Friday, October 28, 2016

Time flies

I can't believe that I've been at mdBriefCase for 5 weeks already!  My time here just flew by.  As I'm nearing the end of my rotation, I reflected on how rewarding the experience was because it provided me with more insight on what a pharmacist can do outside a community/hospital setting.

Throughout my stay, I had several projects and these assignments helped me develop skills such as:
  • Writing.  Over the past few weeks, most of you probably know that I've been struggling with writing.  I've worked on the eNewsletter and short summaries geared to patients.  At the end of my rotation, I can say that I have improved my writing significantly with help from my preceptor and pharmacy mentor.
  • Presenting.  Presenting was something that I was relatively comfortable with, but this presentation had to be tailored to non-healthcare professionals.  This was a little more challenging for me, but in the end I think I portrayed the content well.  This is an important skill to have and to develop because in practice, you will be talking to patients in patient-friendly language.  It's important to learn how to speak in a way that is simple and concise so that you get the message across clearly.
I also wanted to take this time to thank everyone at mdBriefCase for being so friendly.  I've thoroughly enjoyed my rotation here and will definitely miss everyone.

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

There's More Out There

I can't believe I'm already at the halfway point of my rotation!  During my 3 weeks here, I've taken on a few projects and was constantly researching different therapeutic areas.  And that's when it hit me: learning is a lifelong thing and doesn't just stop after you graduate.

Love of Learning 
I got into pharmacy school a few years ago and was set on becoming a community pharmacist. Throughout my rotations, I've become less focused on becoming a community pharmacist, mainly because I want a career path that would allow me to constantly learn.  Don't get me wrong - community pharmacists are always learning.  It's just that I've come to appreciate a more concentrated learning experience.

While at Sick Kids, I was constantly reading articles and updating myself on guidelines.  I was learning something new everyday.  I find that learning in hospital is very different because you are learning about one specific topic, as opposed to community pharmacy where you're learning about a huge spectrum of therapeutic topics.  After experiencing both types of placements, I prefer the hospital setting more where you can become an expert in the field.

At mdBriefCase (non-direct patient care), I am working on an eNewsletter (cold sore management) and patient information sheets on various diseases.  These two projects require a lot of research and I'm learning something new everyday.

Over the next week and a half, I'll be working on more patient information summaries and a critical appraisal presentation, so stay tuned!

Friday, October 7, 2016

Writer's Block is Real

I've been at md/rxBriefCase for a week and a half now and I've  assigned several projects.  Some of the projects I am working on include:
  1. Critical appraisal: Are you ready for subsequent entry biologic insulin?
    • Throughout my rotation, I will be developing a critical appraisal of this program.  I will analyze and review the pros and cons of the program, as well as draft recommendations for improvement.
  2. Content development: Cold sore management
    • After some discussion with my pharmacy mentor (Mike), I decided to write an eNewsletter on cold sore management, as a program recently expired but is a hot topic since pharmacists want to learn more.
  3. Patient information
    • 150 to 200 word patient information summaries on a variety of therapeutic topics
As you can imagine, these projects require a lot of writing.  And, in the past week and a half, I've learned that writing is a huge challenge for me.  It seems I have the tendency to try and make one sentence perfect before I move on to the next. I've also learned that doing so would take too long to complete an assignment.  

I think the most important thing to do is to get ideas on the document and rearrange the format/sentences later.  Even so, getting something down is quite difficult.  

After discussing the issue with my preceptor, she recommended I take breaks and switch between projects.  If I can't think of something to write for one, then I work on a different project. After doing so, I found that I was more efficient. Hopefully, by the end of my rotation, my writing skills will have improved.

That's all for this week.  Tune in next time to see how I dealt with my writer's block!

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Hi everyone!

My name is Toby and I am the new pharmacy student at the University of Toronto doing my 4th Advanced Pharmacy Practice Experience (APPE) rotation at mdBriefCase Group Inc.   So far, I have done placements at Cancer Care Ontario, Sick Kids, and Shoppers Drug Mart.  Additionally, I work part-time at Shoppers just for extra community pharmacy experience. 

I haven’t done anything with Continuing Education (CE) before so this placement is a good opportunity to get some exposure.  During my five weeks here, I’ll be critically appraising a CE program, writing an eNewsletter, as well as keeping everyone updated on the blog.

Stay tuned next week for another post!