New Semester, New Start

Hope everyone had a great break! My break was nice and relaxing but it definitely feels good to be back in school again. We just got done with our first week of classes and so far I really like all of my clases! This semester we get to learn how to perform assessment on patients and also give flu shots, which I’m super excited about! Perhaps I will do a “What Classes Am I Taking – Part 2” to give a more detailed description and things we do in the classes that we’re taking. Stay tuned for that! 😀

***I know a lot of applicants are currently interviewing for pharmacy schools. I’ll definitely try to provide tips on how to prepare for interviews, and also talk about how my interview experience went last year.

Picture of the Week:

ImageUs lining up for Pharm Care group assignment – We were assigned to groups of four and the groups we were assigned to are the ones we get to work with for the whole semester.

SRFCC in San Antonio, Texas

“What?  Where are you?  I don’t see you!” Sarah exclaimed.

“I am here, right at baggage claim #2, where are you guys?”  I responded

“We are at baggage claim #2 too!  But we don’t see you!”

“I am right here.  Next to the car rentals area.”

“Let’s try going outside and see if we can see each other,” Sarah suggested.

“I am right outside now by the pickup area.  Do you see me?” I asked

“No!  Where are you?  Are you at the wrong airport?”

“No!  I am at the Austin, TX airport!” I said

“Austin?!?…  Phat!!!  The conference is in San Antonio, Texas!”  Sarah shouted.

That was the beginning of my trip to the Annual Society of Student-Run Free Clinic Conference!  Apparently, while looking at flights to San Antonio, I somehow ended up booking and thinking that the conference would be in Austin, Texas.  Yes, I know that sounds crazy but hear me out.  This probably happened because since the flight prices went up, I was looking at other airports nearby San Antonio as backup options.  I kept looking, and apparently, my computer saved my last info so I ended up kept looking at flights to Austin, Texas.  From there, my mind got tricked into thinking that the conference was in Austin, Texas.  Two weeks away from the conference date, I booked my flight and now here I am lost and stranded, one hour away from San Antonio.  I swung by the information desk and talked to the sweetest couple ever!  They gave me great advices and told me that the cheapest option was to rent a car and drive to San Antonio.  I ended up renting a car from Enterprise Rent-a-Car and drove around for lunch, ate pho (Vietnamese noodle soup), had my Vietnamese iced coffee, got some Starbucks and headed to San Antonio.  Amazingly, I was quite calm and relaxed throughout this entire dilemma.  I truly think that God was testing me because besides flying to the wrong airport, earlier in the day, I also arrived a little late to the Minneapolis airport and checked in just in time for boarding.  Then my suitcase broke so I couldn’t stroll it around.  I arrived in Charlotte within 20 minutes of my next flight so there I was with one heavy, broken luggage on one arm, a heavy garment bag on the other, a laptop backpack and running from terminal B to E in my Aldo boots.  They even paged my name on the intercom at 10 minutes before my flight departure from Charlotte to Austin so I had to make a mad dash to catch my flight!  Luckily I made it in time and then the whole fiasco of flying to the wrong airport… What a morning eh?  However, I thoroughly enjoyed all the events that morning!  I enjoyed my lunch and the drive was quite nice.  As I drove through interstate 35, happy memories of my previous trips to Texas and to my friends’ wedding arise.  The sun was out, it was 70 degrees (100 degrees difference from Minneapolis), and lots of good scenery so despite the fact that everything went wrong that morning, I felt at peace and happy knowing that nothing happens without God’s providence.  After 2 hours of cruising around, I arrived at the Grand Hyatt hotel in downtown San Antonio.

After checking in, we went out to the riverwalk bar right outside of our hotel and had a few drinks with the fellas to celebrate.  Yes, the riverwalk!  There was a man-made moat that they created running through downtown San Antonio.  There are lots of restaurants along the side and great scenery.  We then headed towards the main restaurant area for dinner and met up with one of my best friend in college and his wife, Thien & Thom!  It felt like yesterday when I attended their wedding in TX and now here they are expecting their first child!

