Tension headaches, 4:00 AM cramming, and don’t forget to suit up!

As the 100+ tasks on my current gTasks application would lead one to believe, things have hit the fan! I am surprisingly fine with this though. Perhaps first year was enough practice to master the art of time management, or perhaps it is the fact that I enjoy learning the “meat and potatoes” of pharmacy school.

This last week was very busy and a lot of fun. I got to have an awesome time talking to older patients about their asthma at a health fair (through Project Breath an MPSA patient care project). It is amazing how much I surprise myself with the knowledge I have already attained in school and to be able to impact other peoples lives.

We also had our first two exams in Medicinal Agents and Pharmacotherapy. Got through them just in time to finish the week off with some family time before working in IV’s this weekend at UMMC making some TPN’s!

Pic of my son of the week!

APPE: Solid Organ Transplant

Now officially 2.5 weeks into my first Acute Care Block working at UMMC (UMN Medical Center) Fairview Hospital on the East Bank. I’m on Unit 6D- Solid Organ Transplant (The S.O.T.). We see kidney, liver, and pancrease transplant patients. Going into hospital with essentially no hospital experience (worked at a Native Alaskan IHS Clinic for the past many years) has been a huge learning curve! Working on this floor is great- I’m learning a ton about transplant meds, obviously, but also about renal failure and disease states associated with renal failure, about liver failure and disease states associated with liver failure, as well as hemostasis, infecious disease, fluid balance, and so much more. It is a bit worrying how much I have forgotten since I left the classroom, but I’m getting it back in a hurry! I want to hit more on what being a pharm student at Fairview looks like, but for now  I better go read some things and get my homework done!

Cheers and much love! Always feel free to email me with questions-

“Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle.” – Ian Maclaren

Orientation Leaders Training in Sandstone

Hi guys!

A little late but here are some more pictures of our training date in Sandstone to prepare for 1st year Orientation.  You can tell that we had lots of fun while trying out some of the games!  For one game, it definitely took a lot of us to try and untangle the rope.  While on the other game, you can tell that and we clearly missed the bucket and most of the water was spilled.  I guess we wanted to water the grass instead 😉

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BK, Reporting for Duty!

Hey, I’m BK – for Brittany Karns, also known as Bradykinin, BK Value Meal, BK Stacker, BK Coups, B-Kizzle, BK Minaj, Brittania, and many other names that have been conferred on  me by my class over the past three years.


I’m currently a 4th year on rotations, so that’s the majority of the perspective I’ll be brining to the blog. I’m also from out-of-state (Fairbanks, Alaska), attended the Duluth campus, was and am involved in a number of organizations including MPSA, College Board, UMD PharmD, GAPSA, and PDX, took the Leading Change in Pharmacy courses, am working on a Leadership Emphasis, and went on the Germany APPE trip, SO, I’m more than happy always to answer any questions on any of these topics! brittany.karns@gmail.com

AND, below is an awesome photo of the super cool 1st years in my and Joe Lahti’s group at the Orientation in Sandstone a few weekends back – thanks for a great time, I’m so excited for you guys! Saddest part about 4th year? Not getting to see my classmates (aka family), super cool underclassmen friends, and meet the newbies!


Happy to be here! More coming soon!



Work Hard, Play Hard

Hello Everyone!

This is my first post of the year and things have definitely been off to an exciting and challenging start.

About a week and a half ago we had a two day orientation which ended in a White Coat Ceremony inside of the TCF Bank Stadium. On the first day of orientation a hospital pharmacist gave a very motivating talk where she described one patient who she had closely worked with for many years that requested the pharmacists approval for all of his medications. This pharmacist would answer that patients calls at any time of the day and he showed his gratitude by sending her hand drawn Christmas cards. The talk brought many of our classmates-myself included to tears.

The White Coat Ceremony was a very special moment for our class too- it signified our entrance into the profession of pharmacy and was very gratifying as it was a symbol of success after many long and hard hours in undergrad spent studying, working and volunteering. We took quite a few pictures in the stadium. Afterwards several of us classmates met up to go downtown and continue to get to know one another.

