Transpharmers…rolling back into action!

Hello blog followers!

Sorry for being MIA and not blogging for a quite some time now, we’ve been quite swamped with work, rotations, PD4 paper, volunteering, and family…but we are back 🙂

Where do we begin?  Since our last post about our PD3 white coat ceremony, we’ve official finished off our classroom education in May and started our rotations the week after our finals.  Currently, the both of us are on our Acute Care rotations at Allina Mercy and Fairview UMN.  Besides being mandatory, these Advanced Pharmacy Practice Experience (APPE) rotations give us a chance to apply what we’ve learned in the classroom into real life settings.  We will try our best to blog about our experiences at some of these sites to give you a better glimpse into the life of a PD4.

Prior to my Acute Care rotation, I was actually up North for my “rural” rotations in Grand Rapids, Minnesota.  This is one of the few rotation requirements at the University of Minnesota; that we do a rotation somewhere in “rural Minnesota”.  This gives us a chance to see the health disparities where there are less hospital and facilities to take care of patients in the hope that perhaps someday we would consider serving patients in these communities.  Though it was quite a long time away from home and my family, I thoroughly enjoyed the chance to learn from great pharmacists at Globe Drug and other health care providers in Grand Rapids, MN.

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I was in Grand Rapids from late July until the end of August and my sister will be up here in March.  This rotation helped me with coordinating housing and so I lived in a house on a golf course; the 9th hole was actually behind my backyard!  During my time there, I got a chance to practice my favorite hobbies, cooking and eating, and got a chance to go to local events like Tall Timber Days and the county fair.  In addition, I got a chance to also participate Project Care, a free clinic which provides health outreach services to uninsured people in the community.  Through this, I got a chance to meet great local physicians who fully support the vision of a medical home and inter-professional collaboration to holistically care for the patients.  They also invited me to an Asian fusion dinner fundraiser to help people living in poverty with money to buy fresh produce from the local farmer’s market each week where I got a chance to eat lots of great Asian food (cooked by Caucasians) and wonderful wine!  We had fresh spring rolls, salad with shredded savoy cabbage & braised pork, Pho, Kimchi and vegetable jasmine fried rice, green papaya salad with Thai basil and beef jerky, banana coconut bread pudding made with FM baguette topped with Brewed’s coconut gelato, and I even got to bring home some kimchi for lunch the next day…yum 🙂

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During the last week of rotations, I got a chance to go to my preceptor’s house to learn more about independent pharmacy ownership, cooked and had a Vietnamese dinner, and went out on the lake and enjoy the beautiful surrounding.  Just to let you know how rural Grand Rapids is, the day before I left, a big John Deere tractor came to the pharmacy drive-thru window!  If only there was a camera that caught my reaction when I saw guy pulls through! I was completely at lost for words and all I was able to say was, “…Umm…you have a really big vehicle there!…Can I take a picture?!?” lol

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Oh, btw, did you know that Judy Garland, who plays Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz, was born in Grand Rapids, MN?  I didn’t until I passed by the sign on my way into work every morning 🙂  This rural rotation was so much fun and I greatly appreciate the warm hospitality throughout my time at Globe Drug in the “rural” town of Grand Rapids. They’ve all made my rotation/adventure in the Land of Oz very memorable and I can’t wait for my sister to come and experience it in March.

Below are some pictures from my time up North.  Enjoy!

-Phat

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