Thursday, May 10, 2012

Reflecting Back & the Mysterious World of 9C

Posted by Jenna at Thursday, May 10, 2012

Seriously, where in the world has time gone?! I feel like everything post-Midyear is a complete blur but yet here we are, a mere 9 days away from graduation. 9 days?!!? We're in the single digits, people! It seems like almost yesterday that I packed up my car to make the 8-hour journey from NY to MI, moving to a completely new area where I knew no one. And now here I am 4 years later, ready to pack a Penske truck (who knew you could acquire so much in 4 years?!) and make the 8-hour journey from MI to TN, again moving to a place where I know no one. 

My four years at the University of Michigan have been some of the best years of my life. I love this University, I love this town, and I love the memories that I have made here. Not everything has been sunshine and roses though! There were plenty of times that I found myself in Dean Perry's office, whining that I had just bombed an exam and that I wasn't going to make it. To that, I heard "Oh girl, stop it!" followed by a pep talk. This place won't be the same without her, she is like the unofficial COP mascot. Though, I can't blame her for wanting to leave after the BCE graduates - it's the perfect time for her to retire, after graduating her favorite class evaa.  :-)

I cannot believe how fast this year went by. I've had 3 rotations since my last post: Inpatient Cardiology at Oakwood with Dr. Larry Diamond (Uncle Larry), Nontraditional Home Infusion at Walgreens OptionCare with Dr. Gabe Kaptur, and my current rotation is Inpatient Psychiatry with Dr. Jolene Bostwick. 

Psych is one of my secondary interests, behind peds of course! I shadowed Dr. Bostwick as a P1 and just find the patient population very interesting. What I didn't expect, however, was that I would find this rotation experience emotionally draining and depressing. Everyone knows that hem/onc and the ICU's are sad environments but I really didn't expect similar emotion with this rotation. Reading my patient's stories of past verbal, physical, sexual, & emotional abuse is rough. Your heart just breaks when you read about & hear these patient's life stories. So yes, I have some interesting stories and have had some pretty psychotic patients but most of all what I have had is a very humbling experience. 

I think psych is one of those areas you're either interested in or you're not. There is such a horrible stigma surrounding mental illness but really what I wish people would understand is that a diagnosis of schizophrenia is no different than a diagnosis of COPD. Patients with a psychiatric illness have exacerbations that require hospitalizations just as patients with COPD do. It's not uncommon for psych patients to undergo multiple medication trials before the 'ideal' medication or combination of meds is identified. There is a lot of opportunity for pharmacists (& students) to educate patients on various medications and what to expect. Dr. Bostwick is a phenomenal preceptor and will try to arrange for any experiences that you're interested in. She's a great example of what you can accomplish in a short time after graduation - she has a great rapport with all of the psychiatric docs, who value her input, and is a publishing machine! :-) I would highly recommend her as a preceptor and also the experience. It will open your eyes to the world of mental illness. Believe me, the patients are anything but scary. As healthcare practitioners, I think it's important to expose yourself to and have an open mind about all of your patients.

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