, so I asked him to help me out with an introvert's guide to networking at a national meeting like APhA and making connections. 

Brandon Dyson and Sam Oh are practicing, board certified, residency-trained pharmacists who are teachers and licensed student preceptors. They know your struggle and how hard it is to absorb the amount of material that gets thrown at you during pharmacy school and how hard it is to keep up with it all when you are practicing. They created to make it happen.

Here are the rules for the Travel Stipend Challenge if you didn't hear the last episode:

Welcome to the Pharmacy Leaders Podcast and the Second Annual Travel Stipend Challenge

There will be at least three Travel stipends of $278 each, one for each category to be paid the day after the winners attend. I am sponsoring them personally like last year, there is no affiliation with APhA aside from I think they’re a great organization. Brandon Dyson from will cover recommendations for networking for the introvert and Jackie Boyle at will cover recommendations for the extrovert so please visit their blogs, they have a ton of good content.  

Last year we went strictly off of Facebook likes and I think this favored the extrovert and I wanted to be very inclusive, especially for those that might be a little more introverted and going to a meeting represents a big leap of faith.

The three categories for 2018 are, and you can enter 1, 2 or 3 of them. Obviously, you can only win once.

  1. Write an honest review of your favorite podcast episode on the Pharmacy Leaders Podcast on iTunes which is called Apple Podcasts now. The challenge is to articulate how this guest’s journey affected/influenced/mirrors your own and I’ll put that link in the show notes or you can use the purple podcast app. When I say honest review, the number of stars you give is irrelevant to the chance of winning.

  1. Write an honest review of the audiobook Memorizing Pharmacology: A Relaxed Approach (it’s free if you’ve never been on before) The challenge is to articulate how the techniques in the book regarding medication prefixes, infixes, and suffixes can improve (studying of the Top 200, medication safety, patients, etc.)

  1. Get the most Facebook likes on a few sentence response to the original post of what you’ve done to demonstrate leadership on your pharmacy school leadership road. The challenge is to get the most Facebook likes demonstrating your social reach.

Winners will be announced on Valentine’s Day February 14th, 2018 and I’ll have to do it by screenname if it’s like Iheartpharmacy and be offered the chance to “appear” on the Pharmacy Leaders Podcast if you wish to talk about your own leadership road and your respective colleges of pharmacy. Watch for your screenname/avatar to be called on that date and contact me via Facebook messenger.


Any year pharmacy student (P1,P2,P3,P4) can enter.

You can enter 1, 2, or 3 categories, but only win once.

You can still win if you’ve already paid for registration, I give it to you after you go or I can hand you the check in Nashville.

The number of stars does not affect your chance to win, the quality of your argument for your opinion does.

You can’t be a past APPE student of mine, I’m afraid, sorry about that.

Full Transcript:

