Saturday, January 3, 2015

New Years 2015

Happy New Year!

I am officially finally done with all of my residency applications so I wanted to take a quick moment to update with some of my photos from the last few months of 2014.

Here are some of the photos from the school's 2014 Clinical Skills Competition. We had a great turnout this year. Kudos to everyone who worked so hard to set it up!

Our awesome teams and judges:

Nathan and I working on our case:

We won!

Here are some of the photos from the 2014 ASHP Midyear Conference:

All Midyear photos courtesy of fourth year Melissa Cheung.

And finally some photos of our fun in California!


The beautiful Santa Monica Beach:

I can't wait until Midyear 2015 in New Orleans!


Monday, December 15, 2014

ASHP Midyear 2014

Hi guys!

It's that time of the year again... that's right, it's time for ASHP Midyear! This year was very special for me because Nathan and I were able to win the school's local Clinical Skills Competition so that meant we were able to go to Midyear to compete nationally.

This year's Midyear conference was held in sunny Anaheim, California. Before the conference started I had never been that far out west so I was really thrilled at the prospect. When it came time to board the flight I was a little nervous, but it ended up being a wonderful experience.

The first day of the conference for us was the day before it started for almost everyone else. That's because the competition is held the day before the first "official" day of the conference. We checked in at the main table and went immediately to the competition. The competition went great. Nathan and I really worked together as a team to cover all of our bases and I feel like we did a great job with our patient. We unfortunately didn't make it to the last round (only 10 teams in about 120 do) but I was still really proud of our care plan. I left the competition feeling like I had done my best and that meant a lot to me.

The next day the conference started in earnest. As a fourth year student, it was really important that I kept focused and made a point to take advantage of all of my time there to prepare me for residency applications. I attended all of the residency showcases and met with each of the programs I was interested in for residency. The residency showcases can be really stressful events, so I was really glad I had prepared and researched all of my programs at length before I stepped foot into the conference hall.

I also was able to finally present my research poster! As I mentioned to you all before, I have been working on a research project since I started my second rotation. It finally came together this fall and I was able to put together a poster I was really proud of.

Now that I'm home it's time to get really focused and get everything done for my residency applications. I will be working really hard for the rest of the year on my applications and I hope that by the time I talk to you all next I will be all finished!

I hope you all have a wonderful rest of 2014! I'll see you soon!


Thursday, November 27, 2014

Happy Thanksgiving!

Hey ya'll!

I just wanted to take a moment and wish you all a very wonderful Thankgiving. I hope it was as wonderful and full of friends and family as mine was!

See you all soon!


Thursday, November 13, 2014

Rotation Four: Working with Little Ones

Hey there!

I just finished my fourth block of the year which means.... I am halfway done with my last year of pharmacy school! This is such a huge moment but I can't help but feel super nostalgic. I have had such an amazing last three and a half years and I'm not ready to leave quite yet!

This rotation was one I was really excited about. This block I went to work in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) at my local hospital. For those of you who don't know was a NICU is, it is a high intensity care unit that is designed to treat infants who need special care after birth. This may be because of premature birth or because of a disease or birth defect. The NICU I was able to work with was a level 3 unit which means that they handled most patients there and only sent the most critical patients to a higher level program.

I had the best time during this rotation. Not only was I able to work with an amazing preceptor but I was able to see things I had never even heard of before. Since neonatology is such a specialized field, most programs don't delve into it in detail. In the hospital I was able to really focus on the unique pharmacokinetics and disease states the are special to this population. I was also able to use my literature evaluation skills to help develop care plans for patients where the best course of action was unknown.

Here is a (TINY!) diaper from one of my favorite little patients:


Friday, September 12, 2014

Block Three: A Trip "Out West"

Hey guys,

I just finished up block three! I cannot believe I am nearing the half way point of my year!

This block I volunteered to do a "traveling" rotation. Basically, I moved to a small town for 5 weeks for the course of rotation. Before it started I was a little nervous about how it would go, but it ended up being an amazing experience. I miss it already!

