Thursday, June 18, 2015

Rotation 1: The Infamous Stay-At-Home Rotation

Posted by Rebecca Racz at Thursday, June 18, 2015

My first rotation was drug information.  I’d heard a lot about this rotation, so I was very excited to begin!  I was at a company that provides clinical information for users, and my focus was primarily on drug-drug interactions.

A Typical Day
I started the rotation mostly editing existing monographs and performing quality assurance on monographs that had not updated recently, but I gradually took on more responsibility and began writing more new monographs.  Requests for new monographs generally came from internal (other departments) or external questions, updated product labeling with new interactions, or articles that my preceptor or I happened to stumble across when researching another topic.  Two or three times a week, my preceptor, the other P4 on my rotation, and I would meet at a coffee shop (yum!) to talk about our work, discuss therapeutic topics and the drugs we were working on, research and writing strategies, and talk about life as a pharmacist.

I Didn't Just Write for 25 Days Straight
I didn’t just sit at home writing all day.  We had a Journal Club midway through the rotation, which was my first JC experience.  I also had the opportunity to poke around a little in the informatics side of the company and see where my monographs went once I finished writing them.  I was also able to work on a few pharmacogenomics projects and give recommendations based on my research, which I eventually wrote into a very different type of monograph.  In addition, I worked on a rotation-long project categorizing drugs based on levels of evidence.

Dusting off the MedChem
I unexpectedly found myself constantly challenged finding mechanisms of action, drug metabolic routes, and using this information to figure out how two drugs interacted with each other.  Some interactions were fairly obvious or were spelled out in a study or drug label, but others were not as clear and needed to be deciphered based on studies with other drugs or in vitro studies.  A few interactions had no evidence whatsoever, and the mechanism was left as “unclear, but the following mechanisms have been ruled out.”  I learned a lot about how drugs could interact, even in the strangest, most roundabout ways.

A lot of what this rotation boiled down to was writing, research, and coffee, which are three things I’m very fond of.  However, there were also many non-writing opportunities, and I was challenged in ways I didn’t expect to be challenged, most notably utilizing all of the medicinal chemistry I had tucked away in my brain a few years back.  If you like to write, I would highly recommend this rotation! 

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