Friday, March 17, 2017

Rotation 8: Acronym World

Posted by Jared at Friday, March 17, 2017

Hello everyone!

As implied in my earlier post, I had the opportunity to do a rotation at the FDA during this block. Specifically, I was in ORP, or the Office of Regulatory Policy within CDER, or the Center for Drug Use and Evaluation. Starting at the FDA, you quickly realize everyone talks in acronyms (OGD, OCC, OND, OSE, etc). It can be very easy to get confused and lost, and I usually had to look up acronyms throughout the rotation just to figure out what someone was referring to.

Interestingly, the division I worked under was made up almost entirely of lawyers, alongside one pharmacist (my preceptor) who acts as their project manager. Some of the office's main responsibilities included participating in the development of rules and regulations, along with responding to citizen petitions. Citizen petitions allow individuals, groups, and companies to write to FDA to try to persuade them to change something, such as remove a drug from the market, issue a guidance or rule, or make labeling changes. At meetings, it was very interesting to see some of these issues brought up and observe how different disciplines would interact and collaborate in order to accomplish their goals or address the issue at hand. 

In terms of what I did, I helped with various projects that were in line with whatever issues my division was working on at the time. However, besides this, one of the big things about the FDA rotation is the Pharmacy Student Lectures. These typically occur every day, and are scattered throughout the department. They allow students to see how the FDA works within different divisions and departments, and also allow us as students to see the types of non-traditional roles pharmacists can take at the FDA. Furthermore, we were also able to take field trips to different organizations in the DC/MD/NOVA area. During my rotation, we visited APhA, ASHP, the Coast Guard, NIH, and the Pentagon as well! Through these activities and lectures, I was able to also meet other pharmacy students who were also on rotation at the FDA. Interestingly, many of us were going through the residency interview process during this block, and some had already acquired fellowships. Regardless, it was great to have peers to interact with and talk/de-stress about residency interviews, which leads me to the following:

I found out today I matched at one of my top choices for residency programs! I'm really excited for what the future holds, and it's great to finally have an idea of where I'm going post-graduation. Extremely thankful to all my friends and family that have supported me to this point, my preceptors that have helped me develop over this last year, and the College for the number of opportunities they've provided us. Only five weeks until graduation!

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