Saturday was the main day for the conference.  Both Sarah Timm, Phillips Neighborhood Clinic (PNC) Management Chair, and I, PNC Operations Chair, had an oral presentation and poster presentation on our Electronic Health Records (EHR) system titled “Quest for Optimum Patient Care & Interprofessionalism through Implementation of a New EHR System” to share information with other clinics about a new EHR installment at our clinic.  We aim to share our unique experience of rolling out Epic, the new EHR system, into the student-run free clinic in only four months as opposed to the one year transition period most clinics use.  Our goal is that other clinics will be able to relate and benefit from our experience; to be able to successfully implement a new EHR system in their clinic without losing focus of an interprofessional team approach to care for marginalized populations who present with unique needs and challenges.  The rest of our PNC Admin Board also had poster and oral presentations on Saturday as well.  Collectively, PNC had 4 posters and 2 oral presentations to over 350 students in the health professions like dental, laboratory science, medicine, nursing, pharmacy, physical therapy, public health, social work, and other health professions as well!  We also attended many presentations and learned so much from other student run free clinics around the nation.  We even had a few students that came from the first and only student run free clinic in China!  There was so much to learn and we all felt so inspired by our colleagues through their work, passion, motivation, and enthusiasm to help others.  Hopefully we will be able to apply some of these great ideas and help to improve the PNC!

Saturday evening we went to dinner at Acenar with Dr. Sick, our PNC Medical Director, and a few of family medicine physicians from MN.  We all had such a great time talking and getting to know each other on a more personal basis.  I wished that this event was later in the year so that we can send our incoming Admin Board and the outgoing to something like this.

Sunday was our last day with one talk and discovering that the conference will be held in Opryland, Tennessee next year!  We then headed out for lunch by the riverwalk and went to the Alamo!  After dropping off two of the guys at the San Antonio airport, I headed back to Austin to return the car and fly home.  You would think that my crazy weekend adventure was over but NO!  I’ve previously tried to see if my friend can give me a ride to the Austin airport after I drop off my car at that Enterprise location.  However, due to some last minute conflict my friend was unable to come and give me a ride.  This was during after hours on Sunday so I was quite flustered and lost as I didn’t know what the cheapest option to get to the airport was.  To make matter worse, my flight was leaving in one hour!  Luckily, one employee was hard at work afterhours and offered to let me drop off my car at the Enterprise airport location for no extra charge!  He will get a big thank you letter soon 🙂  So I drove the car to the airport and make it just in time for my flight home.  This was quite the trip that I will forever remember!  Now I’ll just need to catch up on my Zzzs and head back to the back to school mode L  On well, at least I can say that I am now a PD3.5!  Below are some pictures from this weekend.  If you want to see the full 110 pictures album, swing by our blog at  Otherwise, I’ll slowly upload some more pictures on this blog as well so check back soon.  Enjoy! 🙂

Until next time!


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Duluth Campus Rocks: Pharmacy Bonspiel

Duluth Pharmacy Bonspiel!

Duluth Pharmacy Bonspiel!

Everyone on Duluth campus knows that one (of many, many) of the most amazing campus-unique events of the year is the Duluth Pharmacy Bonspiel. It consists of about a hundred pharmacy students, pharmacists, family, and friends, getting together to curl at the Superior Curling Club. While probably about 90% of the crowd has never curled before or perhaps 1-2 times before (there are lessons and lots of


PD1’s representing Greece!

support from everyone for newbies!), we also have a number of regular curlers and enjoy hosting some national caliber pharmacy curlers as well. The event consists of an initial game Friday evening along with dinner, music, and socializing. Then a full day of games on Saturday, consisting of two games of 4 ends for each team, 8 teams on the ice at a time, four rounds of teams per game. Again with a lot of amazing food, some great music, a lot of card and dice games, and raffle prizes. The 6-8 teams with the highest scores at the end of the three games compete in the championships for the big win (this year won by Team Vatican: PD2 Tony Olson (pope), PD2 Sean Navin (cardinal), PD3 Jared Van Hooser (priest) and PD1 Mark Nola (monk).

France, sweeping their stone into place!!


But the best part of the whole bonspiel? Everyone comes in costume!! Past themes have included the olympics, barnyard animals, and entertainment– This year? League of Nations!! We had many phenomenal countries represented (Merica, multiple Canada’s, Greece, France, Japan, Norway, Ireland, Scotland, the Galactic Empire, the Vatican, Mexico, and Germany to name just a few). M y team came as the league of nations, “preventing world wars since 1919” ( a little bit of dark humor)! Here are some pictures– Everyone is already excited for next year. Duluth campus knows how to have a good time!!

