Time Flies When You’re Having Fun

Whoa last weekend just flew by in a blur. Friday was filled with multiple quizzes and an exam. To make up for how stressful the day was we got to partake in our last COP potluck for the month of October. As is tradition on the Duluth campus for the month of October we celebrate American Pharmacist Month by hosting potlucks in the commons every Friday! Each class gets to be in charge of a potluck. This year we had wonderful soup and salad from the third year class, a baked potato bar with chili and all the fixings from the second years, and a taco bar from the first years. I’m really going to miss these wonderful feedings in November…

Friday night I got to participate in my first ever Kappa Psi Conclave! Duluth was the host town this semester. We are in the Norther Plain Province of Kappa Psi. Our region includes Wisconsin, North Dakota, South Dakota, Iowa, Nebraska, and Minnesota. All of my fellow brothers from the region including students and graduates came to Duluth to celebrate the brotherhood. For my first conclave I had no idea what to expect. It was amazing to see how many graduates of Kappa Psi are still very active in the fraternity! Friday night was a themed night of Once Upon a Conclave! Everyone got to dress in their best Disney inspired character. We had a photo booth to help commemorate the evening!


The next night of conclave was another themed night. Every school or graduate chapter got assigned a letter and had to come up with a theme around that. As we are in Duluth, Kappa Psi Delta Psi (the Duluth chapter) was assigned the letter D. As a group we decided to go as Duck Dynasty. Having never watched the show I didn’t really know what to wear. I found a beard….a red beard. And for some reason I felt flannel would be appropriate. I somehow ended up looking like an Irish Lumberjack!



I may not have looked like a Duck Dynasty person, but I feel I brought some spunk to the night. Who wears a red beard? That’s right I do!!

The weekend was full of fun Kappa Psi events and spending some bonding time with my brothers. Now the week is in full swing. We are in the middle of the semester and looking ahead I am starting to get the second year panic! The goal is to take things one day at a time and to not look ahead too often! It was nice to have a wonderful weekend to help keep me a little more sane throughout the stressful week!

Alright I’m off to continue studying for our Biostats exam tomorrow! Wish me luck!!


Until Next Time,


A little break from studying

I now believe what everyone says about second year. This is seriously the toughest semester we’ve had so far but at the same time I’m glad that I’m able to apply the materials I learned in class in real life (at the Philips Neighborhood Clinic for example). Anyway, the countdown has begun. Six more weeks until we’re done with this semester. HANG IN THERE EVERYONE!!!!

So I took a little break from studying yesterday to volunteering for the Habitat for Humanity with my fellow PDX brothers and some first-year pledges. Great bonding time! But I have to say building a house is not my thing… it was like rocket science to us…. 😦

Jake demonstrating how to lay sheet rocks.

The PDX Crew!

Time Flies When You’re Having Fun!

When is Fall Break?! I feel like I should still be asking that question. Despite the fact that Fall Break was last weekend, I feel like it never happened! I went home and was so busy with fesitvals (see last week’s post) and studying for Monday’s Pharmacology exam that the break just flew by and before I knew it, I was driving back up to Duluth in the snow. Oh how I hate the snow!!! I’ve lived in Minnesota for all my life (that’s exactly 23.5 years this Friday!) and I still hate snow!

But the colder it gets, the closer I get to Thanksgiving, which will probably also fly by, and before I know it I’ll be in the midst of finals! The thought of finals doesn’t stress me out yet.. But that’s because there’s a million things that I have to get through before that. Most importantly on my mind after our recent PD 2 Class Meeting is choosing electives for the upcoming years! I feel like I just started second year and we’re already preparing to register for Spring semester. The professors weren’t kidding last year when they said the next four years will fly by! You hear that a lot in pharmacy school along with other catchy pharmacy phrases like “If you didn’t document it, you didn’t do it!” or “Once a pharmacist, always a pharmacist.” The second one is scarily, very true.

I’ve recently realized that I’m kind of a huge pharmacy nerd, and I can’t seem to shut it off. I often find myself in conversations with friends and families and they mention one tiny thing that get me thinking of all of the things I’m learning in Therapy and Pharmacology. For example, after dancing all night at festivals, leg cramps are a HUGE problem! And as soon as my cousin mentioned potassium to help with the cramps, I thought OH POTASSIUM.. Potassium channels.. cAMP.. Parasympathetic nervous system.. Sympathetic nervous system.. Amphetamine… Norepinephrine release..

