Hello Blog Readers!

I can’t believe summer is almost over…..literally over…. Forever. Not that it won’t ever be 90 degree humidity with 80% humidity because I’m sure it will, but that I won’t ever have a defined summer break ever again. But I guess that is part of coming to age and I’m glad I got at least three more summer breaks than many.

Despite busy with work, research and running, I do appreciate having some time to refresh and renew before my last year of the classroom ever begins.  Because I’m so incredibly  refreshed and renewed, I have the mental energy to come up with crazy ideas (for anyone familiar with Strengthsfinder, one of my signature strengths is ideation) because I’m not using that mental energy to try to know it all  in the world of pharmacy school. And extended analogies are definitely the epitome of truly maximizing my ideation strength since it is combining seemingly completely disparate ideas into something that sorta kinda works . So that is what I’m going to do.

I try to pretend I’m up with the times so I try to make myself at least literate in all the newest crazes. I think the craze I have become probably the most literate in, with the littlest relative amount of experience in, is Pokémon Go.  So, based on my extensive research of the game (a.k.a probably 10 Buzzfeed articles), coupled with my 5 minutes of real life experience (and my 2 year real life experience in pharmacy school that is) I am going to liken the game Pokémon Go to pharmacy school (aka PharmaMon) where we gotta, or at least try to, know ‘em all. What are em’?…. Drugs of course.  Decide to read this or not (really, I’m doing it for my own amusement so I won’t be offended), but if anything just take a moment to appreciate the logo for my blog post that was a lot harder than one would think to create….. much harder than the writing part.

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  • Pokémon Go has made a lot people more active, and encouraged them to see the world In order to escape studying for a bit I love to procrastinate ( and refresh my mind) by going outside to get some fresh air and some blood moving, very similar to how Pokémon Go has inspired so many people to get out and get moving! I’ve heard jokes that the game is a conspiracy of the Department of Health to get people to exercise, which true or not, shows how people are motivated to move in sometimes unexpected ways.   Likewise, just as the game has caused people to go explore the world and go to places they would not normally have gone, I have been to Baltimore, Mexico, San Francisco, North Dakota, soon to be Las Vegas, and of course the grand state of Minnesota,  all in the name of Pharmacy. Would I have gone to these places otherwise? Maybe some of them… but probably not North Dakota…. Despite being a very nice place I honestly would likely not have ventured there unless I was volunteering there at a pharmacy related activity.
  • Pokémon go has made people meet others: Pokémon go brings people together due to sharing a common goal… catching them all! In the same sense, pharmacy allows me to connect to many people from all over the country at places like conferences since we all have the common goal of serving our patients and advancing the profession. Likewise, all of my classmates and I have an instant similarity in that we are all going for that PharmD… therefore, just because Pokémon go users may be in the same place and be forced to interact and ask eachother questions like “WHERE IS THE PIKACHU IN THIS ROOM?”  us pharmacy students finding ourselves in the same place, usually on Monday mornings before class, often must ask each other pressing questions such as “WHAT CLASSROOM ARE WE IN NEXT?”
  • Pokeballs = Minutes So my few minutes of playing Pokémon go taught me that you must aim Pokeballs at targets to catch the Pokémon. I was very bad at aiming, so I had a very high Pokeball used/Pokeman caught ratio.  This is very similar to sometimes when I am not being very efficient with my studying, meaning there is a very high minutes spent to/drugs learned ratio.  This usually occurs when I have not had coffee recently. On the other hand, I’m sure some Pokemasters have very low Pokeball used/Pokeman caught ratio.  Likewise, I sometimes have a very low minutes spent/drugs learned ratio… usually when I know I am scarce of those minutes, which in reality is almost always. Perhaps if I had played Pokémon Go for more than 5 minutes I would have seen for myself if I got better at aiming when I knew I had only a few pokeballs remaining.  Alas, I’ll never know
  • The server= the wifi

I think one of the main reasons I did not seriously pursue Pokémon Go was the desire to not constantly repeat the disheartening experience of being motivated to go catch ‘em all, only find that the server is down.  This is a very similar phenomenon I experience all too frequently at both at my apartment and at school when I try to log onto wifi and it fails me.  All that motivation I had to send that email or turn in that assignment essentially dissipates into thin air as I turn my main goal in life to getting onto the internet by repeatedly turning on and off wifi until it FINALLY works… and by that time my motivation to be productive usually is gone. That is very similar of an experience to wanting to play Pokémon go only to find the server is down… all motivation to play the game disappears.  However the problem is that I don’t make it my goal in life to repeatedly open and close the app to make it work as I do for the wifi… instead I just go on with fulfilling all my real life goals.

