Friday, May 1, 2015

The Match Results Are In!

Hey y'all!

After weeks of anxious waiting, I have a big announcement to make....

I matched for residency! 

Even better, I matched with my DREAM RESIDENCY!

For those of you who have followed along with me over the past few years through this blog, or even just read a few random posts, you know what a dream this has been for me.

For those of you who are just joining me, or for the who don't know much about residency here's a brief overview:

Residency is post-graduate education that (usually) happens in the time immediately after graduation from pharmacy school. It is typically designated into separate years called PGY1 (post-graduate year one) and PGY2 (post-graduate year two). Both years are obtained through an application process and interviews followed by a matching process called the ASHP Match.

Why do people choose to do residency?

Residency is not required for pharmacists, but is usually considered a critical part of training for specialized pharmacist work, especially for clinical pharmacists in the hospital environment. While residency is a paid job, residency typically pays about half of what a normal starting pharmacist would make. That can be a hard thought for graduating students with pharmacy school loans to pay off (or just wanting to finally make "the big bucks") but it's an amazing opportunity to become a more well-rounded and competent pharmacist.

So how did I get a residency?

Good question! The honest answer is lots and lots of hard work. Residency positions are increasingly more and more competitive. This year, ASHP had more applicants to residency positions than ever before. Pharmacy students should get involved in extracurriculars, research, publications, and volunteering as early as possible in their pharmacy school career! Ask questions, network, and take advantage of the time you have in school. Pharmacy school can be intimidating, especially when considering the "extras" that go into being competitive for residency. But trust me, when you finally get that email telling you that you matched, it will all be worth it!

So where am I now?

I almost (still!) can't believe it. Now that I've matched I have a lot of new steps to take to prepare. Assuring my non-school pharmacy intern hours have been accepted, studying for the NAPLEX (the national pharmacist license exam), and making sure I finish off my last rotation successfully have been my major priorities the last few weeks. In addition to license requirements, I'm also getting excited about finally living my dream of being a pediatric pharmacist!

And to take a moment to be a little personal, I just wanted to take a moment to thank all of the people who follow this blog who have helped me along this journey. The last four years of my life have genuinely been the best of my life. I can never begin to thank each of you for the little things that you have done for me, but I know that I am where I am because of you.

Thank you so much for going on this journey with me!


Monday, March 16, 2015

Residency Interviews

Good morning!

It's a wrap! I just finished the last of my residency interviews! This last month has been a crazy, exciting blur, and I am so thrilled to say that interviews went wonderfully.

Residency interviews are all different, but they always have one thing in common: the ability to learn more about the things you are most passionate about. Though I have accumulated a little bit of experience in pediatrics in Atlanta, going to visit different hospital systems really puts into perspective what different roles pharmacists can play. It also really reminded me of the reasons why I love pediatrics so much. In addition to attracting some of the most passionate, inspirational staff I've ever met, pharmacy is integrated into the pediatric care system like nowhere else. There was not a place I visited where pharmacy wasn't deeply involved in most if not all aspects of patient care. It's really thrilling that I might be able to finally be a part of that.

In addition to my fun on location at the hospitals, I also had a great time visiting a few cities I had never had the opportunity to visit before. In St.Pete, I hung out by the water with a fellow GA-PCOM student on rotation in Tampa. In Birmingham, I ate amazing pizza and Thai food with the hospitals amazing residents. And in Memphis, I explored the night life with three other pharmacy students vying for residencies.

The beautiful view in St. Petersburg

It's been an amazing ride, and now I just have to sit tight and wait for Match Day 2015!

See y'all then!


Sunday, February 8, 2015

Residency Update

Hey there!

This is a post I've been excited to write for a very long time.

February is here and that means it's time to interview for residency programs! Yes, you heard me right, after years of hard work, and months preparing applications, I am taking the big next step toward residency.

As a lot of you know, a residency in pediatrics has been my dream for the past three years. I have been thrilled to receive interview requests from some of the best pediatrics hospitals in the southeast and beyond. That means the next few weeks are going to be a crazy adventure. I'll be traveling to interviews in St. Petersburg, Birmingham, Memphis, Washington D.C., and right here in Atlanta. While most people fly to interviews, I will be driving to each, so I've spent a lot of the last few weeks preparing my car, and my mind, for the long drives (good music playlists and snacks will definitely be key). And of course, I've been working hard practicing my interview skills!

I will update soon to tell you how my interviews have gone!


Thursday, January 29, 2015

Psychiatic Pharmacy Rotation

Hey guys!

It's 2015! I graduate this year!

I am so amazed at how fast 2014 zipped by. It feels like just yesterday I was starting rotations, and now I am in the middle of my 6th rotation. Only 2.5 left to go!

This block I am on rotation with a GA-PCOM professor at a local psychiatric hospital. It has been a fascinating few weeks already. Every morning, we start off by attending daily table rounds where we discuss our patient's current care plans. It is a great place to have an impact as a pharmacist, because in addition to psych medications, our patients have a huge array of other conditions that must be considered and monitored. More recently, I even had a transplant patient that I was able to follow. It was really exciting since I completed a transplant rotation earlier this year. It allowed me to make some really great interventions that might have been missed if pharmacy wasn't involved. After rounds, we typically work on collecting accurate medication lists for newly admitted patients.

My favorite part of the day always involves the patient classes that pharmacy students are expected to teach. Each afternoon, I go with my two co-interns to one of the psych units to work for an hour with the patients. We play games and have discussions about psychiatric and medicine topics. I was pleasantly surprised by how interested the patient's were in these education sessions. I have received a lot of great patient input, and have been able to adjust the way I approach a lot of patient topics through these experiences. I've also been able to meet and get to know a lot of other healthcare students and it's been so much fun teaching them more about the medications they work with every day.

Though I am still planning to move forward in my career in pediatric pharmacy, I am so glad I've had the opportunity to work this rotation. I really love that this year of rotations has enabled me to experience so many different areas of pharmacy. That is truly one of my favorite things about pharmacy school. It's biggest chance you may get to test the waters and see what it is you truly fall in love with.

Jason, Quintin and I on rotation!


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!


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