And yes, all of the above happened while I slightly zoned out.. HUGE nerd moment! But I rather enjoy being a nerd and as a fellow PD 2, Jennifer Lamermayer said, “I’m with my people.” And my classmates are pretty much the best group of people around so I can’t ask for more.. Well other than an extra 20 hours in the day for me to get some rest and relaxation in, but that might be asking too much!

Back to studying, nerding out, and waiting for the next break!

Can It Be Fall Break Again?

It’s always difficult to start school again after a break. I enjoyed being able to take a few days to catch up on some much needed sleep and be able to go out for a night of fun in Duluth. On Friday a few of us met in the lab on campus to film a video to represent the University of Minnesota College of Pharmacy at the annual APHA conference in Orlando, Florida this spring. We used puppets to portray the world of pharmacy! I got to be Pearl the Patient! My fellow classmate Abby has been working on some lyrics to have in the background! She can take a song and rewrite lyrics to go with anything-she’s so talented! I’m excited to see how the video turns out!

Later that night I was able to hit the town with some friends. We stumbled upon a Frank Sinatra impersonator downtown Duluth at Tycoons. It was an amazing surprise for our night of fun! We even got our picture taken with him after his show.

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Now it’s time to get back into school mode. We had a Pharmacology exam yesterday, which took up a big chunk of my fall break to study for. It was a tough exam, but I’m sure we all did excellent second years! Next exam is Friday, we have a Med Agents exam. They weren’t joking when they said second year goes fast!

I’ll keep you posted on how the video for APHA goes and try to get some pictures of our puppets Dr. Moody, Pearl the Patient, and Dr. D’Andre!


Until Next Time,


Gooseberry “Fall” Break

Just about time! Thanks to the previous pharmacy students who saw the need, we have an organized fall break on the third week of October. It is a great chance to steer ourselves away from the academics and relax, take a breathe, and recharge. Over this fall break, a couple of my friends and I decided to utilize our time and explore a bit of wilderness together. After all, Duluth is famous for its hiking trails and the stretches of beautiful fall leaves in the mountains. After contemplating our destination, we decided to go to Gooseberry Falls in hopes of seeing the waterfalls, camping outside and telling each other ghost stories, and roasting marshmallows. After what seemed like a dream, I am now back reflecting on the photos we took on our short and sweet trip.



One thing I noticed about the area was that it was full of mysteriously intertwined trees like this one…it was a beautiful thing to see.


Roasting marshmallows and making s’mores naturally. YUM.

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Another thing grilled by the fire that took my breath away. It was perfectly healthy and savory and warm enough on the cold rainy day. The best part was the company I was with to share the memories with.





Setting up the tent. Easier watched than done!

Special Thanks to Wilson with his handsome professional camera, Maria who provided rain jackets and camping equipments, and Mark, the camping expert, who tagged along with us first-time campers! It wouldn’t have been possible without them.



Now I am ready to dive into the compounding lab tomorrow!

MSHP Midyear Clinical Meeting

Third year has been a blur, it seems like the to do list is always getting longer!  A couple of weeks ago I attended the MSHP (Minnesota Society of Health-System Pharmacist) Midyear Clinical meeting. This was my first professional meeting and I had an amazing time. I really enjoyed the educational lectures which touched on many topics from the newer anticoagulants to advice for pharmacy students for residency/job interviews. Plus the food was just amazing!

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Another awesome part about this meeting was the residency showcase which allows you to go around and learn about a lot of the programs from around our area and is a great opportunity to network with a TON of people.


It is always nice to see familiar faces as well, hospital pharmacy is quite a small world. It was especially nice to see all the old UMMC-Fairview interns from classes above me who are doing residencies at Abbott Northwestern and Mayo Clinic! Meetings are definitely a nice break from school and gives you a  little perspective!


Hello readers!

Happy Monday (or Happy “Wednesday,” as this week is a short week with Fall Break this Thursday and Friday). I’m really looking forward to Fall Break, not so much to relax and get rested up, but more so to get caught up on studying!

We have a Pharmacotherapy exam on Wednesday and Pharmacology next Monday. I had intentions of studying this weekend but that did NOT happen since I went home to the Twin Cities for the weekend and I will be going home again this upcoming weekend.

