Week 4: Spring Quarter Finally Getting Real

After escapades and exploits in Tampa, followed by P&T withdrawal and back-to-reality laziness, then extracurriculars and internships galore… it’s finally that time of the quarter to realize that I’m in school and there are exams are coming up.  

Also crazy scheduling is making a comeback: tomorrow features 7:30am-8pm with a one-hour break from 5-6pm T-T

Time to get serious… after celebratory happy hour tonight :)


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An Integrative Approach to Integrative Medicine

Much though I respect and value holistic approaches to health care, I honestly could not have been more annoyed at the miniscule return-on-investment of my time today. 

Integrative Medicine Forum at UCSF for 1 elective credit?  I jumped on it.  My expectation was clinically applicable tips, informative powerpoints, and cool spiritual people. It turned out to be a few half-noteworthy points scattered throughout the day, informal talks that were less organized than winged presentations, and spiritual people who were nice and hence made us feel obligated to stay out of politeness. I hate to say it, but I haven’t been to anything more mind-numbing since orientation (and that rather painful pain lecture).

Which brings me to the unfortunately controversial nature of integrative medicine.  There is no denying that it contains numerous benefits and fills numerous pitfalls blatantly missed by traditional medicine.  But when things become too touchy-feely and mystical and weird, you can’t help but be dubious.  It’s quite difficult to trust practices in which one speaker condemns the inflammatory properties of eggs and religiously limits himself to literally one egg per year, only to find the next speaker whole-heartedly embracing hard-boiled eggs as nature’s perfect snack.  I came with an open mind ready to learn and embrace new perspectives; I left being confused, skeptical, and more thankful for evidence-based practice than ever before.

The solution?  Rather than sticking a bunch of insanely busy professional students in series of back-to-back unhelpful lectures on a Saturday, in my opinion a better to teach integrative medicine is to integrate it directly into the curriculum and into our personality.  Integrate it into the curriculum by exploiting this recent boom in comparative-effectiveness research to turn practice-based medicine to evidence-based medicine.  Integrate it into our personality by creating a generation of pharmacists who inspire with their own healthy lifestyles, instead of just passive-aggressively pushing people to take pills and regurgitating diet/exercise recommendations that everyone already knows.

Wow that was a long post—I haven’t been this opinionated in awhile, but when you think of the tremendous opportunity costs of a Saturday… even the endnote speaker dryly teased us for having had to sit through the conference all day while she got to enjoy the weather and just arrived to give the last session.


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Synapse Article Part 2

As if the school didn’t already beat to death all the P&T hype…

Why I posted the link is because of my favorite quote that they put in:

“We could not thank the school enough times for everyone’s tremendous support.  They believed in us more than I believed in myself!”


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All This Time

It’s as if I didn’t know how to fill this P&T void… ever since I finished classes at noon today, I took a nap, wrote a Yelp review, went to a meeting, went to an elective, hung out and ate dinner, then after I got home and was about to start studying I went downstairs to hang out and eat watermelon, and now I’m writing a Tumblr post. #ednagostudy


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How Pharm Students Recover from a Cold

Today I was so tired that I forgot to cough, and I was so focused that I forgot to blow my nose.

Or, maybe I’m actually recovering :D


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Pharmacy School Existential Crisis

That moment when you just want to drop out of school and keep working on P&T…

It’s been such an invaluable experience I cannot begin to describe it.  Never have I learned so much in breath and depth during any single activity, never have I spent so much time researching one drug, never have I thought of complexities from so many angles, never did I imagine becoming so close to three other individuals, never have I sacrificed and time managed so intensively, never have I navigated through so much thick and thin and laughter and stress together, never have I ever proclaimed so many times that my life is back to normal only to find out a few days later that it is not, never have I felt like I contributed so substantially to a beautiful team project, never has my life felt so complete and purposeful (okay maybe that sounds exaggerated), never have I felt so much support from my school and everyone around me, never had I thought that we would be so proud and happy that there were literally tears of joy, never have I had so many Facebook notifications, never has it taken days for the reality of an accomplishment to dawn on me, never have I partied and celebrated for 10 hours, never have I been congratulated by so many people I don’t know o.o And never have I written a blog post with so many never have I ever’s.

And never was I ever this reluctant to go back to reality: from sunny Floridan beaches, all-out celebrations, cutting-edge presentations, and memorable networking to the rather monotonous and now mundane student life in the foggy depths of SF.  But much as I loved the P&T experience, I know that it’s necessary for me to do my best in school and extracurricular activities so that I will be able to make a difference in health care.  As P&T showed me, there will always be a learning curve, but what you put in is what you get out—sometimes even more than you expect, especially in this wonderfully innovative playground of pharmacy.

