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.


  • 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!

It’s Summer!

Hello Blog Readers!
Sorry that is has been forever that I have updated my blog as usual.  I thought summer would be a little bit less crazy and I would have time to write more- not the case.  I have been been pretty swamped with rotation, work, projects and travel for the past month or so.  That said, I definitely prefer this kind of busy compared to ‘school busy’- which entails  assignments, tests, quizzes and studying; I feel that was an entirety ago . So what have I been doing this whole time I haven’t been writing on the godogblog? Well I’m sitting on an airplane right now to go to California and have all the time in the world (more like another 4 hours) to tell you all about it. I’ll start with once we got out of school;

After a fairly draining finals week to cap off an in general fairly draining semester (that is PD2 year for yah!), I had a nice week where I was able to get my life back together and do normal people things such as get a haircut, work a few 8 hour shifts, and lay around watching TV. Well needed break!

Starting on May 23rd, I did my IPPE rotation at the University of Minnesota Masonic Children’s Hospital.  I work at the University of Minnesota Medical Center on the East Bank, where I spent about half of my time throughout my three-week rotation.  It was a little strange walking around my worksite NOT in scrubs (but also not getting paid either…sad life). That said, I got to shadow all sorts of cool clinical specialties on the east/west banks such as the neonatal ICU, psychiatry, cardiovascular ICU, Pediatric ICU and surgery which is totally different from what I see when I work and an experience I wouldn’t trade for anything.  I loved talking to all the pharmacists in these areas, hearing what types of patients they care for, and learning about different drugs for these unique patient populations. Overall, it was a great rotation and I am so grateful I was able to get into Block 1 into this site last moment to accommodate the CTSI Advanced Pathways research program I will participate in later in the summer to accompany the research I will be conducting at Regions Hospital on Bupropion toxicity for my Melendy Scholarship.

Throughout this entire time, I was also fairly busy preparing for a class a teach called “Preparing for the PCAT” at the College of Continuing Education.  This is a six week course that helps aspiring pharmacy students prepare for surprise surprise, the PCAT. This is my second year teaching the class so it has been exciting to help further develop with the insight I gained from last summer. For instance, this year we rolled out a Moodle site (and I know understand why so many Moodle issues come up in class!) and also created interactive clicker questions for our slides to help reinforce topics.  While a ton of work , I am lucky to have a rock-star co-instructor, Karen, and a great group of students to help keep me motivated! It is crazy to believe that my last class is this next Wednesday.  Teaching this class has definitely been one of the most challenging experiences I’ve had in pharmacy school but I have learned a ton and it will definitely will help me with any teaching I hope to do in my future.

The day after my rotation ended, I hopped on a plane to go to the ASHP (American Society of Health System Pharmacists) annual meeting in Baltimore.  You know when you have one of those spontaneous YOLO moments and drop several hundred dollars on something you hope will be worth it? (or maybe you are financially responsible and don’t know as well as I do). Well,  that was exactly how me deciding to attend this conference was.  I’m pretty sure I was in the trenches of second semester, probably deep in the kidney or Fick’s law, when I decided that I was going to go to Baltimore for the ASHP summer meeting.  Usually a lot of my classmates attend the ASHP midyear meeting in December but the summer meeting, which is a little (actually a lot) bit smaller and is focused on the specialties of ambulatory care, medication safety, informtatics & technology and pharmacy,practice& policy, is usually less attended.  However, I am very interested in pharmacy informatics so decided I would likely benefit greatly from attending this meeting this year since I can’t say for certain when the meeting rolls around next June (actually in Minneapolis!) that I won’t be in International Falls on 4th year rotation.

LITERALLY the best choice I could have ever made.  Three of my classmates and I were the only students from Minnesota attending, but we were sure living the dream in Pharmacy world (which is very small, in case you haven’t hear before). We have amazing pharmacy leaders from Minnesota such as faculty member and immediate past president Chris Jolowsky, and new ASHP president Lisa Gersema who is the director at United Hospital.  A whole host of other hospital pharmacy directors and managers from the area attended the conference as well so we got wine and dine with all these leaders in Pharamcy as we all enjoyed the sessions, receptions and hearing Lisa Gersema’s inaguaral speech! I was able to meet several informatics pharmacists on both a local and national level and have a few shadowing experiences lined up as a result.   I also had never been to Baltimore so had no idea what to expect- however, it was a beautiful city with great restaurants and scenery. I left the conference with so much inspiration and pride for my profession, and so much excitement for my future Can’t really put a dollar sign on that.  Moral of the story…. When you have a choice to go to a conference or not…. Just do it. Because of conferences I also have valid excuses to go to Florida, Vegas and San Francisco in the next year.  What else are loans for?

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My classmates and I, with new ASHP President Lisa Gersema who is the pharmacy director at United Hospital in St.Paul

As I mentioned the impetus for my decision to go to Baltimore was my interest in pharmacy informatics.  While I am not sure exactly what I want to do with it yet, I think whatever career path I take I will be able to apply my knowledge of the area.  I just applied for the Masters of Health Informatics Program at the U of M that I’ll ideally finish within the next year, before I get my PharmD degree.  I took a few of the classes last semester and despite adding to my course-load to make everything a bit more stressful, the classes, which are conveniently all online, are very interesting and have great faculty that were very supportive and helpful in my studies.   There are are few formal dual degree programs such as the MPh/PharmD and MBA/PharmD.  This is not one of the formal dual degree programs so I’m sort of going rouge on this, but luckily a few of my PD3/PD4 colleagues have taken this path and can give me guidance.