I went home to celebrate Navratri. What’s that you ask? It’s a Hindu festival dedicated to Devi Bhagvati/Ambe Maa or the Divine Goddess/Divine Mother and her various forms. It’s celebrate for 9 nights (Navratri literally means 9 nights in Sanskrit). The first three nights are dedicated to Goddess Durga who is the fierce form of the goddess who slayed the demon Mahishasura. During these three days, she is worshipped with hopes that she will destroy our inner demons and remove difficulties in our lives. The next three days are devoted to Goddess Laxmi, the goddess of wealth and good fortune (who doesn’t want that!). Finally, the last three days are dedicated to Goddess Saraswati, who is very near and dear to all students as she is the goddess of knowledge and wisdom.

Navratri is celebrated differently depending on the part of India. My family is from Gujarat, a northwestern state, bordering Pakistan. The main highlight of Navratri in Gujarat is garba, which is a traditional dance that is done in honour of the goddess. However, because we don’t have a large enough Gujarati population here in MN, we only have 4 nights of garbas that are separated over two weekends. This past weekend was the first two nights, and the last two nights are coming up this weekend.

Just in case you want to learn more about the festival, take a look at this Wiki link. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Navratri

Here are a few pictures from festival this past weekend (to accommodate the large crowd/dancing, it’s held in the gymnasium at Kennedy High School in Bloomington).


Ambe Maa


Durga Maa Slaying the demon MahishasuraImage

Goddess Lakshmi



Goddess Saraswati

In other exciting news, I booked my ticket for Orlando, FL for this year’s APhA (American Pharmacist’s Association) Annual Conference. I’ll be flying out in March with a large group of classmates so it’s sure to be a great time, and it’s going to be warm! (Can you tell I’m already dreading the coming winter?!)

Wellllll back to studying! If you all can send me and the other P2s good wishes for our Therapy exam, it would be much appreciated!!!

Take care, be safe, and enjoy the lovely fall colours!!!

PharmD IV Paper + expert procrastination skills = early mornings and late nights

Current time: 5:30 AM.

I’ve been up for over an hour.

I’m trying to put the finishing touches on my PharmD IV paper.

The initial draft was due about a week ago, but I luckily got an extension so I could polish it up a bit before sending it to my content advisor for the first review.


What is the PharmD IV Paper, you ask?! It is a research paper you complete between your third and fourth years which demonstrates a lot of the skills you have learned in pharmacy school, including the ability to locate and evaluate literature, and present it in a clinically useful way.  The topic is totally up to you, and you can either design a research study, or do a literature review.


Just so you know how good my procrastination skills have become over my 20+ years of education, I’ll share one of my favorite poems:



In other news, tonight is MPhA Pharmacy Night in Duluth!  I don’t get to see my classmates as often anymore since we aren’t in class everyday, so I am excited to see everyone!


Alrighty, back to work…



UofM Amplatz Children’s Hospital


Fourth year rotations has been keeping us busy!! 40+ hours work week, plus projects, presentations, volunteering, teaching, PharmD4 paper….makes for two VERY tired fourth years. We will try our best to keep you guys updated on our various rotations throughout this year. So keep coming back and check out our blog!!

I am currently at the University of Minnesota Amplatz Children’s Hospital doing my 15 weeks of acute care. Just got done with my 5 weeks in the PICU, now I’m with general pediatrics. A few staff and patients created a great music video displaying how they’re brave and staying strong. Enjoy the video 🙂

White Coat 5K (+ other things)

Hello everyone!

So October is American Pharmacists Month and here in Duluth we had a white coat 5K run to promote the occasion. I volunteered with some of upperclassmen and had a good time!

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pretty fall leaves..I was told they don’t last very long!

We also had Kappa Psi informal last week and us PD1 cooked dinner for the brothers. Actually, Michael did. (thank you Michael!) We also prepared a skit about pharmacy and being good listeners (very important!) and ended it with improvised lyrics to Miley Cyrus – We Can’t Stop (joining Kappa Psi :)).


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Funny faces..some brothers didn’t get the note!

School-wise, I am very much enjoying our lab classes. It can be nerve wrecking and daunting, especially the patient-education lab where we are video recorded on counseling a partner. However, it is a good hands-on experience on what it would be like in the “real” world. Last week, I had to explain Acetaminophen on its indication, effectiveness, and safety. I forgot to ask for the second identifier (patient’s date of birth or address) and mention the storage information. Next time, I will keep those in my mind. Practice builds good skills!


“Those white coats cannot contain those muscles” as Roger said. 🙂