Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Back from my Dream Wedding to the Reality of Pharmacy School

While I enjoyed a nice break from reality during which my soul was just drifting in the clouds and I felt as if I was already one foot in heaven, it is now time to go back to the stressful, everyday life of a pharmacy student.  I am still on a mental and emotional "high" from all of the love and happiness we experienced on our wedding and our honeymoon last month...and this year, I will not let pharmacy school suck the life out of me!

I have now begun my 3rd year (aka P3) of professional school at the Chicago College of Pharmacy, and this is actually the last year of my didactic career here at CCP, which is a fancy way of saying that this is our last year of classes (lectures).

Ahhh! Where did the time go?
Pictures from our white coat ceremony in 2011

And no, this is not the whole class. Our class size is 206.

Look at us kids....and pretty soon we'll be graduating!

 Our P4 year (4th and last year of pharm school) is completely composed of 10 week chunks of rotations through various fields and sites of pharmacy practice.  This means that I may be at a diabetes clinic for 10 weeks, a coumadin clinic for 10 weeks,  a community hospital, a mental hospital, or even the emergency department to practice ambulatory care pharmacy for 10 weeks...or work with kids in a pediatric hospital. It will be exciting but I also heard it's a lot of hard work! I'm still looking forward to it :-) Right now I work at a retail pharmacy (such as Osco, Walgreens), but I have a feeling that my rotations may change my mind of where I want to practice.

But while I'm daydreaming of hospitals, IV bags, needles, and helping critically sick patients, I have one more year of classes to tackle. I have 3 more quarters of Pharmacotherapeutics lectures, which is the meat and cheese of the whole pharmacy school curriculum. In the next 3 days alone, I have 2  long workshops (would have been 3, but one was cancelled), 2 exams (one the same day), a quiz, and multiple assignments to turn in.

Just in case anyone was wondering what a pharmacy school curriculum might look like, below is the list of my workshops and exams for this quarter. Keep in mind the quarter is only 10 weeks long!!! So the cramming gets pretty instense, hehe.



My therapeutics exam this coming friday is mostly on type 1 and type 2 diabetes mellitus as well as adrenal disorders like Addison's disease, Cushing's disease, and hyperaldosteronism.

Here is an excerpt from my notes on the intro to diabetes. Notice the statistics in red...our obesity epidemic has taken a toll on us!

We also have to know every bitty detail on how to calculate an initial dose of insulin for a patient (there are about 10 different types of insulin, too) and also how to adjust that dose based on the patient's SMBG (Self-Monitored-Blood Glucose) readings. Needless to say, it's a lot of memorization!

And that's that.

So even though I have a dozen exams to study for, 2 dozen workshops and patient cases to tackle, and many more SOAP notes (patient care plans) to write up in the next 2 months, I am going to make this year my best year in all of my collegiate education.

  I will enjoy this year and try not to stress out too much - keeping in mind that:
  1. I have a lovely husband to come home to that works hard to provide for me, cooks for me, makes me laugh, and most importantly - puts up with me and my grumpy moods, bad attitudes, and nagging
  2. This is my very last year of classes, probably for the rest of my life...after about 17-18 straight years of being in school. (And I am a big nerd so I know I will miss class time...and yes, even homework and studying for exams...and that is why I am considering academia as a possible pharmacy field of cool would it be to teach pharmacy students one day?!)
  3. I have always been a straight A student and it will not be different this why stress out?
  4. God will provide, just as He has up until this point!
  5. I will soon be a great doctor of pharmacy and be able to offer my medical advice, medication counseling, and encouragement to those who are not well! I will be able to live out the vocation that God has planned for me!

So now, I shall bury my head in my med chem (medicinal chemistry aka drug structure) binder for the next 2 hours. I then have my 2 hour health communications workshop where we practice counseling patients on medications and disease states. Then, my favorite part of the day - I get to go grocery shopping after school! Yay! Our fridge probably has a couple of spiderwebs in it by now haha! I will try to make some spaghetti for dinner and also banana bread for desert, since we have some leftover bananas. I will be using a recipe from Caitlin's blog and cannot wait to see how it turns out!

And I leave you with a wedding picture because I just can't get enough of them. I've been reposting the same ones because we only have about a dozen pictures....we will have the rest in a couple of months.

Peace and God Bless!!


  1. That sounds intense, but also exciting as you get closer your dream! How awesome that you have the support of your husband now. Hopefully that will make it less stressful.

  2. Good luck to your classes! Your schedule looks a bit tough, but as long as you're dedicated to your vision, you can make it! And the last year of pharmacy school must be very exciting, as this is where you do the job on-hand, such as maintaining inspection systems for certain kinds of medicines and other stuff essential to your line of work.

    Dabrico, Inc.