The most… uh… questionable admission requirement for me has been that all applicants must having coding experience. As a pharmacy student and biology-nerd for life, I may be able to tell you all about side-effects or pharmacodynamics of codeine, but coding? Who do they think I am?   But despite never in my life ever thinking I would have to learn to code, here I am, trying to learn to code. Since getting off of school I’ve taken on a few projects at work and the Phillips Neighborhood Clinic that allow me to have practical applications for my struggle-bus ride into the world of programming, and I must say it has actually been pretty fun (in the nerdiest way possible) despite the fact I usually don’t ever know exactly what I’m doing until I look at least three different online help-forums and get at least 10 error messages.  But that moment when your code works is pretty awesome and it’s a good way to help exercise my brain during the summer so it doesn’t turn to mush.  I also realize the infinite possible applications for knowing how to do this in literally any job I could have in the future so I’m not complaining.   Hopefully come time for my MHI coursework in the fall I’ll be a PROgrammer.

A few days after I went to Baltimore I drove up to Duluth with two of my good friends for Grandma’s half marathon…. This has been quite the worldwind of a last few weeks!   One of my favorite parts of summer is that I can make running fairly high up on my priority list and not feel bad about it. During the school year I wouldn’t be able to sustainably run 50 miles a week and “lift” (in quotes because I don’t lift much) 3 times a week without some serious damage to either school, work or sleep so I relish summer time in that I can run to my heart’s desire.  Despite having pretty low expectations for the race since I hadn’t had enough weeks of good training under my belt as I would like, I nearly matched my fastest time ever that I did almost two years ago.  I’m running the Twin Cities marathon in the fall so my fitness now definitely bodes well for October 9th!  Even though pharmacy school sometimes makes it hard to train as much, or as high-quality, as I want due to not having enough time or feeling sleep deprived, I’m proud of myself for doing a good enough job of maintaining fitness during the year so I can still approach peak shape when I want to for specific races. I credit much of my motivation to work-out during the school year to all of my classmates that I see at the gym doing the same thing! I’m glad to know I’m not the only one that feels that the 1 hour of exercise I lose to my day I gain back in the fact I am a 49014209842190814 times better and happier person because of it.


Proud half-marathon finishers on a very warm and sunny day in Duluth (yes, Duluth can get warm)

So that is what I’ve been up to. Fun stuff.   I’m so glad I have 2 months of summer remaining.  After I get back from California, I’ll be doing research at Regions Hospital and participating in the CTSI Advanced Research Program.  I’ll also be training for the Twin Cities Marathon with the goals of 1) 2:59:59 or bust 2) recover full function of my lower extremities in 50% less time than last time (so 3 days vs. a week!). Overall, looking forward to the rest of the summer and definitely will be sad when it ends- but looking forward to meet the new PD1s and the fact this will be my LAST classroom year ever… so crazy.

Go Class of 2018!

March Madness

Well, I suppose it is an understatement to say I haven’t posted in a while.   My excuse for this lack of blog presence is that I didn’t want to be so misleading as to suggest a second year pharmacy student actually has any extra time in their life.  I don’t have enough time to live my life most of the time, let alone write about it! That said, I am not complaining;  it has been an exciting few months and I cannot be more grateful for the wealth of opportunities I have had recently.

One piece of exciting news on a college-wide scale is that we found out a few weeks ago that we are now ranked #2 by the US News and World Report, up from #3 in 2012. Usually I don’t care about rankings in anything at all. My track coach in college always told us “rankings, schmakings”, meaning we should take them for a grain of salt since everyone who steps on the line on race-day has a chance to win no matter what they were ranked.  The same could be said with schools of pharmacy: it is what you put into your education that makes you a great pharmacist one day, not what arbitrary number your school is ranked on some list.

Despite this usual attitude I have, I am not going to lie that I was excited to see our school recognized for our quality of education and research.  The change to the new curriculum has not been without some bumps in the road so I think students, faculty and administrators alike were excited to see that our school’s commitment to constant improvement and innovation, despite the challenges that come with this change, is paying off. Definitely a pretty sweet feeling; almost as sweet as the celebratory donuts provided to us for the news (I wonder what they will get when we get bumped up to #1 in 2020… a pizza party?).  I also have the upmost respect for UNC right now… not only are they now ranked number 1 in Pharmacy programs, but their basketball prowess also single-handedly saved my March Madness bracket. What is in the water there?

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Twin Cities Class of 2018 being goons becomes the temporary face of the COP ! 

Speaking of March Madness, that is pretty much how the month of March was….Madness.  I have the classic pharmacy school problem of overcommitting myself between work and extracurriculars, so it felt like for everything I crossed off my to do list 5 more things came up.  I started doing medication history in the ER (basically interviewing patients to make sure we have the right medication list for them when they are admitted) at my job during the weeknights so that sucked away some nights where I should have been studying… but luckily making money and learning all about new medications I have never heard of makes it worth it!  On top of that, I competed in a research competition put on by the American College of Clinical Pharmacists (ACCP) that involved writing a research protocol that people in real life probably would take a year writing in 1 month so that was another thing I could be doing instead of studying.  On top of THAT, I just started an internship with the division of the Academic Health Center that designs the interprofessional 1Health curriculum to create a unique interprofessional learning experience game for groups of students to improve their communication skills to efficiently provide patient care: I don’t want to go into too many details at this point but it is just about going to be the coolest thing ever and working on its development has been yet another thing that I have done instead of studying (seems to be a theme, huh?).

Now it probably just sounds like I am a horrible student and never actually study…but I do recognize that the stuff we are learning about such as electrolytes, kidney disease, diabetes an so on is pretty darn important for my career as a pharmacist so I make sure I learn it… I just have mastered (ok maybe not mastered, but have become proficient in) the art of learning things once and making it stick.  It just so happens this learning it once occurs the night before the test sometimes, but I like to think of it as the sense of urgency just adds an element of thrill.  Some people argue that cramming makes you forgot everything, which may be true but our integrated curriculum makes it so anything we learned is revisited again and again and again… so I think the most important things stay up there for good.


