P4 Rotation Talk 2021

This past week ASHP had the honor of hosting a P4 Rotation Q/A session (via zoom). The panel included some of UWSOP’s fourth year students who are on the downhill slope towards graduation in May. During the talk participants were allowed to ask individuals questions, or open a question up to the entire panel of P4’s. The timing of the talk was perfectly aligned with rotation selection for the current P3’s and P1’s.


This post will dive into the questions and answers that lead to great discussion. This information is not direct quotes but is summarized to provide an in depth showcase of the answers we were provided.


Biggest tip for preferencing rotations?

  • One student made a “perfect year” of what exactly they wanted their year to look like and from there they actually made 7 difference schedules to then put into an excel sheet

  • Only put places you would be willing to go

  • If you really want to do an elective, make sure it is at the top of your elective preferences.

  • Preferences will be wasted if you want a block off but also preference something in that block

  • Do not give the system a choice, back it into a corner

  • Ask yourself, “what are your priorities?” location, cost, experience, etc. then preference based off your answer

  • HIGHLIGHT in color to match the different blocks on your excel sheet

  • Push yourself outside of your comfort zone

  • If you are interested in a residency, try to get your hospital rotations earlier on in the year

  • Added bonus if you can go somewhere with a pharmacy resident


  • Try to only pick areas you have someone you can stay with.. Even if that is on an air mattress or couch

  • Plan this out ahead of time

  • Extended stay hotels/Airbnb

  • Don’t let location stop you from picking a rotation, you can’t replace education

  • Mental health is so important during rotations, make sure you stay somewhere you will be comfortable, it can be exhausting moving around all the time and rotations are tough.

  • Evalue has some housing opportunities, don’t forget to check those out!

Is life easier than when you were taking classes?

  • Looking back on studying, it is a different kind of hard. On rotations you have to be more dependent than when in class.

  • Depends on the rotation you are on

  • Easier in the sense that you are not always having to study for the next big test, however it can be frustrating/exhausting moving around all the time

  • No longer have the comfort of coming home to the same place every day

  • Constantly having to adapt to new people and different precepting styles can be hard

  • Roller coaster of emotion

  • A healthy change of pace, take this time to figure out what it is you want to do post graduation

  • Echoing the different kind of hard.. Ending one rotation Friday at 5 PM and starting a new one at a new place (probably in a new town) can make life seem like it is moving so fast

  • You still have assignments + working 40 hours a week + studying for the NAPLEX..

How has COVID affected your rotations

  • Yes, learn to be ADAPTABLE, this can still be a productive experience

  • It is what you make it

  • Try to experience as much as you can

Highlights of your rotations

  • Internal medicine with Biehle was awesome, she is a great preceptor

  • Trauma with Dr. Zarbok is untraditional, you spend majority of your day rounding with trauma surgeons and their PA’s but once you get comfortable it is an unforgettable experience

  • VA psych ward in Sheridan

  • Dr. Wood’s Ambulatory care rotation at Ivinson includes a Diabetes week where you have your own continuous glucose monitor (which includes the whole set up of test strips, lancets etc.)

Pre Residency Rotations

  • They treat you like a resident, if you are thinking about doing a residency do this

  • Assignments, presentations, and a medication utilization evaluation

  • Be specific and intentional with your rotations, communicate with your preceptor about your goals


  • Preferencing places where you have free/cheap housing can save you a lot of money



We would like to thank our P4 students who agreed to be on our panel, and to those that were unable to attend but gave us advice to pass on. The goal of the P4 talk is to provide insight into what rotations will look like, and our panel did just that. The questions asked by the audience sparked great conversation within the group and the P4’s answered our questions readily and passed on helpful tips as to what a student can expect from their P4 rotations. Our annual talk was a huge success and once again we would not have been able to plan such an event without the help of our soon to be alumni!


Written By: Ellie Rone