Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Rotation 4 (are we really half finished already??!!)

Posted by Mindy Prasad at Wednesday, October 02, 2013

Rotation 4 was in a suburb of Boston, MA at Natural Standard (NS), the online database and reference for complementary and alternative medicine (CAM). Today is actually my last day – my car is packed and waiting outside for me to drive back to Michigan. I met a lot of great people out here. It’s been fun exchanging stories with students from other colleges of pharmacy.




This was the drug information/medical writing rotation. Natural Standard evaluates data/articles and publishes monographs for herbal remedies, dietary supplements, acupuncture, chiropractic therapy, and really anything that might be considered “non-mainstream” medicine. Regardless of a healthcare provider’s personal beliefs about CAM, there has to be a reference to find information about CAM. There are many patients who use CAM in some form. Pharmacists and physicians need to be able to evaluate the safety of what a patient is taking or doing and be able to provide information about the documented efficacy of CAM therapy. Natural Standard is one reference that people can turn to to find reliable, up-to-date information about CAM.



Some of my time was spent reviewing articles in a “journal club” format and creating what is known at NS as an evidence grid. Other projects I worked on include interactions rating for various dietary supplements, research integration, and quality assurance checking of other students’ work (we all do that, not just me!). I learned that there are many steps involved in medical publishing and it really takes a large team to keep information current and to ensure accuracy. 


A really nice thing about this rotation was that there was no work to take home at the end of the day. This left a lot of time to finish my PharmD paper and go sightseeing. I also was fortunate enough to have family and an old friend nearby so I was able to spend time with them. I’ve enjoyed my time at Natural Standard, but I’m ready to be home. Five weeks away is simply too long for me!


~as an added bonus, there are two dogs that belong to my preceptor, Dr. Catherine Ulbricht, and they would visit us in the office from time-to-time (Beef and Chopper)~



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