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Thursday, June 23, 2011

Ever Want A Re-Do?

  Have you ever thought that you would love to go back to pharmacy school now? Knowing what you do now and not having any of the pressures or worries. I have.
I absolutely love learning and I'll admit I am a bit of a pharmacy nerd. I love reading about pharmacy issues and talking about new things. When I was in school I had alot of pressure and worries both scholastically and financially. I would love to be able to just sit in class and absorb all that I could without the pressure to perform (and compete). It's one of the reasons I am a preceptor because I love having young, ambitious, and somewhat naive students in my pharmacy. It keeps me young I think.
  Anyway, back to the question. If you could would you go back to school just for the enjoyment of it? When I asked myself that question the answer was a resounding "YES!". So I thought about how I could do that without actually, physically being in school. My answer was to buy a book that many graduate pharmacists use to prepare for the NAPLEX and do a comprehensive review. In fact the book I bought is Comprehensive Pharmacy Review which is available through APhA or (the price is the same and with the book you get on-line access as well). I bought the book and the practice test book also. I  started from page one and it is wonderful. I was transported back to pharmacy school, which for me was over 20 years ago. I was actually surprised at the things I remembered that we obviously don't use every day. The book starts out with calculations and has practice problems at the end of the chapter. I am proud to say I received a 92% on my practice test. I have to admit I became nauseated at the sight of the Henderson-Hasselbalch equation. For my non-pharmacist readers, that is an equation that was in our faces from day one of pharmacy school and drilled into our heads like it was the answer to life's ultimate question. How many of us have used it since graduating? Yeah, I thought as much.
 Anyway, I wanted to throw this challenge out to you all. If you seriously love learning about your chosen profession, do this along with me. I know, I know, I am a pharmacy nerd and I probably don't have a social life, or kids or whatever to take up my time if I have enough time to do this, but it's my thing and I'm excited about it. Maybe part of it is nostalgia and seeing that not much has changed when it comes to the education of our next generation of pharmacists. The basics are still the basics. I does beat sitting in front of the television for hours on end.


Anonymous said...

Fun idea!!! Not? Seriously, after completing a graduate degree in pharmacy after BS > 20 years ago, and participating in experiential rotations with preceptors half my age, I felt very invigorated. And, wondered how much it would cost to periodically re-enroll in certain pharmacy courses such as the series of antibiotic therapy lectures, diabetes, anti-hypertensives. Supposedly, our monthly C.E. takes care of updating knowledge, but sometimes it's interesting to see how the focus of therapy changes as well. Consider GERD and treating ulcers, or even treating anxiety and insomnia. It was funny to realize one of the first presentations to nursing staff I gave in residency right after graduation, was on the use of light lamps and antacids for decubitus ulcers.

Specialty certification should be like that, too, but I see that some of the requirements include participation in an organizational-affiliated training program before allowed to take certification exams.

Small Town Canadian Pharmacist said...

This IS a fun idea and I've often thought about it. I did go and buy a bunch of books at the university bookstore when I was back visiting a few years ago and read through them often. I rarely have the time to go to CEs and do my online courses that my company wants us to complete but the love of learning is still there. I just wish there was time to do it. You've got me thinking and I'll have to see how to fit it in!

lovinmyjob said...

As a follow-up, this exercise has been fun. Not only am I learning some new things, but I'm also encouraged to see what I haven't forgotten. I am definitely taking a trip down memory lane with this. It's never too late to learn and in today's competitive world it keeps you sharp. At least this time around I don't have the pressure of a "must pass" mentality nor the heavy weight of student loans pressing down on me. It's a much more enjoyable experience.