welcome to the pharmacy leaders podcast
with your host Tony Guerra the pharmacy
leaders podcast is a member of the
pharmacy podcast network with interviews
and advice on building your professional
network brand and a purposeful second
income from students residents and
innovative professionals welcome to day
2 of the pharmacy leaders podcast travel
stipends challenge again we're going to
give away three travel stipends of two
hundred and seventy eight dollars each
one for each of the categories to be
paid the day after the winners attend
sponsoring them personally again like
last year no affiliation with APHA aside
from I think they're great and they're
great organization
I appreciate Brandon Dyson from TLDR
pharmacy and Jackie Boyle from the
pharmacy girl comm spreading the word
and again just to re-up the three
categories if you didn't hear the last
episode you can either go to tawny
PharmD one where there is a Facebook
post go ahead and reply to that Facebook
post as to why you should get the travel
stipend that's one way to do it another
way is to rate and review on itunes your
favorite pharmacy leaders podcast
episode and then three is to go to to memorizing pharmacology
audiobook and write an honest review of
memorizing pharmacology On February 14th
Valentine's Day we'll be announcing the
winners of the contest so again
vote early and vote often as they say
and here is our interview with Brandon
Dyson of TLDR pharmacy and we talk about
networking as an introvert at a national
meeting sometimes it's not that easy to
get out of your shell and get out there
but the networking that you will do
especially at the National meeting often
results in friendships that can last a
so here is the episode with Brandon
Dyson TLDR pharmacy
okay welcome to the pharmacy leaders
podcast I had Jackie boil on to talk
about extroverts and how they would go
to the APHA meeting in Nashville and I
brought along another expert Brandon
Dyson from TLDR pharmacy was gonna talk
a little bit about maybe some strategies
that someone who is a little more on the
introverted side how they would network
at APHA so welcome to the pharmacy
leaders podcast Brandon thank you Tony
welcome to vac I get jokes a lot of
times on how an introvert ends up
starting and running a website but uh
well I'd actually my wife is an
introvert and she's extremely social
with the people that she knows but if
she goes into a room where she's
unfamiliar when she was back east with
me for the six months that we were there
she was very uncomfortable can you tell
me a little bit about some of the the
challenges that may be an introvert has
cuz as an extrovert I can't I don't want
to say I can't empathize but I don't
know what it's like to not go up to
people I just go up to people so how do
what what challenges are there that's I
mean exactly one your wife sounds like
the same thing for me like I'm very very
comfortable in small groups especially
if I get to know you you know to know
the people but it's conferences is
actually one of the harder things for me
we're just a big ears thousands of
people go you know and I guess the the
challenges that you face are along the
lines of like okay so you want to go
talk but who do you go like where do you
even begin to talk to people right
there's a thousands of people and people
naturally tend to congregate in groups
you know so they'll form like are they
in a circle or they it's almost like
trying to if you were going to try to
like to have a conversation with a woman
in a bar is the girl are they in a
circle is that open I don't know what is
a and then you end up feeling like or
maybe I just have terrible game there's
always the guy in the group though that
just goes up breaks up the circle and
brings in the rest of the group and you
know like funnily and funny enough back
when I was doing that you know like I
had no
being a wingman for a friend or whatever
right like when I had like nothing at
stake or nothing on the line yeah
whatever I had to zero a problem talking
to people but it's like it's different
when it's for you and the same kind of
logic would apply to a conference for me
and then you you know it's like oh I'm a
little uncomfortable and then you feel
like you're noticeably uncomfortable and
now you're kind of standing there and
you're the only one that's by yourself
or it's a spotlight effect thing but you
feel like you're the only one there by
yourself and you're like how do I and
now I've been having been sitting here
for too long
like no one's talking to me either you
know and then so that's kind of the
challenge is like how do you how do you
deal with that and not kind of cripple
yourself he said I felt a little bad at
a SHP there was literally 10 minutes of
people going in so thousands of people
go into the showcase and then I go to
the Maryland reception after and I'm
like oh residency director another
residency director so I'm talking to
residency directors you know which were
three layers back you know with the
barbed wire and all that stuff in the
showcase but then at the after you know
the meetings with the meet and greets
with the the various colleges or the
state associations there they are there
the residency program directors they're
hanging out you know so so it is like
maybe high school a little bit where
it's like there she is or he is the
person you always wanted to go talk to
they're right next to you and you say
nothing right right hey hi ya havin
Arnal in The Wonder Years
so no no dating it now no one knows that
let's get some strategies to do
something about that what can we do so I
to dinner things the way I try to like
mitigate it one I do believe it's a
learning skill you can practice it it
might have to be a fake it till you make
it like mentally prep yourself visualize
like having conversations you know like
going well like that you may have to do
that but you can kind of do this the way
I the way I'd recommend like a few kind
of strategies that I've used before that
work one
try to get to one-on-one start with
one-on-one if you can and so you can do
that like most of these there's poster
presentations right or maybe someone
just gives a maybe someone just gave it
like a live presentation and you can ask
a question and there or even after the
thing like they have a moment where
they're kind of mingling and you can go
talk to them for a minute after that to
me that's a lot easier right like
talking to someone about their poster or
talking about someone after a
presentation with a very specific
