Sunday, March 19, 2017

Rotation 7: Accreditation Standards & Rotation 8: Coumadin Clinic

Posted by Millie at Sunday, March 19, 2017

Hi everyone,

Ever since the New Year it has been a whirlwind of a schedule! Balancing rotation and residency program interviews was definitely challenging, but I was lucky to have understanding preceptors and a great support system throughout this whole process (thank you family and friends!). Now that I have a little breather, I will catch you up on what’s been happening over these last few months.

My 7th rotation was at the U-M College of Pharmacy. It was a unique rotation in that it was a hybrid of both teaching and pharmacy administration. Throughout the rotation I was able to work with another P4 student on various projects pertaining to our College’s admissions process, course and curriculum evaluations, and accreditation standards. It was really eye-opening to fully understand all of the different people and responsibilities necessary to successfully run a pharmacy program. We were also given the chance to develop materials for one of the team-based learning sessions, as well as the opportunity to lead the class in the activities.

One of my favorite projects of the rotation was to help develop a new course for the University that will be housed under our College. It was awesome to see this process from square one and have my ideas really shape this new course! Overall, this rotation experience gave me a nice glimpse into the always-changing responsibilities of pharmacy academia/administration.

After spending 6 weeks at the College in this administrative role, I then switched gears to work at an anticoagulation clinic. When I first heard I would be at an anticoagulation clinic that had purely telephonic encounters, I wasn’t entirely sure what to expect. However, anticoagulation was a topic I hadn’t gotten too much exposure to yet, so I was looking forward to learning and building my skills in this area.

By the end of rotation 8, I can definitely say it was one of my favorite rotations. Our clinic enrolls patients on warfarin or on a direct oral anticoagulant (DOAC). My typical day included making phone calls to our clinic patients who had recently been discharged from the hospital, counseling patients who were either starting an anticoagulant agent for the first time or switching therapy, adjusting and monitoring warfarin therapy based in INR results, making follow up calls, and working on a handful of projects for the clinic. During my last week, I gave a presentation on transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR) during an interdisciplinary teleconference – a topic that was really fascinating to learn about and present on!

I also actually really enjoyed the telephone encounters because I felt like it allowed for good conversations with the patients and a more efficient way for us to manage their health. My preceptor was a terrific mentor and I could tell everyone at the clinic really admires his experience and values his input. I discovered there is so much to learn in anticoagulation, and gained an appreciation for the differences and data behind the DOACs. Plus, everyone at the clinic was so nice and cared so much about all of their patients, which makes for a really great environment to work in.

Starting tomorrow, I’ll be on rotation with the Surgery Transplant team. I’m excited for everything I am about to learn over this next month and I can’t wait for graduation in just 5 weeks now! 

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!