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Friday, November 4, 2011

The future

So I just finished reading Drugmonkey's latest on Walgreen's POWER program, and I had a few thoughts...

Do you know what's most annoying? I'm sitting in school today writing SOAP notes and making recommendations to doctors based on pre-written interviews with patients. I literally get a typed up interview of the patient and every lab and clinical value I could ever ask for.

Do I learn? Yes.

Is it practical? No.

As of now, I like it, because it strengthens my learning - but I seem to be one of the few who realize this type of stuff doesn't happen all too often in the actual workplace.

I also am required to counsel on random medications throughout the semester - I get to look at the script (and only the script) and I also get as much time as I want to collect my thoughts before I start counseling.

Real world application? 1 out of 10.
Will I have infinite time to "collect my thoughts", without being able to look anything up? No. I'll have seconds - minutes maybe, and numerous resources to glance at. (Should I need the resources? No, absolutely not - not for common drugs.) My time is limited. I understand this is a learning exercise though, so I'm giving a pass on all this.

HOWEVER, having the bottle right there improves consultation immensely. You can point out how many refills, when to take, how often to take ect. ect. blah blah blah. Most importantly, special considerations (take with food, refrigerate, or do not drink grapefruit juice ect.) are almost always included on the bottle, which is a great resource to both us and the patient.

Now, should we know the special considerations for common drugs? Of course! However, we're all human and forget things from time to time.

So throughout my education I've been given:
1. More information about a patient than can be expected in a community pharmacy
2. Adequate time to review the patient's medications and comorbidities.
3. Inadequate prescription information for counseling

As far as my experience goes and from what I've read - my school is doing the opposite of what happens in the real world in at least these three categories I arbitrarily came up with.

My future job scares me - I'm not going to lie. I want to help this stupid population of people, but I'd rather do nothing than start harming it - and I'm scared I'll be rushed and eventually harm it.


Tuesday, October 25, 2011

So P3 year kinda blows

Hello there,

This isn't exactly new to me, but I haven't posted much in the past year - mostly because I had no pharmacy news/too busy doing pharmacy/work stuff to write my opinions blah blah blah.

This year has been interesting - in that I'm busy *all the time* with school work. Yes, I have days off, but I have 2 jobs because someone has to pay tuition and well, let's face it, my roommates aren't gonna do it. It's been interesting because I've been doing everything I can to keep my life in balance - I still go hunting with my best friend on the weekends and I still talk to my girlfriend as much as I can.

But it's taken a toll on my grades. I've got a B in one class and a C in another. While this isn't a big deal at all, it's a bit of a wake-up call to me. I view this year as the year I decide what is actually important to me and what I can slack off on - and time and time again I choose my friends and girlfriend above my school-work.

Maybe it's because I know I'll be fine with school. It's not like I'm going to fail - I'm still getting A's in most my classes, it's just the classes that require extra work that I'm struggling a bit in - It's that I would rather spend my time shooting ducks with my roommate or Skyping with my girlfriend than memorizing chemo treatments for NSCLC (non-small cell lung cancer).

So... No, I'm not going to be the encyclopedia of knowledge my professors want me to be when I get out of school. However, I will know where to find/look up all that information, AND I'll still have my best friends and girlfriend in my life.

I think I'll be OK. Don't you?

There's gotta be a retarded centaur

Think about it...

I was reading up on my diabetes notes and there's an actual brand-name drug named "Mixtard".

Tell me you don't read that and think of a retarded centaur and I'll give you a dollar. All I can picture is a horse with a human torso who just happens to have Down's syndrome trying to walk and yeah...

But realistically, if centaurs exist - as in humans with horse bodies - there's bound to be a mentally challenged one here and there, and as intelligent/caring creatures, they aren't going to make like lions and eat their retarded babies. So, eventually, there will be a fully grown mentally retarded centaur.

I believe one of those centaurs was diabetic, and the other centaurs figured out a drug to save him, and we humans discovered it from them. So, of course, we called it Mixtard, as a homage to the true genius who discovered it - the centaurs.

Or maybe we homo sapiens are just a bunch of fucking idiots.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Do you know what pisses me off?

Shitty teachers.

We have all had them. We all know who they are and we knew it three years before we were going to have them because every single person we know in the classes above us complained about them.