question you know and that's more of a
one-on-one environment and it maybe it
leads to something maybe it doesn't but
it can lead to an invitation to that
residency director happy hour like
you're talking about or whatever and
that's it's a foot in the door I I
recommend being targeted with that as
much as possible in the sense that you
know like if go to the print go to the
live seee or go to the posters like that
that are of interest to you don't just
go around Oh mingle around and I'll talk
to someone if you kind of do that as an
introvert it's probably not gonna work
you don't have a plan it's a lot easier
at least it is for me okay I know that
I'm interested in oncology right like or
you know if you're not interested in
oncology don't go to the presentation on
updates and flit three inhibitors for
AML their presentation but like if you
if you are go to that right and see like
what it's about um you know have like a
list of like okay here's topics here's
this speaker maybe even like have some
like preformed questions in your head
you know obviously don't like sound
scripted don't be you know robotic
mechanical like in your conversation
with them but it's always good to have
like a fallback for like oh if it comes
to dead space like here's a thing that I
could ask them you know in general
people love talking about themselves
right so you can if you're like trying
to have a legit conversation with
someone like in trying to steer it from
that awesome presentation they just gave
to something more like you just want to
form a connection with somebody you know
ask them just personal questions about
that like don't ask them super personal
questions but like in
general people are very comfortable
talking about like oh is my life and
here's my path and how I got here and
yada yada yada and that you can kind of
keep conversations moving that way I've
heard that to talk to celebrities the
easiest way to talk to a celebrity is to
talk about things that are non celebrity
like you know my kid does this or you
know and and to kind of get away from
the oh my gosh it's such and such
instead it's just yeah they've got
problems too you've got problems or we
can talk about them together and kind of
form a connection that way I think that
helps both of you to write because like
in oh I've got issues yeah definitely so
I find every parent I can and and you're
coming at you're also like you know like
there's a schema or some sort of mold
right like if that person just gave a
presentation they're probably still in
presentation mode right where they're
like okay I'm professional and I'm
guarded and reserved and I'm expecting
that you know and if you you everyone
like you know like Billy Joel talks
about the faces of the street like
everyone's got different faces right
like so maybe they are maybe they have a
parent you know personality too right
like they have three kids like you or
you know and it's you you hit that
aspect of their personality and they and
they probably act and have completely
different mannerisms than they do in
professional mode yeah no I agree form a
real connection there with them yeah I
did the I actually I think I was one of
the only ones that went to almost all of
the poster sessions and I was very
specific about which ones I was looking
for I was always looking for something
that either had to do with Student
Wellness or students going in because I
help students on the way in pre-pharmacy
students and then to some extent
students in pharmacy school but it was
you know that I think some of the you
know I don't the bastions of Pharmacy
residency and and colleges were like why
are you passing my paper didn't you see
what college I go to don't you see how
important this is clinically I'm like
yeah just not really you know something
I'm really looking for and then I would
see them later that night and then so
there was a connection hey oh yeah I
remember talking to you about the poster
and some of them I saw some of I didn't
but how do you find oncology people if
you're looking for oncology for example
and this might be a not as good as an
example at APHA than a SHP but how do
you find your your group your tribe as
Seth Godin says I mean I think I think
at poster presentations like I mean they
have a floor for you know like they've
got a layout of where things are meant a
lot of work I I admittedly I'm telling
you to make a plan but at least at a
poster presentation I kind of to a
degree wander along
I can tell until I find one that looks
interesting to me window-shopping in the
residency past recession yeah exactly
you're standing in the way the results
of just trying to look at the abstract
and the results first and then we'll
maybe talk I need to I need to read it
right you need you to stop talking right
now no I'm just yeah but like so I think
that that's you know you find your tribe
a bit that way and also I can't take
another important point at conferences
like this is like you know you you can
start where you are like it's okay to
just meet other students - right like
you don't need to shake Joe Gipp hero's
hand and like be length in friends
thanks for your book appreciate it yeah
right like it's like you're not like
that's not gonna determine whether
you're successful or not right like it's
it I mean it won't hurt certainly but
what I mean is like you know it's like
we already know how small a profession
we live in and that student that you
just met like that you could form a
really great connection with you have no
idea what like who they know you know
right now and and who they might know in
five years or you know like it just
you're expanding your network is gonna
open up opportunities no matter what so
don't don't feel like you have to swing
for the fences so to speak and get like
the big names like you know make make
any connection it's not a scavenger hunt
where you know I talked to such-and-such
and you cross off these names and you
know at the end you know you get a prize
or something yeah
but uh yeah well let's maybe talk just
briefly about first time going to the
meeting so I went with two classmates I
think the first time I went and this is
Seattle back in a long time ago what was
it like going to your first meeting what
did you do well what did you maybe could
have improved yeah so one of my first
time like I definitely had some of that
Wallflower syndrome which so like you
know all of those things that I was you
know the pain points to speak like those
are the legit like I I know exactly what
