Friday, November 11, 2011

A Bit Much

Posted by Matthew Lewis at Friday, November 11, 2011

As you well know, things are progressing on rotation, but outside of rotation, things are crazy. I am trying to get an abstract presentation for the International Society of Heart and Lung Transplant (ISHLT). My preceptor wants a draft by Tuesday, and the final submission is due Friday. The stats meetings are quite long, but every meeting is another factor put into the big picture. My project has generated at least 30,000 cells in Excel worth of data entry (yes, I'm counting blank cells because I did have to determine if they were supposed to be empty). I have a volunteering session at Hope Clinic on Wednesday night. Our dinner with donors to the College of Pharmacy is Friday night. I have a paper, a monograph, and an in-service all due and presenting on Friday, and I should have drafts of my monograph and in-service in by Tuesday, Wednesday at the latest. I'm not complaining mind you, I'm just telling you that sometimes it gets busy and storms of deadlines batter the USS P4.

Oh yeah, stack on Midyear planning. I have a great idea of where I want to go for residencies in and out of state, but I have to figure out who I'll be talking to and what questions to ask. I also have to prep my CV and get that squared away. I very recently came to the realization that not only do I want to do residency so I can be a clinical pharmacist, but I also would like to serve the US somehow in the US uniformed services. I say uniformed service because there is the army, navy, and air force under the department of defense, but there is also the public health service, which has a uniform, ranked members, and can be deployed to disaster areas (and overseas I think). The public health service, for those of you who don't know, are responsible for the FDA, Indian Health Service, CDER, and the CDC to name a few. So, on top of all the deadlines, I've got to figure out what the next five years of my life are going to look like. They all offer great opportunity and require, at the very least, immediate sacrifices in different areas.

On the matter of residencies, I was told that I should think of stories concerning patient care that will be important on interviews. This brought up my lung transplant patients, so I asked about two gentlemen in particular when I saw my preceptor for that rotation. They are both doing well, but each had a bout in the hospital, which was quickly resolved. I then asked about another patient, Mrs. B. She was waiting for new lungs and was deteriorating. Her problem was that she was a small patient and a more rare blood type. Nothing came up. She passed away. I had talked to her a few times just one on one during rotation and got to know her a little bit. When I showed her my laptop and that you could write on it. She wrote "Please get me new lungs." half in good spirits, half pleading at that time, knowing there was nothing we could do to speed the process. It hit me hard to learn she passed. That's the risk you run when you get to know people and they want desperately to stay alive with a poor prognosis. Our system and modern medicine can't help everybody yet. I just wish that I see cases like Mrs. B as few and far between as fate, God, and human effort will allow.

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