My ACCP Clinical Research Team: Sam, Sarah and myself.  We spent hours upon hours working on our protocol but are happy how it turned out.  We will see if we placed on April 29th to win a trip to the ACCP conference in Florida in October! 

Luckily in the midst of March Madness was spring break where I went to the PNW (Oregon, Vancouver and Washington) with two of my classmates for a week full of amazing hiking, running and eating. Below are a few of the many Swileric (Swetha, Hilary and Eric) Kodak moments on our trip.  So glad this time we had a selfie stick to capture them all.

After I got back from my trip it was a rough 2 weeks of exams and assignments but we are in the clear for a while since we have no tests in the month of April!!  Last weekend my days looked like this- Saturday: wake up at 6, run, study for 12 hours and Sunday: wake up at 6, run, study for 12 hours.  This weekend was a full 180 turnaround- Saturday: wakeup at 8, go to a health fair, spend way too much time making squash macaroni and cheese,run,  do a few non-urgent assignments, and watch TV for a few hours.  Sunday: Wakeup at 10:45 (yeah I guess I was a little tired!), do a little bit of schoolwork, run, cook food for the week, go to a double header intramural soccer game with the Pharm Phutballers (who proceeded to win 2 close games back to back, at least 1 man down the entire time!) and then come home and get ready for class tomorrow (and finish this blog).  Definitely the kind of weekend I needed! Anyways, hopefully I’ll be a bit less MIA and try to update now that I have more time.

Until next time!


Whoa, we’re half way there

Hello Blog Readers!

First off- Happy MOLE DAY! (more specifically at 6:02 on 10/23/15). I am a little offended google didn’t change their logo but as a chemistry nerd at heart I can enjoy mole day for myself.


Anyways, it feel good to have 1 hour to sit down before a healthfair to document my life for the past month or so (or more) since I last posted!

I must say that the fear was real coming into second year after many words of caution from the year above me. But, I am happy to say, we have finally eclipsed the half way mark and it hasn’t been that tragic… yet. Thanks to little things like surprise donuts, inspirational quotes about the process of ubiquination and classmates dressing up as kangaroos, my class is still alive and kicking.

I have had some memorable experiences this fall and have many more to look forward to!

Firstly, myself and about 40 of my classmates who are/were in the Foundations of Leadership Elective got to enjoy an all-expense paid weekend at Rutger’s resort in Brainerd. While enjoying perfect fall weather, stunning lake views and an amazing food buffet, we learned all about different leadership concepts and how to effectively stay sane in pharmacy school by doing things that resonate with our values rather than just doing things because they are urgent.


The concept of “living in quadrant 2” (aka doing the things that are important to you but not necessary urgent, such as exercise, eating healthy and socializing with friends and family) leads perfectly into my next memorable moment of the fall. Besides trying to be an overly good student so I could go to bed super early every night, the whole first 6 weeks of the semester were devoted to me doing my final preparation for my first marathon, the Twin Cities Marathon!   Besides the moments where I splashed Powerade in my eyes and the entire mile 26 (…… and the 0.2), I enjoyed the every one of the 182 minutes I spent running.   It was perfect weather and I cannot wait to run another one…. After I enjoy a sedentary lifestyle for a bit.

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One thing (or many things) that I hope will be memorable is all of the information I have learned this year about the kidney, blood pressure and cardiovascular agents! The fact that I now about how in the world to use “JNC-8” (though I guess it isn’t really JNC-8) makes me so excited to apply this to fake case patients and real Phillip’s Neighborhood patients alike.

The next few weeks will be very busy with the APha MRM Region 5 conference next weekend and the Kappa Psi Northern Plains Conclave the following! I also have probably more tests/quizzes to count on one hand but I’m just going to forget about that for today.

I hope to give updates soon!

Go Class of 2018!

Only 934 days ‘till we become PharmDs!!

100 days of Summer

Hello Blog-Readers!

I may have promised a bit more documentation of my summer than what you got,  but let’s just say summer happened and got in my way.   I have enjoyed 100 days of (mostly) blissful homework-less, study-less, summer days to occupy the time between May 15 and August 23.  I thought I would give the top 10 highlights of the last 100 days, along with the top 10 things in the next 100 days (which puts us right to the beginning of December so when I don’t include finals it’s not that i’m not superrr excited for them, it’s just that it doesn’t fit into my window).  In no particular order:


1.Going on the Puebla Service Project!– for a recap, click here.  What could be better than friending Duluthians, conducting health screens, soaking in the beautiful scenery and eating Mexican food?


2. Volunteering at the American Diabetes Association’s Camp Sioux-  Here, along with two other interns, I helped manage the medications of the children attending the camp and also supervised activities.  All of the kids described the week as “the best week of their lives” and I am so grateful to be a part of making that happen for them by keeping them healthy and safe.   I also learned that North Dakota looks exactly how I would expect it to…. lots of flat fields.

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3. Gaining some community pharmacy experience at the Allina Ritchie Pharmacy in St.Paul- I had a great three weeks at my community IPPE rotation.  Along with the fantastic and dedicated preceptors I had, I was lucky to be at a pharmacy that had so many interesting specialty drugs for me to learn about.  The pharmacy also served a large portion of hospice patients, who required some unique dosage forms of various drugs that I got to compound! Never thought I would actually have to make suppositories, but I was wrong.

4. Being on top of the world in Massachusetts! My sister goes to college in Williamstown, Massachusetts and I had a great time visiting her for a few days this summer. From hiking, biking, baking, dining halls and running, it was a wonderful trip.


5. Running to my heart’s content- I am training for the Twin Cities Marathon and  my summer has thus been filled with miles and miles logged on the Mississippi river.  While some minor injuries and major out-of-shapeness in the spring made it hard for me to run for even a few miles without hating my life, last week I just did my first 2 hour run a! The difference consistency in training makes. Any perfect day for me starts with a run, so I am so glad to at lest start most days perfectly this summer!

