Tuesday, November 25, 2014

A quick update from mdBriefCase

I am now starting my 4th week at mdBriefCase – time sure flies! Many exciting things have happened during my stay here thus far, so here are some of the highlights.

Pharmacy Corner

As you may have read in earlier blog posts, each pharmacy student at rxBriefCase has been working on an e-learning module for the patient-facing website, medSchool For You. I am excited to say that the program has officially launched! Pharmacy Corner is a program which addresses frequently asked questions that patients have on various topics such as birth control, seasonal allergies and insomnia. 

It is a valuable resource for patients, as it will enable them to learn more about medical conditions, empowering them to take a more active role in their health. I am currently working on my own contribution to Pharmacy Corner, so stay tuned in the coming weeks!

Donating Blood

At the end of my first week, some of the mdBriefCase team went to donate blood. I decided to tag along as I thought it would be a great opportunity to donate blood for the first time and help save someone’s life.

While blood donations are always needed, it is even more crucial now. At the end of September, the Canadian Blood Services made an announcement that Canada’s blood supply was the lowest it has been since 2008.

This is quite scary as around 50% of Canadians will either need blood or know someone that will need blood within their lifetime.2 Donating blood only takes about an hour, and you even get snacks and juice afterwards! Also, if you don’t know your blood type, you can take this opportunity to learn more about yourself and obtain information on your blood type.

Unfortunately, when I went to the clinic I was actually unable to give blood due to low hemoglobin (just 1 g/L shy of the cut off!), but I will definitely go back in 56 days when I am eligible to try and give blood again.

Pharmacy Student eNewsletter

Besides creating content for Pharmacy Corner, I have also been working on an eNewsletter. Though it still needs some fine tuning, I'm excited to be at the tail end of the CE development process. From brainstorming potential topics to editing drafts, it has been a very enriching experience. I can also confirm that Vaneet's previous blog post is pretty accurate in conveying the roller coaster of emotions.

The topic for this month's eNewsletter will be, (drum roll please), fall risk and prevention in the elderly! Each year, more than one third of seniors aged 65 or older experience a fall.3 

This is particularly important as falls can lead to injuries, some of which can be fatal. Falls are preventable, and pharmacists can play an active role in fall prevention by identifying patients with fall risk factors and implementing fall prevention strategies. To learn more, check out the Pharmacy Student eNewsletter coming soon to your inbox!


  1. Canadian Blood Services. 2014. Blood Inventory in Critical Condition. [Online]. [Accessed 23 November 2014]. Available from: https://www.blood.ca/en/media/blood-inventory-critical-condition.
  2. Canadian Blood Services. Blood. [Online]. [Accessed 23 November 2014]. Available from: https://www.blood.ca/en/blood/how-does-my-donation-help. 
  3. Al-Aama T. 2011. Falls in the elderly: spectrum and prevention. Canadian Family Physician, 57(7), 771-776.

Thursday, November 6, 2014

The Pharmacy Student Chronicles continue...

My name is Margaret Noriel and, like the previous bloggers, I am a fourth-year pharmacy student at the University of Toronto. I discovered rxBriefCase in my second year of pharmacy, and I have been a user ever since. 

When I found out I had an APPE rotation at mdBriefCase, I was excited for the chance to contribute to their various continuing education offerings.

I have experience in both community and hospital pharmacy settings, and I am interested in broadening my experience in other areas of pharmacy, such as consulting and ambulatory care. My therapeutic interests include mental health, neurology, and geriatrics.

During my time here, I will be focusing on rxBriefCase, rxPassport, and other pharmacy-focused continuing education tools. I will be responsible for critically appraising an existing eCE program, as well as creating continuing education content for an eNewsletter and a patient-education learning module.

Admittedly, writing has never been a strong suit of mine, so the task of medical writing may be a bit of a challenge. Fortunately, I love challenges and stepping out of my comfort zone, so I look forward to learning, growing, and hopefully mastering this challenge.

Stay tuned for future blog posts, as I take you along my journey at mdBriefCase!

If you have any questions, suggestions, comments, or thoughts, feel free to send them my way, I would love to hear from you!