Concordia College Handbell Choir Tour

Had a delightful surprise concert from the ladies of Concordia’s Handbell Choir while up north. Here’s a selection from their concert. Enjoy!

Happy Maple Syrup Day!!

Greetings from up north!

Today, I was able to visit the Forest History Center in Grand Rapids, MN to learn all about maple syrup…since it is Maple Syrup Day 🙂 Here I got to learn about all of Minnesota’s forests through guided tours of a 1900s era logging camp. I saw how the men lived and worked right on site! As an added bonus, in honor of Maple Syrup Day, I also learned about the history and science of maple syrup, and got to try out some homemade ice-cream with maple syrup topping and of course, maple syrup popcorn!

This is the first year the center is open during the winter, however, they plan to be open all year round to provide great hands-on learning experiences and exploration in the north woods.

Come and visit if you’re around town! Enjoy the pictures.

-Kim & Phat

The cold cold cold NORTH!!!

My backyard for 5 weeks!

Hello from up north!!!

Despite the bone penetrating chill, northern Minnesota’s beauty is incomparable. As part of my rural rotation experience, I get to wake up to the rising sun from this lake every morning. What a life 🙂

Minnesota Security Hospital at St.Peter

During my 4th year rotation with the Anoka Metro Regional Treatment Center, I was given the opportunity to visit the MN State Hospital in St.Peter. This is a secure psychiatric hospital in Minnesota. It serves people who have been committed by the court as mentally ill and dangerous. Because of the security and safeguard for their residents, I was only able to visit the museum located on site. Here are some of the pictures documenting the history behind the hospital and showcasing some medical treatments used on patients back then. Enjoy!


Reason #1 why you should work at a Children’s Hospital……

A few of the pharmacists at Amplatz Children's Hospital.

A few of the pharmacists at Amplatz Children’s Hospital.

It’s fun….Fun….FUN!!!

On Halloween, we got to ditch the work clothes and dress up as fun kid-friendly characters 🙂 And…..we participated in “reverse trick-or-treating”, where we all visited the kids in their rooms and handed out toys, school supplies, etc….notice the balloons in the back??

Even if you are not able to work at a children’s hospital, I would definitely recommend choosing a rotation at one!!



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 🙂

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!


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PD3 White Coat Transition Ceremony

Hello Everyone!!

Yet again, another BIG milestone in our lives today……receiving our new white coat to mark the beginning of our year of rotations to come!!! This ceremony is our last big get together as an entire class, before everyone goes off on their own ways for rotations. It’s kind of bitter sweet looking back at our 3 years in class together, how much we have all grown together and bonded. It will be hard to imagine not seeing these 100+ people everyday next year, but then again, it’s about time we go out into the real world to actually practice pharmacy!!! We are all very excited about what is to come, and of course, cannot WAIT until May 10, 2014, when we get to walk across that stage and become practicing professionals!!!

A BIG thank you to the OSS staff, faculty/preceptors of the college, and of course our PD3 class reps for organizing this great event!

Hope you enjoy the pictures.

-Phat & Kim

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Pro/Con of going to pharmacy school in Minnesota

Hello Blog Readers!!

Still deciding on whether to come to the University of Minnesota College of Pharmacy? Well, let me provide you with a few reasons to consider, and hopefully these will help you make up your mind 🙂

Looks like Christmas again!!

Looks like Christmas again!!


Winter is back!!!! Yes, I know, spring officially started March 20th according to the calendar…but not in good ole Minnesota, where the weather is always so unpredictable, which makes for a great adventure everyday!

The roads are slippery and traffic is NOT moving.



Snow day!!! Not an official University snow day…..but a Tran sibling snow day.

Yup, car is taking a break today.

Yup, car is taking a break today.

Thanks to our great interactive TV (ITV) system, we have no fear of missing lectures!! We can enjoy watching our professors teach from the comforts of our home, at double the speed 🙂

There you have it, just a few reasons for your consideration. Hope to see you again soon! Now back to watching lectures.

-Phat & Kim

2013 Melendy Lecture

Hello Blog Followers!

As a yearly tradition, our CoP is proud to present yet another lectureship from an experienced practicing professional that emphasizes the scientific, ethical and professional aspects of pharmacy. For this year, we have the honor of having Professor Brian Isetts, Ph.D., B.C.P.S. as our 2013 Melendy Lecturer. He is a health policy fellow at the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation. The topic this year is “Progress Toward Goals: Building a Medication Use System Our Country Deserves”.

We have a special connection with Dr.Isetts. He was actually one of our PD1 year Pharmaceutical Care professor! It was great seeing and talking with him again about all of the new experiences he has had and about the progression of pharmacy in general. Like last year, we were able to attend a pre-dinner with him the night before the lecture to just sit back and relax while getting to know our lecturer before the rest of our other classmates. Not only were we able to have dinner with Dr.Isetts and his wife, Dean Speedy as well as various other college faculties also joined us. What a great night to have right after coming back from spring break!

Enjoy some pictures from the dinner as well as pictures from the lecture. See you all soon!

-Phat & Kim

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