#letuskeepburningthelightofwisdom


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Almost There

I can’t believe we’ll be done in 12 hours, after working on this project for almost 5 months.

What’s important is everything I’ve learned, which is something that no judge can take away from me.  After all, this is a fake health plan for a fake patient population (thank God it’s a real drug), but all the skills and knowledge I learn can be applied to a real health plan for a real patient population in the future ^^


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This Quarter…

All the silly things I’ve done: spilling water on my keyboard (rescued by eversion, inspired by my new knowledge about how to clear sinuses), closing my closet door on my fingers, trying to sit on a chair before pulling it out, filling up with the wrong gas

…sometimes I feel like Taq polymerase lacking 3’ to 5’ exonuclease proofreading.


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The Importance of Failure

In high school, my dad told me that it’s bad if everything goes too well, and it’s only now that I am understanding what he means.

No joke this was a busy quarter, and there were several instances when I felt like the delicate fabric of time management, holding together the heavy weights of all that I was doing, was unraveling and things were falling apart.  When I doubted that I would finish the competition, when I thought I was literally going to fail exams, when I thought I was going to crash my car from my sleep-deprived auto-pilot driving habits.  Thankfully none of that actually happened, but many times failure seemed so close, it was like feeling the breath before a Dementor’s kiss.  (Okay not really, but Tumblr writing has been long overdue so my creativity is firing away at this outlet, just like a sodium ion influx during depolarization). 

First of all, no failure is realistically as bad as it seems when the reality (or imagination) first dawns.  It may come as a shock because it is something tangible happening in the present that is less than ideal.  However, in the long run, one little thing becomes negligible as the number of other little things considered approaches infinity.  I remember in youth orchestra when I thought that not getting first chair meant not getting into college, in college when I thought that a B+ in ochem meant not getting any research position ever, in my pre-pharmacy society when I thought that not being selected to be an officer was the end of my pharmacy career, a few weeks ago when I thought that getting rejected on an internship that I was confident in meant being under-qualified for all internships  this summer (only to find out a few days later that they preferred students without industry experience).  Despite being momentarily angsty (best harnessed to power work-outs), I will no longer see failures as failures in the future when I look back.

So what is failure?  It is in the eye of the beholder—it is a failure if you let it put you down, but it is a success if you let it be a learning experience.  Back to what I was taught about how it’s bad for everything to go too well: failure is important in order to step back, reflect, and identify weaknesses so that you can assess and conquer them.  Otherwise, continuing just to cruise along due to a combination of prior knowledge and sheer luck means nothing more than stasis.  To use imagery, it’s like Jenga.  You can keep building on top to an extent, but it will fall apart eventually; alternatively, you can look at the missing pieces and fix them before proceeding to build a stronger tower.

I’m always skeptical of Buzzfeed as being worth little more than an internet sensation, but the 30 Things to Stop Doing to Yourself is worth the internet procrastination time, especially:

#7. Stop being scared to make a mistake. – Every success has a trail of failures behind it, and every failure is leading towards success.


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I Keep Meaning to Write Profound Posts

But there’s always things keeping me busy :(

So much learned this quarter.  Pharm school is making me age in good and bad ways (good because of all the wisdom and mature ways of thinking, bad because it’s probably making me look old and worn out and slowly gnawing at my naive optimism) (that sounds terrible, but I mean that in a positive tone with dry humor)

I’ll be composing posts during my pending trip on the 101 southbound :)


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Excuses

  • Me: My toenails are chipping away...
  • Mom: That means you need more calcium.
  • Me: Yay! More milk tea ^__^

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P1 Adventures #20

My Achilles tendon is anatomy… pun not intended

asdfjk;


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P1 Adventures #19

Songs on the radio are very fitting for finals and pharm school:

"Give your all to me, I’ll give my all to you" —John Legend

"I know I’m only halfway there, but take me all the way, take me all the way" —Maroon 5

"Catch my breath, no one can hold me back, I ain’t got time for that" —Kelly Clarkson

Lastly, funny that this came up on the drive back from anatomy lab… “Your lipstick stains on the front lobe of my left side brains” —Train


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#GB4L

  • Me: How was your Oski?
  • Me: *OSCE hahaha
  • #freudianslip

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The Little Things

I’m tired to the point that I knock out on shuttle rides… but despite me walking around like a zombie with a glazed look on my face, I am grateful for all the wonderful people around me who make it impossible for me to become antisocial ;)

  • Hugs, high-fives, and encouragement from my P3 buddy who spotted me in the library
  • Catching up with a friend from undergrad who recognized me at the library
  • An email from a P3 mentor-friend who asked about our flight plans in order to potentially support us at Florida
  • MB shuttle buddy laughing at me for sleeping on the shuttle


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