6. Facilitating the PD1 Sandstone Retreat- I had a great time at Sandstone last year as a PD1, reping the flamingos.  However, this year I had just as good of a time as one of the co-leaders of the Turtles.  I really enjoyed leading my group through team-building activities, case discussions and the creation of their code of ethics.  As a first year, I learned so much from meeting upperclassman and hoped that I could also impart some wisdom upon my first years on this day!  Even though Minnesota decided to be Minnesota and bring out the horrible weather, we managed to stay dry and overall have a great cross-campus bonding experience.

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7. Teaching a PCAT Class- This summer one of my PD3 colleges, SuHak, and I, co-instructed a PCAT prep course through the College of Continuing Education.  I thought my days of thinking about the PCAT were over, but I guess not! While it a substantial amount work to put together, it was just as rewarding as I learned so much throughout the entire experience and think SuHak and I provided our students with many tools, resources and information to succeed on the test. I am looking forward to next year to continually innovate the class as we have done this year!

8. Visiting Duluth- This past weekend, my roommate Swetha and I went to Duluth because she had never been and we wanted to visit some of our friends that we made on the Puebla Service Trip.  Despite being less than 24 hours, it was quite the delicious and adventurous trip, not limited to getting lost at Gooseberry falls because we are incompetent at reading map legends, creeping on the first years through the window of the ITV room (lib 410?) on their first day of “Becoming a Pharmacist” and eating cinnamon rolls and delicious sandwiches.

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9. Working at the Hospital- While I had several nice weeks of vacation, I also spent quite a bit of time working at UMMC this summer.  Along with bolstering my wallet to make myself feel better about my extravagant traveling lifestyle,  I learned so much about both how to do my job better and how hospital pharmacy works.  Furthermore, getting to know my co-workers more and the new residents has made work much more enjoyable and I (almost) always came and left work in a great mood!


10. Being in the kitchen- One of the hardest parts of school for me is barely having time to cook for myself.  Luckily, this summer I had some time to both bake and cook, two of my favorite past times. Nutella Stuffed Brown Butter Cookies, Caramel Stuffed Brownies, Salted Caramel Short Cake Bars, Banana Bread, Zucchini Bread and Pumpkin Cake highlight just some of the wonderful things I, sometimes with some help, have conjured up.  If I can find an excuse to bake, I will.

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1. Meeting the first years! I can’t wait to get to know the first years and welcome them to the college of pharmacy.  The upperclassman had so much knowledge and tips for us first years and I hope to be just as great of a resource for the new first years.

2. Seeing my friends everyday again!- With rotations, work and vacation, it was often hard to get my whole crew together.  However, now with school starting again, the team will be reunited and be able to primarily converse in ways other than facebook messaging.

3. Running the Twin Cities Marathon! Like I mentioned, I have been training pretty hard for the Twin Cities Marathon on October 4th.  While I recognize the challenge ahead of me to keep training while managing school, I am already made it this far with training and am determined to make it a priority to prepare myself well for the 26.2 miles.  I’m not going to lie, the massive amount of food i’m going to eat after my race and taking a nice running break after sound nice too.

4. Pre-game football Pharmacy Receptions- Amazing free food and networking, what could be better? Let’s ignore the fact I rarely go to the football game…

5. Apha Mid-Year Regional Meeting-  Conferences pump me up like none other, so I am THRILLED that the apha Mid year regional meeting is in Minneapolis this year.

6. Kappa Psi ConclaveJust as #5, I shall repeat ONE MORE TIME that conferences pump me up  like none other, so I am so excited that the Kappa Psi Conclave is in Minneapolis this year…. just a week after the Apha Mid-year meeting!

7.  Health Fairs!- As an Operation Diabetes Co-coordinator, I firstly cannot wait to educate the community about Diabetes and perform Glucose and A1c checks. What I am just as excited for though,  is helping the first years gain confidence in performing these tests and having conversations with patients about how to manage or prevent diabetes.

8. Coupon Books- the beginning of school means glorious coupon books that chock-full of BOGO (buy one get one) of BunMi and My Burger, two of the most popular and delicious restaurants on Washington.  Stock up now and enjoy 1/2 off  food with a friend all year round!

9. Dare I say it- When it is SNOWING.  Ok, I will quickly retract this statement the moment I have to trudge to the light rail knee deep in snow, but I love when it is snowing.  I do not like snow itself when it is on the ground and makes my feet frozen, but I find something so serene and peaceful about freshly falling snow.  Opposed to rain and wind, which are loud, wet and just overall disruptive to going outside, snow falling is just so quiet and therapeutic. I am also so tired of drowning in my own sweat while running in Minnesota humidity, so would almost trade not feeling my extremities for that… for now.

10. Learning!- Again, I may retract this statement  as soon the moment arrises in which I have an exam, quiz and tbl to study for all in the same day, but I love learning about how drugs work in the body and how they are optimally used to treat patients  (looks like i’m in the right place!).  I learned so much last semester and know that I will continue to grow and develop as a future pharmacist during this next semester.

Anyways, that is all the reflecting I have time for today! I hope to keep you updated on all these exciting things!

Puebla Service Project

Hello blog readers!

I hope everyone has been enjoying summer as much as I have. Between going to Mexico, working, volunteering at a Diabetes camp, and my IPPE, I have not had that much time to just relax.   Now that my IPPE is over, I hope to document all that I have done since school ended. Firstly,   I wanted to spend some time talking about the Puebla Service Trip; it was a great experience and I could not think of a better way to cap off first year (NOTE, most of this was written about 5 days after the trip ended, over a month ago.  I wish I had this freaky of a good memory…. day 5,6,7 may be a little cloudy) .  Here is a quick run through of the trip.  For a more accurate and candid representation of the trip, my classmate Vu Ha made a great video, here!