that feeling is right one thing I did
then is that I had you know like
everyone knows an extrovert you know
like everyone knows that tawny or
whoever so like if you're able to pair
up with that person you know like and
that's what I did I had a classmate who
was just you know she was just Miss
chatty she zero problems loves it and
seems like she knows everyone that still
does you know like so I if you are able
to piggyback along so to speak you know
and you can you know you have to be you
have to be make a real point to be
assertive in your own right right don't
let don't let the extrovert completely
dominate the conversation otherwise
you're just oh yeah he was he was quiet
he seemed nice yeah like otherwise yeah
catch his name yeah yeah exactly
but so that was a great way like there's
a forced icebreaker so to speak and then
just I don't know like I I don't have an
intuition for this you know but like
look around and find someone that looks
nice or that looks like they're you know
open like you most people can read and
see if someone's interested in having a
conversation right at that moment or not
right or you can just make a casual
conversation to some of these episodes
don't be curious to see how this one
I just mean like you know it's like
going on our first date like if you go I
like it and I don't mean that like in
any kind of a weird
thing or whatever but you have to you
know you have to have conversations that
are off limits don't go on talking about
politics or anything right you have
certain you're just trying to find
common ground and see what you know find
someone that looks like they're
interested in talking to you and then
just make a casual conversation with
them if you find them staring at their
phone you know you can make a comment
about hey did you catch anything right
just ask any question and I don't know
that's kind of what I did the first
conference the first ever one I did was
with a ACP actually it was a Walmart
Scholar thing and I was just been way
over my head if I had one of those
badges I would have worn it every day
till graduation but go ahead well I just
meant like yeah I had I you know it was
very academic there's very short very
few students there and like I would just
I had no idea what I was doing but then
I started actually the preceptor I had a
close dude a friend and a preceptor it
was with a ACP for a while and she
really helped me get used to and I don't
even think she was trying but she helped
me get used to going out to meet and
greets and gather ups and happy hours or
whatever it was and then it just became
a lot more easy for me to go and you
know choose so anyway that's the only
way to like get better at it's to do it
all right because again I really I
really struggle to I don't struggle to
empathize but I struggled to understand
the struggle as somebody seems like why
are you just sitting there just go come
on we got like a hundred people in the
room you know so but know that that's
helpful to know that that progress can
be made and that really it's just you
know it's that meeting for the couple of
days what's the worst that's going to
happen you know so I guess the last
thing I would ask is with this as we're
looking towards jobs because we're kind
of getting to that point where I think
students whether they get residency or
not may be looking towards what
opportunities are there and I feel
the one place that many students skip is
the vendors like they'll go up for ice
cream and cookies and pens therefore
sometimes our fortune 100 companies you
might want to get a job with that cookie
you know conference swag is where a
diamond yeah yeah so that that's a great
point I mean and I it's that's probably
they're probably the most receptive
people here kind of meet at the
conference act because no one wants to
talk everyone comes up to get the pen
and the cookie the popcorn and then they
they move on like you know the only
people that talk to them are like
directors a pharmacy or whoever ray like
because they're like trying to sell them
whatever new automated or just see
whatever is new in the industry so I
think as a student like you know asking
even just having a conversation seeing
how their days like start with personal
stuff to like how's the day going cool
and then you can find out like of
internships or fellowships that are
available which can like you said lying
you up with a fortune 100 company you
could do much worse yeah yeah no and you
know they you know it's like you're
literally going up to someone who paid
$48,000 for that small space to be there
you know they're sitting there like
great the guy took a cookie you know it
was a cookies okay okay well we won't
belabor this we'll let it go yeah but
but no thanks for your insights I
appreciate it the one thing that I will
say on my wife's behalf is that if you
do have that extrovert and the introvert
at the end of the conversation that
introvert probably is listen to
everything you said and is actually a
very good listener very attentive and
tends to have you know great insights if
you just ask them so if you do see an
introvert you know help them out bring
them into the bring them into the circle
don't feel let them feel left out and if
you're an extrovert just keep it down
for a minute let the introvert talking
for a little while introduce them right
like next very like and introduce them
like play play the wingman I'm gonna
keep keep up with this dating analogy
like help me to help you yeah
McGuire say hey this is my friend
Brandon and he's done this and that and
you know and I mean it that sometimes
that's all it takes that starts the
conversation you know and I think for
most of us like once you get it once
that initial like anxiety of like coming
up and saying something anything once
that's gone like conversation flows
pretty naturally so I say this like I
said start small start one-on-one like
at a poster session or what you know and
build like but that that really helps I
think once you just get it going so yeah
if the extrovert introduces you you're
you're off to the races you're good
sounds good all right well Brandon
thanks for being on the pharmacy leaders
podcast all right thank you support for
this episode comes from the audio book
memorizing pharmacology a relaxed
approach with over 9,000 sales in the
United States United Kingdom and
Australia it's the go-to resource to
ease the pharmacology challenge
available on audible iTunes and in print ebook and audiobook
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