Thursday, August 29, 2013

The beginning of the end (of Pharmacy School)!

I have an uncle that was on Jeopardy once. He told me recently that I should continue blogging. After thinking about it for a couple weeks, I think I agree with him that I should continue writing about general life events. Maybe something important will happen and it will need to be documented.

 Lately I have been reading a book on the Byzantine empire and its troublesome years in the middle of the 6th century, and it wouldn't be possible to read about today if a guy named Procopius didn't write down everything that happened (I guess technically someone else, probably guys named Agathias or John Malalas, would have wrote some stuff down, but it wouldn't have been the same because their writing is lame and half made up... according to historians). I also just finished the first book in Stephen Kings The Dark Tower series, which also taught me a valuable lesson: that Stephen King is a weird dude and I don't think that his writing is for me.

Anyway, I also hear that creative writing and expression is good for your IQ... or maybe I am making that up. If Agathias can make stuff up, why can't I?

 So classes are over for me, I officially know what I need to know to successfully go into a professional environment and walk around like I don't know anything. They say that you do most of your learning in the 3rd year, which kind of makes the last two years of studying and agony even more crappy.

Luckily the last year of school is also significantly more interesting. Every 6 weeks we get a new gig, in a new city at a new institution. For me the current gig is ambulatory care(which means outpatient clinics and not emergency medicine, assuming that ambulatory care involves an ambulance is a rookie mistake... at least that is what I was told when I made that mistake a couple years ago; ambulate means to walk or move about) The city is Springfield, Massachusetts. The current institution is Baystate medical center.

Let's start with the city:

Springfield, MA answers the age old question of: what do you get when you cross the 3rd poorest city in Massachusetts with the corporate headquarters of the largest hand gun manufacturer in the United States? The answer of course is a historically and culturally rich city... and also, by pure coincidence, the home to the second largest trauma center in New England.

When I showed up to my rotation at the hospital and was standing outside the "Wesson" building I didn't realize it was THAT Wesson (After a few days of seeing Smith and Wesson advertisements throughout the city I had a moment of clarity). I also was left to wonder if showing up to the trauma center with a gunshot wound would be awkward. You probably have to sign some kind of waver. Anyway, enough about guns. Actually one more thing, the Springfield rifles from WWI and WWII, definitely named after and built in Springfield, MA.

Unrelated, Springfield is definitely not the location of the Simpsons (despite the vote that took place in 2006 or whenever that said it was), Matt Groening said it was Oregon a year or two ago, but it was obvious before due to the general lack of gun violence in the cartoon. Regardless, Springfield is a very pretty, although rundown, city with lots of large old, unique, and very elaborate houses and churches that leave you wondering what the city must have been like when they were built. Also, basketball was invented in Springfield so it is the home of the basketball hall of fame (also not in the Simpsons)!

Now, about the rotation (the gig): It involves counseling patients about their medications. The first two weeks involved counseling heart failure patients as they were discharged from the cardiac unit... which translated into telling a lot of people that Metoprolol, furosemide, and lisinopril can make you dizzy if you stand up too fast.

This week has been a general pharmacotherapy clinic where we are talking to patients who have more than five medications and/or multiple disease states and also a clinic dedicated to helping people manage their diabetes. It has been a good opportunity to polish up the Spanish as many of the patients are Puerto Rican and speak a similar Caribbean Spanish to the DR. So far it has been a pleasant experience despite the 2.5 hours of commuting each day from Framingham.

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