Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Rotation 1 - Internal Medicine

Posted by Matt at Tuesday, August 30, 2011

As many of you know I spent my first rotation walking around the hospital with a cane. I hurt my back during a softball game earlier in the summer and I still hadn’t recuperated by the time rotation one began. As you can probably guess I was the receiving end of many House, MD references. Despite my physical handicap I truly enjoyed my first rotation.

My rotation was internal medicine with Dr. Regal, known by many as the poet pharmacist. I feel like I learned more clinical skills in 4 weeks than in a semester of therapeutics. When you can relate pharmaceutical information to an actual person that you interact with, it has a way of staying with you. The first few weeks were intimidating, but over time I began to feel more comfortable.

The rotation consisted of daily rounds with the team (attending physician, senior medical resident, two interns, and a medical student), patient work-ups, and educational sessions with Dr. Regal every afternoon. Every 4 days the team would be “on call” which meant that new patients were added to the service. That meant that every 4 days we would receive 8-10 new patients to work up. The patients ranged from heroin addicts with endocarditis to acute renal failure patients requiring dialysis. At one point we had so many patients on hemodialysis that we filled over half the beds on the 7A dialysis unit. I also spent a great deal of time following INR’s and warfarin dosing. I had the opportunity to counsel every patient that was receiving warfarin in the hospital on diet, compliance, monitoring, and side effects.

If you like a variety of cases, renal dosing, and warfarin monitoring then this rotation is for you. I feel fortunate to have started with a rotation that allowed me to experience what clinical pharmacy is all about.

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