I have had many shitty teachers in pharmacy school. I'm taking a course right now that focuses on drugs that treat blood clotting diseases and hyperlipidemia and chronic heart failure, among other things. Pretty interesting stuff, right?

I mean, just look at blood coagulation. There are 13 different factors in platelet aggregation (not counting PF3). They are almost all affected by at least one other factor. There are numerous receptors on each factor and the platelets themselves, which are bound by one of the other factors. And they all have to work for your wounds to heal properly.

It's amazing stuff, and we have drugs upon drugs that treat someone who has a problem with their platelets over-doing it. We have drugs specifically designed to target one little receptor in your body that screws up what your body wants to do so badly that you won't die from acute pulmonary thromboembolism.

It's crazy, and it's downright interesting, and yet, I cannot stay awake in class. Despite the absolute awesomeness of the material I cannot stay awake, and it's because my teacher is shitty. He is boring. He is unprepared for class. He is probably a genius and most likely makes a shit-load of money for my college with the amount of research he does, but when it comes to teaching, he doesn't know squat.

Yes, he is Asian and English is his second language but I don't think that's the problem. He's about 40 years old and he acts like teaching us is a waste of his time. He walks in, reads off his slides and answers almost every question with "uh, yeah... sure."

I can't stand it. I'm supposed to be learning from this guy and one kid in class once said that extra bile goes to the pancreas and the teacher just said "yeah," and moved on. For those of you who don't know, extra bile is stored in the gall bladder, not the pancreas.

I have had a few great teachers, just like all of you had, and I wish I could say that the majority of teachers in my pharmacy school are good teachers, but I can't. Most of my teachers suck. I usually end up learning, not studying, the night before a test.

I hate it.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Thursday, October 14, 2010

So You Want To Survive Your Second Year

Good luck.

After your first year, with biochem and all those other seemingly pointless, ridiculously demanding, and let's face it, stupid classes that stress the importance of <797> and OBRA 90 when in practice those regulations are put on for show once in a while when the inspectors show up, you can almost guarantee you can bullshit your way through class, like you've done before.

Wrong. This year, the college will finally teach you about drugs. There's no bullshitting when it comes to drugs. Ah yes, you may think just any NSAID will work for gout, since that's what you read when you skimmed the notes, that NSAIDs are a treatment for gout. What you didn't read was that indomethacin is pretty much the only NSAID good at treating acute gout attacks, and that a xanthine oxidase inhibitor (allopurinol) can prevent pretty much any gout attack, as long as it's taken regularly.

Have fun trying to convince your professor that aspirin can treat gout, because they ain't happening. Besides, why the hell do you think aspirin is a traditional NSAID in the first place? Get your damn act together.

This is the world of second-year pharmacy. We get into pharmacy because we are Type-A folks who love black/white. Take this, not that. This will work, this won't. And yet, aspirin is an NSAID but kinda-sorta-not-really. Trust me, the aspirin example is bush-league. There are exceptions to every damn rule you'll ever learn.

Apparently pharmacy is more like English than I thought.

To survive your second year of pharmacy school, you'll probably have to put down the booze except on rare occasions, and study your ass off. This is the year the teachers finally decide you can learn about drugs, and they throw them all at you in quick succession. There's no warning, no "Hey we're going to teach you about real stuff now."

It's just a relentless bombardment of drug facts with grey areas, and you're expected to know everything about everything. No exceptions, no excuses.

Sure, you can still graduate with a C in a couple classes, as long as your cumulative GPA stays above 3.0, but let's face it, you're an obsessive, controlling neurotic that strives for perfection, and a C will probably send you into a shame spiral resulting in a nervous breakdown.

Put down the bottle, grab a packet of notes, and get reading. Your sanity depends on it.

Good luck.

Holy Shit I Forgot About My Blog

Hello everyone,

I literally, totally forgot I had a blog. Does anyone want to guess why?

Ah, I see you guessed, "Because supporting yourself with two jobs while attending pharmacy school makes pretty much everything else in life irrelevant." You are correct sir/madam.

Ok, with that being said, look forward to my post about surviving the second year of pharmacy school (Protip: it involves NOT getting drunk... like... ever...).

It's a sad year.