Day 1: On May 16, myself and three of my Twin Cities classmates woke up way to early to go to the MSP airport to fly out to Mexico city.  Despite probably not being at full mental functioning due to still being burnt out from finals and having it be 6am,  I am grateful I had still the judgement to make arguably one of the best purchases of my life: a neck pillow.  Though I could not have predicted some of the crazy transportation methods I would experience in Puebla, I knew there would be plenty of plane and bus miles in my near future.


After we got to Mexico, we were welcomed to the city with pouring rain and a two hour long customs line.  Because us four, along with one of our preceptors, were the last people to arrive, we pretty much got on the bus right away.  Because the trip consisted of about 1/3 Twin Cities students and 2/3 Duluth students I barely knew anyone on the bus…. luckily that would change over the next 7 days!

Day 2: After waking up and finally being able to see sunlight, I was able to appreciate the beauty of the small town we were in, Xochitlan


After having a wonderful three course breakfast that the hotel staff prepared for us, we were off for our first day of clinic.  The 30 some of us were divided into 4 groups, each going to a different clinic site.  At the clinics, anywhere from 20-50 patients would come.  We took their vital signs and administered glucose/A1c and cholesterol tests.  The patients ended their visit with an education consult about their results.  On this day, I did blood testing.  While I was a bit nervous and shaky at first while collecting blood from patients, by patient 20 I felt completely comfortable getting blood from even the most dehydrated or thick-skinned patient.

After clinic, we went as a group to go swimming at a little water hole.  Just as amazing as the site itself was being crammed in the back of a truck  with 30 people (ok, not that part) that was completely open so we could feel the wind and completely be immersed in the beautiful mountains and pastures… priceless.



Highlight of the night? Playing soccer with five little 7 year olds on the street.  Don’t ask the result… it is still a bitter topic among my uhhh… 7 teammates and myself.

Day 3: This day started pretty much the same as the day before.  We were thrown in a pick-up truck and shipped off to the next clinic site.  Today we saw 50 patients! If I wasn’t completely comfortable with the blood stuff yesterday, I sure was today! Both days I also got to practice my Spanish since I do have to explain to the patient that I am going to prick  their finger! After clinic was over, we all jammed  (in that we were all jammed in there and we actually jammed a bit) in the back  of a truck to go to the next city that we were staying at, Cuetzlan. Cuetzalan was definitely bigger than Xochitlan, and our hotel actually had wifi.  It was at this point we all obsessively fought for the wifi  signal to get back on the grid… there were many pressing orders of business such as informing people we were still alive and checking grades on moodle.  Also, I’m not lying when I say my and my roommates hotel room was the best.  We all had giant queen beds to ourselves and it had one of the nicest bathrooms I’ve ever been in.

Day 4: After waking up and being served yet another giant breakfast, we were off to day 3 of clinic! This day, our clinic was outside under a giant overhang (torrential downpours are a thing in Mexico).  Today I did height and weight instead of blood, but I appreciated mixing things up since I was able to learn more vocabulary.  At the end of clinic I also got to try out my soccer skills yet again with some of the youth of the city.  I think this time we won 🙂  After Clinic, some people went to go to a coffee factory, but I went to yet another waterfall.  Little did I know, that I would have the chance to go zip-lining through the jungle for the cost of about $8.  I was just a little bit scared that something was going to snap and it was going to end for me there, but I convinced myself that I needed to just YOLO it and do it.  I’m lucky to have a few others just as crazy as I am for morale support!



On this night, we went to the home of one of our guides, Homero, and had a great night of food and dancing.

Day 5: After one more day of clinic, we headed to the city of Puebla…. by bus this time though. So sophisticated!  We had a bit slower day of clinic today, but still a steady flow of patients.  Below is Group C, the best clinic group!


I got to do the intake process on this day, so I got great practice asking about the patient’s medications and health history in Spanish.  We ended up getting to Puebla pretty late, and went out for dinner in the big town square.  This was the first time I had good old fashioned Mexican Tacos.. absolutely delicious.

Day 6: This day was spent exploring Puebla and the surrounding areas.  I have never felt like such a tourist…. it was a tad bit embarrassing but mainly great.  We went on a tour bus that went around the city, and in the afternoon went into a surrounding suburb to look at pyramids.  We definitely went into the pyramid the wrong way, because we didn’t actually see the pyramid part of the pyramid until the end.  For dinner, we went to a pizza place and it was literally the best pizza I have ever had in my life. If you haven’t gotten the idea, Mexico has great food.


Day 7: So I may have already mentioned that Mexico has really great food (or maybe that is what I remember the most 1 month after the trip). Breakfast of our last day in Puebla consisted of Nutella Stuffed Churros… enough said.  We had one more bus ride ahead of us to Mexico city, where we started! We spent the last part of the day exploring Mexico city.  They had a beautiful cathedral that we got to go into, and then there was a “festival of nations” which had different booths of all the different countries.  The US booth featured Michael Jordan, Apple Pie and the Statue of Liberty…. pretty ‘ Merican I suppose. We ended the day like we started…. with great food. We went to a restaurant where I had a steak covered in brie cheese in puff pastry, all smothered in pumpkin cream sauce. Not something you see everyday on the menu, which is why I had to get it!

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Day 8:  Sadly, it was time to say goodbye and go home.  My flight was at 9 am, so I got to wake up super early to go home.  I flew straight to San Francisco to go home for a bit, so I enjoyed a slightly shorter flight than my Minnesota-bound counterparts.  A few skin shades darker, a few dozen bug bites itchier, quite a few Spanish words wiser and plenty of Duluth friends richer, I could not have been happier I chose to go on this trip! I would recommend it to any student at the college and hope my I have enough dinero to go again next year!

