Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Reflective Practice

The traditional learning environment of pharmacy school has come to an end. Gone are the days of didactic lectures.

As I begin my first Advanced Pharmacy Practice Experience (APPE) at mdBriefCase, I quickly realized that the working environment requires learning from others in a different way. In order to succeed, I must adopt the skill of Reflective Practice.

So, what is Reflective Practice and why is it important? Reflective Practice involves “paying critical attention to the meaning behind everyday actions, leading to developmental insights” (Bolton, 2010).  In a traditional educational environment, I found reflective practice to be less important, as I essentially downloaded the information that was presented to me. However, the professional working environment is cluttered with ambiguity. If you combine this with the human propensity to “feel first” and “think after”, you have a recipe for disaster. As such, Reflective Practice is essential in order to mentally organize my environment, and more importantly learn from it.

Now that I have explained the importance behind Reflective Practice, how am I going to actually perform it?  One model that has been proposed is Gibbs’ model of reflection (1988). It begins with a description of an event that has happened, and the associated thoughts and feelings during that event. This is followed by an evaluation of the experience, outlining both the positive and negative aspects. Through evaluation, analyzing the situation and attempting to make sense of what happened, will guide me to a conclusion and subsequent action plan. At this point, I can begin to reflect on what else I could have done in the same situation, what I can do if the situation happens again in the future, and what I can learn and take away from this experience.

My personal developmental challenge: make the leap from practicing reflection, to reflective practice. Reflect in such a way that will bring me new found knowledge and understanding.


  1. Bolton, G. Reflective Practice: Writing and Professional Development (3rd Edition). Los Angeles: Sage, 2010.
  2. Austin, Zubin. “Reflective Practice.” University of Toronto, Leslie L. Dan Faculty of Pharmacy. Toronto, Ontario. 04. May 2015.  Lecture.

Friday, May 8, 2015

Final day of rotations & pharmacy school!

This is my last day at rxBriefCase, and I want to share my experiences as well as what I learned from this rotation.

mdBriefCase Group Inc. is not your typical placement. It is a non-direct patient care rotation that focuses on providing continuing education for all healthcare professionals. It also provides education for patients, free of charge!

Now, don’t just take this for granted. Medical writing is a form of art. It isn't just about providing the correct and most recent information on a particular topic. It takes a lot of time and effort to perfect each and every sentence, and to ensure that the information is concise and succinct to maintain the readers’ interest.

I realized this while writing for both medSchool For You and eNewsletter on the topics of head lice and uncomplicated UTIs, respectively. I was also fortunate enough to get a behind-the-scenes look at program development and sit in on a few filming sessions. I must say, A LOT of work is put into these CE programs!

I am thankful that these programs are available at my finger tips and will continue to use these programs after I graduate to keep up-to-date with the ever-changing and evolving healthcare landscape, to ensure optimal patient outcomes.

On the second last day of my rotation, I attended the Primary Care Today conference as a representative of mdBriefCase, which provided further insight into mdBriefCase as well as my own future practice.

All in all, an interesting last rotation. And now, I get to put all this learning towards the upcoming exams!