For my third rotation, I worked at a hospital in LaGrange, Georgia, close to the Alabama border. Because I was so close to Alabama, my co-intern was actually from Auburn University. We hit it off immediately and had a great time working together in the hospital.

This rotation was set up into "blocks" where we would go work in different areas of the hospital with different specialized pharmacists. My favorite block was in the Intensive Care Unit with Jeremy. The ICU at the hospital was very new and allowed for state of the art care for its patients. I was able to work with a huge variety of different disease states and it was great being able to consult with Jeremy about potential therapy improvements and then seeing them change in real time.

I also loved the times I was able to work with the hospital psychiatric patients. It was really eye opening seeing the things I studied so closely in school playing out in front of me and the pharmacist I worked with was an amazing teacher.

See ya'll next block!


Sunday, August 3, 2014

Summer Camp!

Hey guys!

I just wanted to take a minute detour from our normal conversations to tell you about something REALLY amazing I was able to be a part of this last week. As you all know, I spent the last block working with the Solid Organ Transplant Department at a local hospital. Well this last week during our scheduled "Summer Break" (a one week break between rotations) I was able to attend that hospital's camp for its transplant patients.

I wanted to stop and talk to you all about it because it was such a moving experience and I believe anyone willing to get involved on one of these camps will have one of the best weeks of their lives.

When I first planned on participating in this camp I felt like it would be fun to help some kids learn and grow and it would be a great way to get more involved with field I wanted to to be a part of.

Instead, what I really learned is how much these camps will cause you to learn and grow. I walked out of the camp this week feeling like a new person. In three plus years of pharmacy education, there will be days when you feel exhausted and defeated and you can loose sight of the reasons why you are working so hard. It's moments like I had at camp that will truly bring you full circle. What you will realize is that you are working so hard because you want to make a difference for someone else. Being able to make a difference for them is what will make a difference for you too.

I wanted to close with a photo of one of my favorite moments. This is me and another camp medical volunteer doing a trust-type exercise on a ropes course about 40 feet up in the air. It was so exhilarating!


Friday, July 25, 2014

Block Two!

Hey ya'll!

My second rotation is officially over and I wanted to stop in to tell everyone about it!

My second rotation this year was a huge treat for me. I know I've talk to you all in the past about how much PCOM has worked with me to help me get experience through rotations in areas I'm hoping to work in after graduation, but this rotation was really the perfect example. I love research and it is my goal to have a role in pediatric pharmacy research when I graduate. All research is fascinating to me (how cool is it to be the first person to find something that will change the course of medicine forever and really improve a patient's life?), but I especially love the opportunities that exist in pediatrics because most medications are never studied in those populations before they come to market. Because PCOM offered a research rotation through the school already, they were willing to help me set up a pediatric specific research rotation with a professor through a local pediatric hospital. In addition to how amazing that was, I was also able to split my time working between my research projects and being involved in the Solid Organ Transplant Department at the hospital.

During my rotation last month, I observed a medication being used in a way I wasn't familiar with and began to pull all the primary literature (original research reports) I could from PubMed (an online search engine that allows people to access primary literature). This block I discussed it further with my preceptor and we decided to do a Medication Use Evaluation (MUE) on the medication in question. An MUE is a review of all the prescriptions for a medication that have been dispensed in a hospital over a certain period of time. It can be focused on different things so different information may be studied, but generally researchers look at doses, indications, patient demographics (age, gender, disease states), and effects of the medication. It will take us longer than I will be on this rotation to finish (especially because all studies must be approved by a committee called the IRB) so I will keep working on it throughout the rest of the year. I hope to present my research at the ASHP Midyear meeting this year!

Well it looks like this post has gotten really long so I will have to regale you all with my tales from the Transplant Department another time.

Thanks for reading!


P.S. Last month I went to the GSHP Summer Conference with a bunch of our 3rd year students and we had a blast! The meeting was on Amelia Island, just inside Florida, and we were able to meet a lot of amazing Georgia pharmacists and sit in on some really great lectures.

Here's a photo of our group:

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