Friday, December 30, 2011

Distressed into De-stressed

Posted by Matthew Lewis at Friday, December 30, 2011

After a much needed break, I've finally found the time to post again. A lot has happened since I last posted, so lets start at Midyear. The first thing to know about Midyear is that you do not and should not stress about it. Yes, you are there to make a good impression. Yes, you are there to scout out things for your future. However, you have to keep in mind that Midyear is full of opportunity and fun times, and if you're flipping out and rigid in everything you do, I think it's just as bad as being unprepared. Just be confident in yourself. Look at your CV (curriculum vitae) if you feel overmatched; you aren't in pharmacy or about to go into pharmacy at the University of Michigan because you're a slouch.

The second day is much easier than the first day, and there are two sessions instead of one. You know what people want to hear and you'll have your questions refined. I honestly think I made a mistake in going to the program I was the most interested in first, so I wasn't as fluid as I would have liked. I suggest that you talk to some other programs before you get to the ones you are really interested in, and there is plenty of time to talk to everybody you want. I also looked at the website listing of everybody there offering a PGY2 in solid organ transplant and talked to most of them, considering a position as a solid organ transplant pharmacist is my goal. As it turns out, most of the programs I was interested in before going to Midyear fell by the wayside and some I didn't even know existed, both large and small programs, rose to the top of my list. After talking to about 15 programs, I am applying to six. Hopefully, I'll get four to six interviews and eventually match with one of them.

In rotational news, I completed my community rotation, and learned quite a bit. I was lucky enough to work with Mr. Frank Pawlicki at the University Hospital. He was a great preceptor and treated me as a student instead of just another pair of hands or a volunteer tech. When you get to rank sites for rotations, and Mr. Pawlicki is available as a choice, I strongly urge you to rank him high. I also got to spend time in the sister sites of the Oncology Center and East Ann Arbor (the transplant medication hub), so I was exposed to many facets of community pharmacy. This particular site does a lot of compounding, so I got to prepare myself for a future rotation by compounding things like rifampin solutions and seeing how eye drops were prepared. My new drug review was on Tracleer, which is a newer drug for pulmonary hypertension. It looks pretty good and I think we will see more use in both pediatric and adults patients as a different option to sildenafil (Revatio).

My next rotation is infectious disease at the University Hospital. It is going to be a challenging rotation because expectations will be high and I now have half a year of clinical rotations under my belt. So, in between writing applications and relaxing during my break, I will be looking over my old therapeutics notes and getting the recommended drug reference books.

That's all for now, so until next time have a safe and happy New Year.

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