Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Almost there!

Posted by Matthew Lewis at Tuesday, May 08, 2012

My last rotation is incredibly interesting to me, and I think I like it even more than solid organ transplant. I am currently on an ambulatory care rotation at U of M's Brighton Health Center. What I do on this rotation is see patients with Dr. Wells, who has a collaborative practice agreement(CPA) with the physicians in the group. You're thinking it's just another rotation where you follow a preceptor and make recommendations to physicians while really having little impact on the patient. That couldn't be further from the truth. The CPA allows Dr. Wells to completely manage diabetes, hypertension, and hyperlipidemia. This includes, patient interviews, charting, having patients scheduled to see her directly, and even prescribing (within the CPA scope)! She also gets to submit claims to insurance companies for using her cognitive ability and training instead of working behind a counter, which is a recent development. I find it wonderful to have positions out there where you can manage a chronic disease state as a pharmacist. A few words of caution though. The CPA is essentially a marker of trust between the physician group and the pharmacist, and many places require one, if not two years of residency. I believe ambulatory care is an expanding role for pharmacists and that every student should be required to take at least one rotation in that setting. Not only does it give students a chance to have many direct patient interactions, but also really test your therapeutic knowledge on topics which are prevalent in a large percentage of the population, such as hypertension. As for graduation, wow. I've been a student for 22 years. Now, I end that career for a new, rewarding career as a Doctor of Pharmacy. I will continue to learn and grow, but it is certainly going to be different now. I've never been a doctor before, so it will be a unique experience to see how people interact with me and what they expect of me. In any case, I'm done with school and I am excited to move to the next stage of my life.

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