School began the following Tuesday and I have to say that I was probably one of the few students who underestimated the volume of coursework. I also began working that week as a Target pharmacy technician- where I will hopefully transition into an intern after 1st year. The first week was tough because there are 7 science-based courses now instead of the usual 2 or 3 in undergrad, meetings for student organizations occur almost every day over the lunch period, and many of my friends planned after school social activities or study groups.

Although school is definitely challenging it is very interesting and the work is all relevant to your profession which makes it pretty easy to stay motivated. I even notice a difference in myself beginning to act more professionally and think like a health care provider.

At the end of the first week Phi Delta Chi, a professional pharmacy fraternity hosted the First Friday Party with the theme of If I weren’t a pharmacist, I would be a… Four close friends and I decided to go as a US Olympic Swim Team and ended up winning the title for best dressed! It was a lot of fun-  was able to meet many second and third years and also ended up seeing an old co workers there.

Philosophy for the Upcoming Week: Improve a little bit each day.

Challenge Accepted.

Hello blog followers and fellow bloggers,

I am excited to be joining the blog and to share my experiences as I face the beast (otherwise known as the second year).  I am quite sad to say goodbye to my first summer in the Cities.

It was quite eventful!

I took a trip back home to Colorado with the my wife and son. I had an amazing experience at my IPPE where I  got to do a lot of compounding and worked a lot at the hospital.

Summer gave me some perspective on how to approach this second year and I am excited for the experiences to come.

An end of summer tradition; the state fair with the little man.

The end of summer is bittersweet, but I am very excited to see all my classmates and for the material we will be learning over these next two semesters.

Only 4 days into school and the desk is chaos! I am already enjoying the materials we are learning in Pharmacology, Medicinal Agents, Pharmacotherapy, and Kinetics.


Challenge accepted.

Our last fall semester in class!!

Hello blog followers!!

We would like to welcome you all back to another school year with the Tran siblings. We finally made it…this will be our last fall semester in class…..FOREVER!!! (that is if everything goes as plan) We are looking forward to finally begin our third year in pharmacy school here at the U. The sooner we start, the sooner we’ll finish and go off onto our rotations. Before starting our third year, we both had the honor of being 2 out of the 30 team leaders at the first year orientation in Sandstone, MN to help welcome in the Class of 2016!

preview of the Class of 2016

Over 160 students were at the one day retreat, representing both students from our Duluth and Twin Cities campus. The retreat helps to mark the beginning of our career as pharmacy students and also to serve as an informal welcome into the profession, before the white coat ceremony the following day. Both team leaders, faculty of the college, and first years participated in games and discussions that helped to solidify communication skills and develop professional identities.

awesome leaders at the retreat

Being back at the site and seeing all the brand new faces, brought back memories of our first year orientation, how scared we were and how everything was so foreign to us. And now looking back, we have gone such a long way in these past 2 years, it is hard to believe that time has already zoomed past us. Similarly, this next year will do the same (we hope….).

And of course, what’s a Minnesota summer without the Minnesota State Fair?!?!?! Before we could buckle down, we had to make a mini trip to the good ol’ Minnesota get-together. The fair was started in 1859 to highlight agriculture and encourage farming in the region. This is an annual event that attracted 1,788,512 fair-goers this year!

a mini collage of our adventure at the fair

Here is just a mini list of what we did at the fair: went down the GIANT slide, visited the haunted house, got free beer and beef jerky, played many fair games, went on the Zipper, ate a boat load of food including pork chops on a stick, deep fried candy bar on a stick, alligator on a stick, corn dog, garlic fries, corn on the cob on a stick, a bucket of cookies, and so much more!! If you visit Minnesota around the labor day weekend, the state fair is a must!

Now summer is officially over, and third year has begun, we must get back to our studying….yes, we already have an exam coming up on the second week of school. Until next time!


before heading into the haunted house


corn, alligator, corn dog

eating a whole pineapple