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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.


  1. I barely survived my FIRST quarter as a pharmacy student! physical chemisty nearly killed me :(

  2. Physical chemistry? Quarter? I'm afraid we go to different schools. However, once you realize that the colloids and suspensions and Z Factors are things only research pharmacists really need to be concerned about the better. Yes, an understanding what they all are and how they work will help you, but you don't need to know the complexities of them.

    Your first year as a pharmacy student doesn't decide anything, they're just training you to work hard. Don't worry, you'll be just fine.