Yours in Pharmacy.

It's hard to believe that this is my last post as your Professional Faculties Blogger. I thoroughly enjoyed sharing the many experiences that I had within the Faculty of Pharmacy as well as showcasing the other professional faculties here at U of T. I hope, as a reader, you gained valuable insight into the many opportunities that exist beyond your undergraduate studies.

Spotlight on Medicine!

A career as a doctor is one of the most sought-after profession among undergraduates. As such, I figured many of you would like to hear some valuable insight about the program and advice about getting in! Please meet Hasanen who is a second year med student. He completed both his Bachelors of Science and Masters of Science at the University of Ottawa. I hope you find his advice valuable!

The Next Steps

For many of you, you may be nearing the end of your undergrad studies here at U of T. As such, you may find yourself contemplating “what next?”. Or you may be in the early years of your undergrad, and may have already started thinking about “what am I aiming for?”, “what will I be doing after all this is over?”

Speaking Up!

I always considered myself more adept to communicating through written word. The idea of speaking in public always prompts anxious feelings inside of me. It has been found that “public speaking” is the number one fear in America. However, so many professions require proficient oral communication. Even as a pharmacist, although I likely wouldn’t be delivering speeches to the mass, there is an important component of oral communication that is involved; this is commonly seen when we deliver patient counselling on medication. For me, it always felt like the thoughts in my head were racing before I could actually vocalize these thoughts. I would always feel self-conscious if what I was saying could be incoherent to the audience. I figured that oral communication was a skill I needed to improve on. But how does one improve how they talk?

Getting Involved!

When applying to a professional school, many applications require an autobiographical sketch of your extra-curriculars or activities that you participate in. It allows the admissions committee to assess those “soft skills” such as interpersonal, leadership, and collaborative skills that are not captured in your GPA or standardized test. Whenever I’ve spoken to undergraduate students, this area seems to be the one that they are the most apprehensive about. What activities are they looking for? How do I stand out? From my experience there appears to be one key aspect to engaging in extra-curriculars, and that is passion.

A Reflection on Pain Week!

For many years, students in professional faculties (Medicine, Dentistry, Pharmacy, Nursing, Physiotherapy, Occupational Therapy, Physician Assistant), typically in their second year, are required to participate in “Pain Week”. Pain Week was developed in order to foster interprofessional collaboration in an area of healthcare that is one of the most challenging to provide treatment. Pain management is not a “one size fits all” approach. It has to be tailored to the patient as each person’s lived experience with pain will be different. Consequently, this requires the expertise of various healthcare professionals to ensure all aspects of the patient’s pain is managed. It was through this week that I acquired a new found appreciation for how true this is.

Mastering the MMI!

There’s a new kid on the block that is sweeping across professional faculties, and that’s the MMI! What’s “MMI”, you ask? MMI stands for “multiple mini interviews” and it’s a novel interviewing technique. It was developed by McMaster University’s Faculty of Medicine to better assess applicants communication skills. It was suggested that traditional interview formats do not accurately capture true aptitude of a candidate for the profession. The MMI, on the other hand, allows for assessment of other communication skills such as interpersonal skills, professionalism as well as ethical reasoning.

Joy at Hart House Gym!

Today marks the end of the #JoyAtUofT campaign. I decided to dedicate this post to one of my favourite places to work-out – HART HOUSE! Currently, I hit Hart House’s Fitness Centre at least 3 or 4 times a week, but rewind back to first year you would never see me at the gym. It was only until second year that I thought I would try out the fitness centres on campus.

My Experience with IPE!

In Pharmacy and among the other professional faculties at U of T, there is a requirement to attend Interprofessional Education (IPE) activities throughout our studies. These activities provide exposure of what it’s like to work on an inter-disciplinary team, which is ultimately how it will be like in the workforce. Healthcare requires several people with a key set of skills that are important in providing care to patients. We have to take part in these activities and earn a certain number of IPE credits before we graduate. Recently, I completed my IPE credits and I found my last IPE experience quite eye-opening.