Anyways, that was Puebla.  Hopefully soon I can talk about the diabetes camp I volunteered at and my IPPE.  Tomorrow I am going to celebrate the American dream by waking up at 5am to go run the Red White and Boom Half Marathon and then getting double pay at work in the afternoon .  I am a bit weird so I’m pretty happy about both of these things.

Have a wonderful fourth of July and hopefully I’ll be back soon!

PD1 and Done

Hello everyone!

It has been way to long since I have posted, so I thought I just give a brief update of my life now that I have no more excuses for not posting. After having 8 tests in the past 10 days, I have been just a little bit swamped so I cannot explain how happy I am to come up for a breath of air.  While just about everyday for the past 10 felt like I was slowly and painfully crawling to the finish line, I can say it has been quite the knowledge-full journey and IT IS OVER….for now.  I can say definitively that I have more knowledge in my head right now (even with the fact I’ve probably already declined since 10am yesterday) than I have ever had in my life. It feels great to be the smartest I have ever been!  Just don’t ask me about nicotinic antagonists, rate of sheer, toxiplasma gondii or blue baby syndrome in three weeks.

I just wanted to say what I few of my summer plans are so you know what I am going to be talking about in my blog that I actually plan to write in.

– Puebla Service Trip: Tomorrow I am going to Mexico through the MPSA Puebla Service Trip.  We will be conducting health-screens at clinics in rural Mexico. I CANNOT wait and will be do an exciting blog post upon my return!

-Camp Sioux: I will be volunteering as a pharmacy intern at a summer camp for children with Type I Diabetes in North Dakota.  I have always wanted to be a camp counselor at a sleep-away camp, so now I get my chance!

-IPPE: I will be doing my first year rotation at Allina Health Ritchie Pharmacy.  I don’t have any experience in community pharmacy, so I am excited to learn about this new type of pharmacy.

– Marathon training- I have officially signed up for the Twin Cities Marathon in October, so there is no backing out now! While pharmacy school makes it a bit challenging to train as much as I would like, I am excited to finally have time to train (and to have it not be 0 degrees out)

Otherwise, I will be continuing to work at UMMC as an inpatient pharmacy intern and will be working on a research project with a toxicologist at Regions Hospital.  It should be a very exciting and productive summer, with  plenty of time for relaxation and fun too! While I don’t think Minneapolis weather has gotten the memo that it is summer yet, hopefully it figures that out soon.  Anyways, I want to thank my amazing classmates for a fantastic year and to all you blog-readers who (partially) read my sometimes ridiculous and long blog posts.





26 reasons why you should never go to a pharmacy conference in California

Boy, am I happy to get back from spring break.  How I missed worrying about tests, waking up early and experiencing Minnesota weather.  Whoever decided to make a pharmacy conference in California was clearly very misguided.  Not only was San Diego a terrible location for a conference, but my travels to other areas of the state reminded me of all of its other flaws that caused me to leave there in the first place.   A picture (or 26 pictures) is worth 1000 words, so that seems to be the most efficient way to chronicle the absolute WORST spring break of my life.  I’ll show you why you should never attend a pharmacy conference, visit California, or make the biggest mistake of all to go to a pharmacy conference IN California.  Photo credit to Abdi Bile, and my excellent travel companions Eric Berg and Swetha Pradeep.

1. The views from hotels in California are atrocious, especially in San Diego


2. The weather forces events to be outside.  Instead of getting a nice room for the leadership reception, we had to be out on a deck overlooking the water.  Terrible, just terrible.

U of Mn COP at the leadership reception in which faculty member  Dr. Brian Isetts received the prestigious Hubert Humphrey Award

U of Mn COP at the leadership reception in which faculty member Dr. Brian Isetts received the prestigious Hubert Humphrey Award

3.  There is absolutely no chance for networking at pharmacy conferences


Abdi Bile, future president-elect of MPSA and photographer of many of these images, with Dean Speedie

4.  It is basically impossible to become friends with  pharmacy students from the opposite campus when you are stuck in a conference.

First years at the Minnesota Night Reception from both the Duluth and Twin Cities campuses

First years at the Minnesota Night Reception from both the Duluth and Twin Cities campuses

5. There is seldom free food at conferences, and when there is, it sucks.


6. No one from Minnesota is ever recognized for anything

Congrats to Lindsey Kubina for winning the patient counseling competition!

Congrats to Lindsey Kubina for winning the patient counseling competition!


7. The plants aren’t interesting at all.


8. There are way too many non-picturesque towns you have to stop in for lunch

San Clemente, CA

San Clemente, CA

9.  Driving is super boring when you just have to go through towns no one has ever heard of



10.  There is absolutely nowhere without traffic to take a nice run or walk



11.  The aquariums, especially Monterey Bay Aquarium, don’t have any cool fish



12. Everyone in California hates Harry Potter



13. All the landscape is dry and ugly

Muir Woods National Monument

Muir Woods National Monument

14. San Francisco is always foggy



15.  Some redwood trees can ONLY fit two people inside



16. There is absolutely nowhere to find any European influence (or Danish pancakes!) in California

Solvang, California

Solvang, California

17. California is so unoriginal; it’s as if it is stealing its landscape from Apple



18. There are random castles off the highway.  SO out of place.



19. It is basically impossible to find local wine to buy



20. There is no water due to the drought

Vernal Falls in Yosemite

Vernal Falls in Yosemite

21.  It is impossible to find other Minnesotans


22. There are only 399 colleges to choose from


23. There are no hiking trails


24. Wildlife is non-existent


25. It is impossible to fulfill your child-like sense of wonder


26.  California is so unwelcoming.  It’s as if it doesn’t want me to go back again in 2017 for another pharmacy conference.


I hope you could tell this was completely sarcastic.  Thank you to everyone who made this trip the best spring break ever, and I hope to see you at Apha in 2017 in San Francisco!



