Monday, March 25, 2019

Rotation 8: General Medicine

Posted by Unknown at Monday, March 25, 2019

Today was my last first day of school ever!! In 5 weeks I will graduate with my PharmD from the University of Michigan and will be preparing for a residency program in Colorado!! There are lots of changes coming in the next three months and I'm feeling a mix of excited, scared and sad. Excited because of the great adventures awaiting me and my husband out in Colorado (professionally and personally), scared because of the major changes and transitions about to happen, and sad because I'll be leaving my family, friends and home. I'm planning on taking some time over the next three months to prepare for these changes in an attempt to leave this place and these people well.

One thing I know has helped prepare me for residency is the general medicine rotation I just finished. I was in the inpatient adult hospital working with a clinical pharmacist and a medical team taking care of patients admitted to the family medicine service. This was my most difficult and demanding rotation. I learned a ton, but it was extremely stressful. The service I was on had a maximum of 24 patients (most others had a max of 12 or 16), and there were multiple times we got close to that max. There were also 4 projects/presentations throughout the rotation, a weekend shift, and a dental on-call pager we were responsible for at different points during the rotation.

The biggest thing I want to tell future P4's is that you're likely going to need to re-learn how to work up patients. The way we were taught in school was very different than what I was expected to do. Also, every inpatient rotation is going to have you work up and present patients a little differently due to the nature of the services. Make sure you ask the preceptor how they do it and what they expect of you. We were taught in school to look into all of the details about the patient including the diagnosis and history details. As a pharmacist, those things are important, but you cannot spend all of your time investigating them. You are likely not going to be asked on rounds to present the patient, and so it is more important for you to focus on other things. You need to learn how to be efficient in looking into the pharmacy-related problems and monitoring parameters. This took me longer than I expected, but once I did, working up patients was much more smooth and took less time.
Additionally, MiChart has a TON of really helpful reports you can run that will save you a TON of time when working up patients. Make sure you ask your preceptor/classmates at the beginning of the rotation to make sure you are capitalizing on the reports already available to save you time.
Finally, you will be amazed by what you are able to learn and accomplish during this rotation. This is a hard rotation. But, it is only 5 weeks (you can get through 5 weeks), your workload will build up over the rotation, you'll start to see repeats of the same disease states, and you'll figure out how to get the work done. You'll be able to make it through this rotation! I was so encouraged when things came up during rotation that I hadn't known only a few days prior. Even today (my first day at the new rotation), something came up that I could speak to with confidence because of what I learned on my general medicine rotation. All of these things will prepare you for residency/job/life after school.

With that, I'll be back one more time to let you know how this last rotation goes!