Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Keeping It All Straight: Drug Information

Posted by Nina Cimino at Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Wow does P4 year fly by! I can't believe fall is here so soon! This rotation, my third one, has gone by particularly fast since the rest of my P4 commitments are kicking into high gear now. For this month, I am on a drug information rotation, focused on medical writing. My preceptor for this rotation is a pharmacist working for a company that publishes drug information resources such as an online database and textbooks. He works specifically on the drug interactions portion of the database, so I have been reviewing a lot of drug metabolism topics.

Although I am not directly involved in patient care during this rotation, I have found myself juggling many different responsibilities. My preceptor works remotely from home, so I do too (outside of our rotation meetings). Here is what a typical week looks like for me: I typically meet with my preceptor and the other P4 rotation student 3 times a week, on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday mornings. We use these meetings to provide updates on our work, have topic discussions, and present journal articles. Outside of meetings, I work on updating drug interaction monographs to reflect the latest literature, and longitudinal projects.

Writing monographs is a really good opportunity for me to refine my literature searching skills, and to practice triaging information to decide what is important for clinicians using the database. Sometimes the interaction monographs just need simple updating, while other times they may need to be re-written to reflect major changes in knowledge. Occasionally, database subscribers send in particular questions about an interaction, which may generate a monograph revision as well. Updating or writing monographs requires me to use PubMed to search for relevant information, and summarize concisely to reflect the clinically relevant data for our subscribers.

As I have gotten further into the rotation, my preceptor has given me longitudinal projects to work on too. I'll describe these in more detail next time, but so far I have found that they build on the monograph writing skills I have been working on. Overall, I have a lot of different things to keep me busy, so I think this rotation is great practice for juggling different responsibilities, and identifying relevant information.

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