Friday, April 28, 2017

April 2017

April hours
- Ochsner ED: 16 hours

Spring semester hours
- Ochsner ED: 24 hours
- Habitat for Humanity: 24 hours
- Sci High: 4.5 hours

- Spring semester total: 52.5 hours

- Academic year total: 109 hours

Well, our year in the pharm program has come to an end. This week, we finished our last exam, and today’s seminar marked the final event of the semester. Looking back, it’s been an incredibly productive and rewarding year. Our class dedicated countless hours to study, community service, research, and/or clinical work, and we have all come out better from the experience.
Some of our class has already packed up and made their trip back home and many others will be doing the same over the next few weeks. Some of though, like myself, will be staying in New Orleans to either work in research, public service organizations, health clinics, etc. But, almost all of us are preparing our applications for the new AMCAS cycle, which officially opens next month. In the midst of that, I plan to continue my work in research and maintain many of the public service commitments I established since relocating to New Orleans. This month, I have continued my volunteer work in the Ochsner emergency room, and I can already notice my proficiency for the work there increasing (a background in pharmacology is very useful).

That said, best of luck to next year’s pharm class. Feel free to contact me with any questions.

Friday, March 31, 2017

March 2017

It’s hard to believe, but we’ve come to the last month of classes in the program. We wrapped up the shelf exam covering med pharm material for the entire year only a couple weeks ago, and our schedule is beginning to settle down. It seems like a lot of us have been able to shift some focus to research, volunteering, and/or preparations for med school applications, which are quickly approaching. Thus, this month, I have maintained my previous volunteer commitments with Habitat and Sci High, with the addition of volunteering on weekends in the emergency department at Ochsner Medical Center.

For Habitat this month, I worked installing windows and doors on another new house in New Orleans East. After working on several homes in the area, I have started to recognize some of the other finished homes they’ve built there and have even worked with several new owners who are investing “sweat equity” into new projects in the area. I’m always amazed at the commitment and dedication the community has towards continuing Habitat’s progress and the impact they’ve been able to achieve. It’s been great work to be a part of. Likewise, the students at Sci High are mowing through new subjects at a rapid clip. They have already made their way through studying trig identities and into matrices and determinants, which has been a learning experience for all of us. Still, it’s been great to have more time to help them out as they get into their final weeks of the year as well. And at Ochsner, I have been working and communicating with the hospital staff at triage while helping patients upon their arrival and stay in the ER. The work has been great added clinical experience so far and another way to put some of the concepts we’ve learned to an applied setting. I’ve been impressed when I recognize the majority of drugs patients are taking and the clinical profile for their use (those long study hours are already paying off). I think the work will be a great way to maintain some of these concepts and valuable experience as the new application cycle begins.

- Habitat for Humanity: 8 hours
- Sci High: 3 hours
- Ochsner ED: 8 hours
- Total Spring Semester: 36.5 hours

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

February 2017

Happy Mardi Gras! Carnival season is coming to a close in New Orleans, but it’s been a busy and exciting few weeks here. There have been endless parades, floats, and beads over the last month, as well as a couple tests to mix in. Our classes have finished with the endocrine and reproductive block, the final block of the year, and we are getting ready for the cumulative pharmacology shelf exam in only two weeks. The test will cover everything we have learned this year in the medical pharmacology course, so there will be plenty of preparations ahead.

Otherwise, I have continued to volunteer with Habitat and was able to work out an afternoon to tutor at SciHigh this month. It was great to get back to tutoring at SciHigh after a busy start to the semester. The pre-calculus students continue to be dedicated learners, as our group made great strides in their coursework. I’m looking forward to continuing the work and seeing them finish this school year strong. For Habitat, I spent a day working on a ladder as we installed soffit beneath the overhanging roof around the perimeter of a new house. It was exhausting and nerve-racking work, especially at the 30 foot tall sections of the home, but it felt great to finish a job originally expected to take at least a couple days. Further, the house was located in New Orleans East, a region of the city that was significantly affected by the floods of Katrina. After talking with some of the Habitat crew and other volunteers, I became more aware of the ongoing effort the organization is putting forth to repair the devastating damage that occurred a little over a decade ago. I could even see several houses along the street that had been constructed by Habitat since the flooding. It was a meaningful experience to learn more of, witness, and contribute to the steady progress they are making to repair the damages from the floods. Going forward, I anticipate continuing those relief efforts as well as those towards repairing the devastation from the most recent tornado.

- SciHigh: 1.5 hours
- Habitat for Humanity: 8 hours
- Total Spring Semester: 17.5 hours

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

January 2017

We have returned from the holiday break and are hitting the ground running. We wrapped up the first block of the semester covering neuropharmacology and are already close to finishing the psychopharmacology block.
Otherwise, I have continued to work on construction projects around the city with Habitat for Humanity. This month, I was sent to a project in the upper section of the Carrollton neighborhood, where I worked on caulking, painting, and insulating a new home for a newly single mother. We had a small group of individual volunteers working on the project, but we were able to make a lot of progress towards finishing the exterior of the home. While I was working, I had a chance to talk with one of the supervisors of the project more about the requirements of the individuals or families receiving the homes, how the organization obtains many of its supplies, and on some of the ongoing projects in the city. Most of the families who are apply for a home from Habitat do so because they are unable to obtain a new loan for a house; however, Habitat requires that those receiving a home must be stably employed and contribute to over three hundred hours of “sweat equity”. This requires the individuals to work on building other houses with Habitat as a means of financing their new home. Obviously, this can be very challenging for a person who also works a full-time job and can take some time to accomplish. However, it does help propagate the work of the organization as well as establish a close community in those who have benefited from its work. Coupling that with the ongoing personal and sponsored donations they receive, it was interesting to learn more about the great impact they have had on the communities and economy within New Orleans. Working with them has been a unique way to learn more about the city, and I look forward to continuing that as we move forward.

-Habitat for Humanity: 8 hours
-Total Spring Semester: 8 hours