Thursday, September 10, 2009

Don't get too comfortable

Posted by Akin at Thursday, September 10, 2009

I think I am one of the few students who for the first two rotations is doing them both at inpatient rotation sites within the University of Michigan Health System. During my first rotation, the patients were adults with cancer. This month, I am doing pediatrics at Mott Children’s Hospital. Knowing that I was going to remain at UMHS and feeling good about my last rotation, I figured I would just be able to pick up where I left off. But my transition from adult to pediatrics is certainly a transition worth blogging about.

Aside from getting used to weight-based pediatric dosing, unfamiliar pediatric-specific disease states, and different lab values that I need to pay even more attention to, I also must rebuild my comfort level all over again. The clinical rounding team includes four medical students and three residents, which is a change from the smaller PA service I grew accustomed to. With such a large team, finding a niche and knowing when it is appropriate to speak up is another new challenge. I hope to learn a great deal in the next few weeks.

With all this in mind, I guess if I had to give myself advice for the next few months, I would tell myself not to get too comfortable with each rotation. The school year is just beginning, but I now anticipate a dynamic year full of transitions and adjustments. From month to month, I’ll be changing more than just my daily monitoring form. I’ll be placed into foreign environments outside of the haven of the College of Pharmacy classrooms and into hospitals, clinics, and offices. Our preceptors may put us in situations where we are on our own, fending for ourselves amongst medical doctors and residents. We may sink, we may swim, but regardless of the outcome, we will gain some sort of insight. And by the time we gain any sort of confidence, it’ll be time to move on to the next experience.

My preceptor told me last Friday that most pharmacists don’t get comfortable until about a year of working on a service (not including residency/ fellowship/ or other advanced training.) This made me think of Michigan's Head Football Coach, Rich Rodriguez. The football team is off to a good start and the young team is looking much more comfortable on the gridiron after a rough year in 2008. So I am going to start thinking about my early career right now like I do the University of Michigan football team. The next few years are going to be a time of transition, but I will be winning Rose Bowls and national championships before you know it.

1 comment:

Unknown said...


Enjoyed your posting. Working within the hospital's inpatient units is exciting and enlightening. You're wise not to get too comfortable too soon. Keep up the good work!
- Rose Wedal