Settlers of the Lounge

Hello Everyone,

Boy, does it feel good to be on spring break in one day.  Tomorrow night, I am heading off to sunny California for the APha conference, and could not be more excited.

This post was meant to go out a few weeks ago and I have been working on it little by little, but this little thing called school got in the way of that.  Anyways, my inspiration for this post is two-fold: a) the extreme amount of time I spend at school everyday, mainly in the lounge studying if not in class b) the amount of time my friends reference the board game “Settlers of Catan” in a given day.  If you aren’t familiar with Catan, none of this will make any sense and you better find a friend who has the game so you know what i’m talking about.  You should be warned though, I am not responsible for any lost friendships over Catan.  It gets a bit intense.  Because I don’t have the time to play Catan nearly as much as I would like, I had to compensate by pretending my enitire life is Catan.  So here we have it: Settlers of the Lounge. I shall Explain.

Settlers of Catan is a game of Resources.  Five resources Sheep, Wood, Brick, Wheat and Ore, are scattered around Catan.  The goal of the game is to get victory points.  Victory points are awarded in several ways: building settlements (wheat,1 sheep, 1 brick and 1 wood) gives you one point, building cities (3 ore and 2 wheat) gives you two points, having the longest road (1 brick and 1 wood) or largest army gives you two points, or some development cards (1 sheep, 1 ore and 1 wheat) are victory points in themselves.  Sometimes resources are blocked off due to the presence of a knight on a certain square. Basically, it is a race to get the most victory points.  All is fair in Catan.  You can bargain with other players to get the resources you need. 

In the same sense, the lounge is a place of resources.  The pharmacy lounge is basically my second home; scratch that, it is my home.  I spend more time at lounge than I do at my house.  The lounge has pretty much all the necessary components needed for survival… a fridge, a power supply, a printer,couches and even people (most of the time) to get your daily dose of social interaction. In order for stay at the lounge for extended periods of time and actually get work done during this time, it is necessary to have all of these components in place.

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First things first: Brick+Wood

Brick=Power supply

My life is on my computer/iPad.  Basically everything I ever need to do, such as studying for quizzes and tests, doing my prelab, or writing a care plan, is either on my iPad or laptop. So imagine a time when you are in pharmacy beast-mode, and you experience that terrible moment when you notice that your laptop is at 4% and your iPad, which is being charged by your laptop is also at 4%.  Heck, we are going to make this even more drastic as say your iPhone is also at 4%.  But it’s ok, because you can just charge all of them using your multitude of Apple chargers.  OH WAIT.  There are way too many people in the lounge, and those precious outlets are all being used to charge other people’s productivity.  There are even a few people who are monopolizing one outlet, plugging in their phone, iPad and computer. THE HORROR!

Likewise, bricks are crucial for moving forward in Catan.  Without bricks, you can’t build roads, which means you can’t make settlements, which means you can’t make cities.  So basically you are screwed.  Just like you can maybe bargain with one of those monopolizers of the outlets (“hey, i’ll give you some of my BunMi fries if you unplug your laptop”) you can maybe trade something like sheep with someone who has a brick monopoly……if you are lucky.




Imagine this; You have lab at 10:10 and you get off the train at 9:53, just the perfect amount of time to go to the computer lab and print off your pre-lab that is required to turn in at the lab. You get on the computer, pull out your document, and hit print.  You sit there, twiddling your thumbs for a few moments, and realize your document has not printed.  You get up to look at the printer “please follow the steps of screen to unjam printer”.  As a side note, I always think it is funny when printers have fancy interactive displays explaining how to unjam them; like, why don’t they spend more time actually making the printers better so they don’t jam in the first place rather than designing super seemingly user friendly (but not) instructions on how to unjam the printer! But back to our situation; a wave of panic strikes you because you know this elaborate process to unjam the printer is not going to happen in the next ten minutes. Your only hope is that the lab printers are working… otherwise S- for you!

Likewise, in Catan, wood is crucial for both building roads and settlements, which are crucial to ultimately getting cities.  Without wood, your only hope is to either trade multiple of your cards in for one measly wood (an analogous situation to paying 10 cents for a printed sheet at the BioMed library when you could get free prints in the lounge) or trade with someone else for some of their wood (aka, convincing your friend to let you use their printer to print something out).   Neither of which are anywhere near as fruitful as utilizing your 600 free prints in the weave. It even staples for you!



While having the printer broken or having no outlets are both extremely unfortunate situations (especially if you have neither of them), another huge limiting factor of the amount of time that one can stay in the lounge studying is food.  If it is 7 pm, you have been at school all day studying all day, and you get hungry, let’s face it; you are not going to motivated to stay there studying to 11 PM like you planned. In Catan,  bricks and wood  are all you need for roads, the most basic level of building, but without wheat, you can’t build settlements, cities or buy development cards.  So basically, you have no chance of winning without wheat.  You also have no chance of winning studying without food.  Thankfully, we are equipped with a fridge, a microwave, a toaster, and a whole street of fantastic restaurants down Washington.  Even so, things become a problem when 1) it is -40 outside and even the though of a  brief walk to BunMi is a reason to not go 2) the fridge is cleaned out and all of your food is gone 3) you forget your wallet 4) you forget your lunch or you are banking on a free lunch that doesn’t quite pan out (aka, other health professions that get out 5 min earlier than we do and eat all of the food).  All of these causes of famine are all reasons for unproductivity.



Sheep= Couches(aka a place to sleep)

Some may argue that sheep are the most useless resource in all of Catan.  I would agree with this for the most part, but I actually recently witnessed someone become the best in all of Catan  off a sheep monopoly.  So the jury is still out on this one.  Just like how the jury is still out on how critical sleep is to pharmacy school success.  Throughout pharmacy school, I have run the gambit of the entire sleep spectrum.  From my many data points, ranging from one all nighter, to accidentally sleeping from 10pm to 12 pm the next day, I have realized that the 6-7 hr range is the sweet spot for maximum productivity.   Any less than that, I throw in the towel the next day at 10PM because I just don’t have it in me to keep at the lounge studying.

