Tuesday, October 7, 2014

APPE #2 (2nd Pharmacy Rotation)


I finally have time to sit down and blog!!!!


I have not written in over a month and I missed writing and reflecting and sharing on my blog a lot! I have been writing things in my journal here and there - because I think I would go nuts without some form of reflection in my life.

But now I get to catch up...at least a bit. (Since I promised I would be taking you through the journey of my 4th year of pharmacy school aka experiential rotations by writing regular blog posts about them). I know I do have some readers that follow along for that part of the journey because they're either in pharmacy school or are considering pharmacy school. So here's an update about ROTATION block 2 of 6, which I just finished this past Friday. Of course I jumped right into my 3rd rotation and had my first day in clinic yesterday, learning all sorts of great, life-saving pearls. But I digress...

To make sure we're all on the same page, there are the 6 types of rotations we get as 4th year pharmacy students: a general medicine rotation, clinical specialty, community pharmacy, hospital, ambulatory care, and elective.

My 1st rotation block, which I described here and here, was my general medicine rotation. I was mostly working alongside internal medicine doctors on the 3rd general medical floor of Loyola University Medical Center.

This 2nd rotation block is my elective rotation.
And I elected an academia-focused rotation with one of our clinical pharmacists who is also a professor at our school of pharmacy. I spent most of my time on campus at Midwestern University, helping the professor revise lecture content, grade assignments, and facilitate laboratory sessions and workshops for the 1st-3rd year pharmacy students.

This rotation has also very much helped me to discern my interests and passions, and made it easier for me to discern my future career path (more about that coming up also). It really did confirm my interest in teaching students or at least precepting them on their experiential rotations. My "I want to be a teacher when I grow up" that I used to say all of my life came back to me. And came back strong. I love love love the position that my pharmacist preceptor has. He is employed by the university but spends 50% of his time doing clinical stuff at Rush hospital and 50% of his time teaching on campus. Sounds like a dream job to me. But again, more on that in another post...because that does deserve a whole another one, that's currently in the making :-)

So this rotation involved a lot of independent learning. We didn't really follow a strict schedule and did not have strict deadlines for projects. It was nice, but at the same time challenging, because I had to figure out a way to pace myself so I don't fall behind. It helped me to increase in the virtue of self-discipline. I had to work out a schedule and to-do list for everyday so that I could get my projects done in time, on top of grading papers, and facilitating lab.

The preceptor also gave me an opportunity to develop a lecture. This was counted as one of my projects. [Un]fortunately, I wasn't able to give an official lecture in front of a 200-person pharmacy class (I kind of wanted to have that experience to see if lecturing is for me), but I did give a short, 20 minute presentation in front of a small group of students. My lecture was about restarting warfarin (coumadin) in patients with a recent history of a GI bleed. My preceptor gave me some feedback on how to improve that lecture (the content and presentation) so that I could use that presentation at residency interviews and impress my Residency Director and Pharmacists that will be interviewing me. (And I'm actually giving this same presentation again this Friday at the coumadin clinic since my new amb care preceptor was excited about it and wanted to hear it).

1) Grading papers was an absolute blast! I loved writing comments and missing answers in red! But I was easy on them, even though some groups gave funky answers.
2) Being a lab facilitator was also a lot of fun! It was very cool to teach things to small groups of students at a time and to see the interest in their faces. I think I know what I'll be when I grow up!!! JK, I got some more discerning to do, of course...and still 4 rotations ahead of me.

But in all seriousness, this rotation and this type of work totally matches my studious, nerdy personality and perhaps God put me there for a reason. We shall see :)

This current rotation (my 3rd one), which just began yesterday, is my ambulatory care rotation. I am at an Advocate Medical Group site, which has a pharmacist-run anticoagulation and medication therapy management clinic. 2 of the 4 pharmacist that run the clinic are adjunct professors at my school of pharmacy as well, so they are very receptive to pharmacy students and they love to teach, so we generally learn a lot (one of the reasons why I chose rotation sites and preceptors who are MWU faculty, because I know they care about the students, they're up to date on all of the guidelines, and they have clearly laid out expectations and projects). But more on that later....

My 4th rotation, which begins in November, is a clinical specialty rotation with a cardiology focus. This will be at a major hospital that's located downtown Chicago, in the medical district - Rush UMC. I have already been there for a brief 3rd year critical care rotation and it was super fun.

(Update 10/16/14: Scratch that 4th rotation! It was cancelled and replaced with a clinical specialty rotation in NICU/Peds!!!! Did you hear that???? Oh Em Gee...IS GOD LISTENING TO MY PRAYERS OR SOMETHING???? He must be at least sneaking into my head ;-) Well, Thanks God. I WILL WORK FOR 6 WEEKS TO SAVE BABIES!!!!! = DREAM COME TRUE)

After that block, I get most of January and February off, which is perfect because that's when residency interviews happen (that's if I get any).

My last 2 blocks are my community pharmacy rotation, which is Jewel-Osco, and my hospital pharmacy rotation, which is a community hospital in Aurora, IL.

I will try to write at least one post about each rotation for those interested in hearing about them. If I have any super awesome experiences, I'll write more!

I'll also be writing about my continued struggle about determining whether to do a residency or not.

[Turns out the Residency Training chapter in the Introduction to Hospital and Health-System Pharmacy Practice textbook was written by 2 of our professors, one of which was my preceptor at Loyola during my last rotation. Ha, it's pretty cool to know someone that's somewhat famous in the pharmacy world]

Talk to you soon!


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