The Pope from Team Vatican!!

The Pope from Team Vatican!!


PD3 love

Team Mexico

Team Mexico

Team Canada wasn't afraid to get cold!

Team Canada wasn’t afraid to get cold!

League of Nations vs France

League of Nations vs France

Team 'Merica!

Team ‘Merica!

Even though our PD4 class is spread far and wide this year on rotations, we take every opportunity to get together and reunite. Class 2013D!!!!!!

Even though our PD4 class is spread far and wide this year on rotations, we take every opportunity to get together and reunite. Class 2013D!!!!!!


Team Scotland, complete with home-made bagpipes!

Winning Team

Team Vatican receiving their trophy’s!


Another of the Team Canada’s


A moment to catch your breath…

Break was perfect, just what I needed to recharge the old battery. I picked up quite a few shifts working more closely with patients doing medication histories in the emergency department and on the floors. It was nice to get to work with patients hands on and I found it quite rewarding being able to apply what I learned over last semester. Last semester was by far the hardest semester of my life, but it was also the most rewarding as I learned so much. Besides working, break was a great opportunity to get quality family time in, enjoy the holidays, take in some of the winter adventures around the Twin Cities, and preparing for the arrival of the baby!

Sesame Street Live! One of the Minnesota family adventures!Image

 As far as this semester I am excited for many of the classes and topics. Specifically, pharmacogenomics, my honors experimental and clinical pharmacology seminar, and the cardiovascular unit we are starting in Pharmacotherapy II have me excited to get back to school (did I just say that?).  It also helps that we are out of class most days at lunch (12:05)! Should be great semester, with plenty of adventures.

Last Semester of Class!!!

Hello blog followers!

We are back again, after a most deserving and relaxing winter break. Heading back to Weaver-Densford Hall this semester is kind of bittersweet for us. Because…..THIS WILL BE THE LAST TIME WE HEAD BACK TO CLASS!!! That’s right, it’s finally here! Our last semester of classroom work at the good ole CoP. Time has sure flown by. It felt like we just started!! Upon cleaning up our locker to get ready for this semester, Phat uncovered our first class photo together. All 110 of us. Look at how far we have gone! We are very excited for this last semester of classes, but even more ecstatic for our rotations as 4th years to come.

Class of 2014 

Check back to this blog to stay updated on our journey as PD 3.5!



Greetings! Hope everyone had a fabulous Christmas and New Year! I know I did 🙂

I’m on my month-long winter break right now and I’m absolutely loving every single second of it. I finally get to have time to relax and catch up with friends and family!

Alright, so I actually promised two readers that I would answer their questions in my blog post. Here are the questions coming from the first reader:

“Do you know any other schools that have similar application requirement as UofM. I am planning on taking my PCAT in spring of 2013 as I will be done with my undergrad in fall of 2013. Do you think that’s a good time to take the PCAT?”

I actually am not too sure about other schools’ application requirements. The requirements tend to change every year. I know a lot of the schools do have rolling admission so the sooner you apply, the better! You can always check the school requirements on PharmCAS, they have all the schools that are participating in PharmCAS and it gives you a nice overview of what classes you need to take, the deadlines, what kind of recommendations are required, etc. Another thing I would suggest is to go directly to the websites of the schools that you are interested in applying. I remembered spending a good chunk of my time researching the schools that I was applying to. It definitely helped me figuring out the schools that matched my interests.

Whether you should taking the PCAT in spring of 2013 depends on your course load. If you have a light course load and you think you squeeze in some study time for PCAT, go for it! But I wouldn’t recommend it if you have a heavy course load. I took the PCAT at the end of summer and I spent the whole summer not only studying for the PCAT, but also filling out my PharmCAS application, writing my personal statement, and also asking for recommendation letters. Since I was not taking any summer classes at the time, I felt like I could focus more on the applications.

Hope this answered your questions! Let me know if you have more questions. I’ll answer the question from the second reader in my next post 🙂

Pictures of the week


First-year students bonding moment… brothers love 🙂


Although I see my roommate every day and night during school, sit next to her in all of my classes, have the same lab every single week, I still find myself hanging out with her all the time even during break.. and of course we have to celebrate New Year’s Eve together! Haha! I hope she doesn’t get sick of me 😛