The couches in the lounge are one way to quickly relieve your exhaustion, so they can be useful. I can think of one night in particular that a quick 10 min rest on the couch resuscitated me and gave me the will to keep going for a few more hours for pharmacology and immunology.  That was a little bit different because I had a sense of urgency since I had two tests the next day; fear, I have learned, is  a powerful force.   In most cases, I am worthless with less than 6 hours of sleep. On the other hand, if i’m getting 9 or more hours of sleep….. well, chances are I wouldn’t be at the lounge in the first place because I would be in my bed.  All in all, it is pretty close to the whole sheep situation in Catan; under most circumstances, playing little-boe-peep usually won’t get you the win, just like being too well-rested means you probably aren’t doing your homework.  But really, if you are counting enough sheep, it’s hard to be a loser.

Ore= social interaction

Now imagine this;   it’s 6 pm on a Sunday night and I walked into the lounge, ready for a nice, fruitful night of studying after work. No one was there; perfect, I had all the outlets to myself.  I even had food AND the printer is working.  So far, all the pieces are inline for a successful evening of watching immunology videos, studying for tomorrow’s TBL, doing my pre-discussion assignment and writing a paper (note: this is a “light’ weekend for us). I open the assignment and start working.  But then……………………………………. everything goes black.

No, I didn’t just pass out.  The lights just went out.  You see, the lounge has motion-sensing lights.  During the day, when the lounge is full of bumbling student pharmacists, the lights stay on.  But when you are the only person in the lounge, you might as well just be dead, since the lights not so conveniently turn off every 5 minutes.  That means you ever have to stand up, wave your arms around, chuck random personal belongings across the room, or work in the dark.  All damper your workflow. Thankfully, within the next half our, other living beings entered the lounge.   I finally saw the light…… literally .

Really, though, you really can’t win Catan without cities or development cards,all which require ore.  Just like you really can’t win, or even survive pharmacy school (or  stay in the lounge for a long period of time) without the support of your wonderful Pharmily.  Morale of this whole story: don’t be like the people of Catan who don’t share resources.  There is only one winner when that happens.  Instead, let’s all be winners.


My Kappa Psi family at our wonderful dinner meeting!

Well, that got a lot deeper than I was intending. Anyways, next post I will promise not to bore you with describing probably the most boring aspect of pharmacy school; studying.  Instead, I will have wonderful pictures of CALIFORNIA.  It’s hard to believe that one day I woke up with snow everywhere and the next I will be somewhere where it is 80 degrees, but I am not complaining!

Until next time!


ATC qd (aka, Pharmacy school is busy)

Hello Blog Readers!

Well, I think I have had my longest hiatus of posting.  What happened to me being that dedicated blogger who updated once a week? Pharmacy school happened.  With multiple quizzes, tests, assignments due each week, along with work and student and student organizations I have comittments to, one could say I am a tad busy.

However, one big weight that has been lifted off my shoulders as of yesterday was the completeion of the CLARION competition, an interprofessional case competition that I naivly signed up to participate in, having NO idea of tremednous amount of time and emotional energy myself and my  fellow teammates, a medical student and a masters of health administration student, would invest, toiling over potential solutions to improve stroke care in the fictious South Tree Health Network (STNH….no, SHTH….wait, STHN…. this was the struggle of our lives).  Being someone who usually prefers learning the nitty-gritty science details  over administration or social science topics, I would never have imagined myself spending hours scouring the internet for articles on bundled payment systems, care delivery models or electronic health record standardization.  Being someone who also usually avoids procrastination on big assignments or projects, I nor would have pegged myself as someone who would stay up all night finishing our presentation to submit, 8 minutes before it was due. But both happened.  I guess we could call CLARION a transforming experience for me.

In all honesty, while I may sound like I am just trying to be a University of Minnesota Academic Health Center Poster-Child by saying this,  CLARION was one of the most educational experiences I could ever have imagined; I have such a deepened understaning about the healthcare system, have learned so much about working with others and have gained quite a bit of confidence in my public speaking skills.  As a bonus, my team walked away with 3rd place, with a cash prize that ensures I was getting at least minimum wage for every hour I spent working on our case…… all I could ask for and more.

While I was busy being all interprofessional this past week, I also was trying to study for our multiple tests and quizzes. While most of our classes are too conceptual to just have flashcards, I did revert to flashcards when studying the 225 abbreviations I needed to know for my calculations test.  My classmates and I found some amusement out of  some of these abbreviations, so we are going to play a little game.  I am going to post some “instructions” written in pharmacy-speak and see how many you can get.  Answers will be on the bottom.

1) Appy top LCD ATC e.m.p. NPO (**hint; nothing to do with LCD xmas lights)

2)  Disp. PPI c. Pb for SZ

3) Take 12 oz. SVR. PO w.a p.c PRN s.os. MR3x.  DC c. SOB 

 Ready for the answers? I am going to post a random picture (actually not too random, this was my fraterninty having dinner with the Dean last month) so you can scroll down to the bottom to see the answers.


1) Appy  LCD top ATC e.m.p. NPO= Apply Coal Tar Solution topically around the clock as directed.  Not for oral consumption.

2)  Disp. PPI c. Pb for SZ= Dispense Patient Package Insert with Phenobarbital for seizures

3) Take 12 oz. SVR. PO w.a p.c s.o.s. MR.  DC c. SOB= Take 12 oz. Alcohol by mouth while awake after food if there is a need.  May repeat.  Discontinue with Shortness of breath.

These were all pretty obvious, right?

Just kidding, these are all medication errors waiting to happen….which is why we needed to learn them.

Anyways, I should go back to studying now.  Happy March! (winter is over, right?)