Changing directions….

Life has a funny way of changing, turning on a dime…..sometimes (as I have seen many times the past few years), it takes you by the collar, pulls you back, whips you around, and either shoves you to the ground, or turns you around and shoves you forward, or just plain stops you and holds you in place. Sounds awful, huh? But there is a reason, in my mind. Sometimes, we get so stuck in our idea of what we “should” be doing, or in shooting for the stars, that we don’t realize we are shooting for the wrong star, or maybe we are already where we need to be. It takes being honest with yourself.

So, I was offered a residency that combined hospital and outpatient pharmacy. The best of both worlds. I kept thinking, “I will be able to do anything when I finish”, but then that changed. The hospital backed out. Now, it’s a Community Pharmacy Residency. The focus will be on chronic disease state management. At first, I balked. I really didn’t think that I wanted that, and considering I am having my ALOHA party in a week, and selling all of my stuff in 2 weeks, I stopped dead in my tracks. Then, Bill Jones, the man responsible for me getting this residency, and someone I consider a lifelong mentor, sent me an article on the Patient Centered Medical Home Model. It is amazing how much non-compliance costs healthcare, and most of it is due to lack of information or mis-information. Patients get lost in the shuffle.

Now, me doing this residency is ironic. Before I applied for pharmacy school, people mentioned pharmacy to me, and I scoffed. I said that I didn’t want to do “disease state management”. When I got to thinking about hospital pharmacy, and the fact that everything that’s happening is pulling me away from hospital and turning me toward community, I remembered that my goal in everything I do is to “help others help themselves”. Now, how can I do that in the hospital? I can’t with inpatient, but I can with the discharge counseling I will still be doing. Honestly, I feel this is the way I need to go. It’s entrepreneurial, cutting edge, and leaves many, many possibilities open. It’s multidisciplinary and collaborative, just like I want. It has all the elements of what I want in a career. PLUS, I will have more of an opportunity to learn about and apply concepts in alternative medicine. I might be working in a clinic in Hana with a nurse practitioner. Now, how cool is that?!

Check out this article, Pharmacists Take Larger Role in Health Team, from the NYTimes. It’s going to happen, and I am excited about it. This residency is right up my alley. I just had to take a good look at reality when life took me by the collar, turned me around and put me face to face with my desires. It said, “Look! This is what you have been wanting. Why have you been pursuing the career that people covet, when this fulfills everything you want and need?” I love hospital. Don’t get me wrong. I just feel that right now, this will be more fulfilling and worth the stress. It will be fascinating, and that’s what I need to get through the long, long days of a residency.

Life is funny.

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