Wednesday, August 5, 2015

A note on keeping it brief

It’s Ashu Randhawa, checking in again at the half-way mark of my rotation. My predecessors weren’t kidding when they said that time flies by here.

My time here so far has been unique. It’s worlds away from the quiet intensity of hospital or the organized chaos of community. It’s tranquil and friendly and fun.

The work gives me an opportunity to practice some valuable skills. Keeping things short and sweet is the name of the game, here. Gathering information is easy. Distilling it into something concise that flows well is harder. To reflect on a larger scale: the point of writing or speaking is to communicate something. If your target doesn’t understand you, then what was accomplished? I think Blaise Pascal put it best when he said, “I’m sorry that this was such a long letter. I didn’t have the time to write you a short one.”

Or if I can double dip, Shakespeare. “Brevity is the soul of wit.”

As pharmacists, it’s easy to write pages of medical information when we have resources like UpToDate or clinical guidelines or even Wikipedia at our fingertips. It’s easy to use big words, but that doesn’t mean we should. Even when dealing with other healthcare professionals, I think we should first and foremost try to make sure we’re understood.

I hope my MSFY and e-Newsletter reflect this ideal when they’re released, but you can be the judge of that. As always, feel free to leave any comments or suggestions you have for me. Otherwise, stay tuned!