Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Hello Reality

This semester we have moved past the regurgitation of pre-reqs and are slowly delving into actual pharmacy material. It has been an enjoyable experience, for the most part, to start learning the information that I have been aching to yearn for several years.

Suddenly last night I was introduced to a small bit of reality. In discussing a question from our most recent drug delivery exam, one of the people in our group exclaimed it didn't matter if he didn't understand a particular type of question because it was just one exam.

I thought about that statement later that night, and about the question in general, and came to a startling dose of reality.

What we learn now truly does matter.

When you're an undergrad sitting in philosophy or British lit, you realize that what you are learning is really immaterial to your future. Sure it's good to learn about Socrates and maybe you can apply some of those learnings to your daily life.

In reality it does not matter if you remember who did what and a certain act. Call it disposable knowledge if you will.

Last night came the realization that, for the most part, that disposable knowledge is now gone.

The question the person in our group claimed to not care if he understood had to do with renal clearance for certain drugs. It's a piece of information that, may very well, prove to be highly important at some point in your professional life.

What we are learning now is the opposite of disposable knowledge, it is highly intrinsic knowledge that we will in some form be using for the rest of our professional lives.

It may seem like a meek or unimportant realization, but it's a stark one nonetheless. That thought provided the first feeling that this was more than just exams and labs... that we were actually learning something with a purpose.

And it was a pretty damn good feeling.


Grumpy, M.D. said...


Anonymous said...

Haha. I remember when I came to that realization too!

Don't worry though, it is still academia, they will send plenty of bullshit your way over the next 4 years.

Anonymous said...

Yeah just wait till you delve into the madness that pharmacokenetics/dynamics will bring. pray that your prof is a good one, mine wasn't.

The Ole' Apothecary said...

Tell your renal friend that there are, at this moment, several pharmacists in my department WHO MAKE A LIVING off of the concept he/she is dismissing as irrelevant! Reviewing and correcting the dosing of certain medications according to kidney function is one of the main reasons some pharmacists are identified as clinical pharmacists by the medical staff.

Bravo on the point of this post! Darn right, pharmacy student study things that are directly relevant to their future work and careers!

Unchained Pharmacist said...

Your classmate is right. Renal clearance is not important. Who cares if some 70 year old 45kg lady is prescribed CIPRO 750mg bid. There is always the hospital nearby to take care of her if she goes into acute renal failure.

Also, tell your classmate not to worry about drug interactions. Pharmacy computer will spot those for him. Besides, why would the doctor prescribe it if it's not ok for the patient to take?

(don't worry, if he keeps up with this attitude, I doubt he'll get to add "RPh" to his name)

I agree with you. What we learn in pharmacy school is important. We may not use all of the information every day. But at some point in your career, you'll be glad that you remembered some seemingly trivial details.

Tito said...

I've been practicing for 11-12 years. Renal clearance? I think I skipped class that day due to the fact that I was passed out under someone's car.

Have fun. Get drunk. Smoke a little weed every now and then. Meet guys/girls. You'll never get these years back, so enjoy them.

In my experience, the students who were so dead serious in school are now the worst pharmacists. Why? The can't relate to others; they've never socialized. And relating to others (patients and their parents/caregivers, pharmacy staff [both your staff and others' staff], physicians, etc.) is the BIGGEST part of this job.

And you know what? You and I can look up renal clearance in a reference. REALLY quickly, I might add.

The two most important words pertaining to pharmacy school? HAVE. FUN.

Good luck -- and although this is my first time commenting here, I'm an avid reader who absolutely loves your blog.


Erin said...

I'm so happy to be done with our review courses and starting to learn things that matter, too!

And I disagree with Tito. I take school (very) seriously and still go out with my friends and 'socialize' with people in and outside of my class. It's not mutually exclusive.