Monday, December 14, 2015

Settling In

My name is Andre and I am a fourth year PharmD student at the University of Toronto. I started my Advanced Pharmacy Practice Experience placement here at mdBriefCase a few days ago so I have already had some time to adjust. 

So far I have worked exclusively in a community setting at various Shoppers, Rexalls and Loblaws so this is a new and exciting experience for me. I didn’t know exactly what to expect, but everything I have heard from fellow classmates has been positive and I am already starting to see what everyone is talking about. 

So far I have been oriented, met many of the staff members and began working on the projects I will be completing over the next five weeks. I am responsible for conducting a critical appraisal of a continuing education program, writing a pharmacy newsletter and completing a patient-focused module on medSchool For You. I very much appreciate the fact we are able to choose our own topics for our projects as it allows us to pick ones that we are passionate about.  My areas of interest are diabetes, mental health and minor ailments so I will be choosing topics that allow me to demonstrate and expand upon my knowledge.   

If you are an APPE student who has just started your rotation at mdBriefCase and you are reading through old posts, especially if you are new to non-direct patient care like myself, it seems like you’ve picked a good rotation. Everyone is very friendly and helpful. 

Friday, December 4, 2015

Blogging as a reflective exercise

Here we are, heading into the last few days of my rotation at mdBriefCase and looking back at my single, lonely blog post. I apologize for not updating the blog but maybe my other projects will make up for it. If you have the time, take a look at my eNewsletter on COPD management and dual bronchodilation or drop by MSFY and check out my diabetes article!

I would however like to take the time to reflect on my time here at mdBriefCase.

Medical writing. If you’ve never been exposed to it, I urge you to try and find an opportunity. It isn’t just the writing. It’s conducting research to identify all the information available, filtering and sorting through it to find the valuable pieces, and then finding a way to share with those interested. Communication is a skill that is vital to many professions, pharmacists especially. We are constantly interacting with patients, physicians, or other healthcare professionals. That being said, our language and tone differ with each of these groups. Being exposed to medical writing, however briefly, helped me realize how drastic these differences can be.

Continuing education. For someone still technically in school, I never thought twice about it. I can say now that I have a better understanding of the value continuing education has for a practicing pharmacist. Our practices are changing. From expanded scopes to new medication classes, it’s quite easy to become overwhelmed with all the new information available to us and our patients. Continuing education programs distills a lot of this new information for us, making it much more manageable. I expect to be browsing through the rxBriefCase programs throughout my career to stay up to date with my practice!

I’d just like to thank the team here at mdBriefCase for being nothing but welcoming. Although not your traditional pharmacist role, being exposed to this facet of pharmacy has been really interesting and rewarding.