  • Pokémon= Drugs I have to learn.

Ok this was going to be the bulk of the blog post until I realized I have done a whole lot more research on the actually game of Pokémon go compared to the amount I know about Pokémon.  I might have collected cards when I was in elementary  school just to be cool, but believe me, I do not know anything about these creatures. But I’m going to try to make up for my lack of Pokémon knowledge (that will be supplemented by Pokémon Wiki)  with my abundance of drug knowledge by making far-fetched comparisons between different drugs/drug classes and Pokémon

  • Rattata= Tylenol. My short experience playing the game showed me that Rattatas are everywhere.  So is Tylenol.   Rattatas also look pretty vicious, just as Tylenol can be very vicious on your liver.
  • Snorlax= Lorazepam. Snorlax is always sleeping and has quite a bit of fat stored up. Lorazepam is a fat soluble molecules used as a sedative.
  • Charmeleon= Ticagrelor. Both are orange. Charmeleon burns its enemies, ticagrelor burns blood clots.
  • Squirtle= Hydrochlorothiazide. Squirtle shoots water out of its mouth, but not at such a powerful degree as what it evolves into, Wartortle.  Similarly, HCTZ, a diuretic, causes water to shoot out of those who take it, but not at such a degree as a more powerful diuretic such as furosemide or Bumex
  • Mew= Neupogen (filgrastim) . So according to my research Mew’s has DNA that possesses the genetic composition for all Pokémon, allowing it to capitalize on all Pokémon skills. In short, it can be who it wants to be.  My best comparison of this is Neupogen, which stimulates the production of stem cells. Like Mew, stem cells can be who they want to be.
  • Mewtwo= Zarxio (filgrastim-sndz). Mewtwo is a clone of Mew.  They are not exactly the same, but they are pretty darn close.  This is similar to Neupogen and its biosimilar Zarxio.  Mew and Mewtwo come from the DNA but we aren’t going to call them the same. Likewsie, Neupogen and Zarxio are ALMOST the same, but not so similar that we can call them exactly interchangeable but instead call them biosimilar, a new FDA term that describes very similar biologic agents
  • Eevee= Cefazlin. Eevee is the Pokémon with the most evolution possibilities. When I think of evolution possibilities in the area of drugs, I think of cephalosporins, a class of antiobiotics- we have 1st gen( cefazolin), 2nd gen (Cefoxitin), 3rd gen (Ceftriazone) and 4th gen (Cefapime).  This is just like the many evolutions of Eevee… I think she has a bit more evolutions than the generations of cephalosporins but I believe that we will get there one day.
  • Pikachu= the mAbs. I feel a lot of pressure to make one with Pikachu, but I can’t quite think of it at this time.  I’ll go with this; Pikachu was my favorite Pokémon as a child and given that I haven’t given it much thought since then I would say by default it is still my favorite. I don’t have a favorite drug… yet… but my favorite class of drugs are the mAbs, the monoclonal antibodies. I just think the fact their remarkable specificity of these drugs represents the closes thing to what we have to the magic bullet, and am constantly amazed with the variety of conditions these drugs can treat.

Ok that is all I got for now.  That took a lot of mental power, but hopefully all the mental power of pharmacy students and pharmacists alike can try to come up with a drug analogy for EVERY single Pokémon. I’m sure Micromedex DrugDex  could be even more fun than it already is with a Pokémon tab where you can see if the drug has a Pokémon equivalent. Anyways, I hope everyone enjoys the rest of their summer and while I could wait a little longer to go back to school and “know ‘em all!”,  I am looking forward to what the year will bring!

Until next time!