Saturday, February 10, 2007
It's OVER!!! Thank God.
The graduation poster is a mandatory presentation done be P3's (that's senior in the accelerated program) and is worth one whole grade point. You choose a drug, find primary literature (that's clinical trials to you non-science folk) and write up a presentation. Normally people do this drug vs that drug and illustrate one's superiority (efficacy) with studies.
Part one is search. Part two is bibliography. Part three is writing an abstract. Part four is creating a poster- you get a threefold presentation board and have one title and 12 slides.
Of course, I can't adapt to herd mentality and I chose a drug that works with rare cancers, and did my presentation on its effects on a cancer so rare it's 7 in one million. I get totally sucked in to research and spent hours reading and interpreting studies. I did a progression of efficacy, use in advanced cancer, resistance to the drug and how histological DNA tissue typing is critical for prognosis and dose selection. I was pretty happy plugging along with the written work- I do love that kind of stuff. Week of presentation, I started having huge anxiety about it- my blood pressure was up, I wasn't sleeping well. And Wednesday was P-Day.
I got into Worcester early and met some of my friends. My place was moved- I was Number One which was scary- thought I'd be first. I was in a corner in a big hall. The guy next to me, it turned out, was going to do a rotation in Manchester and was moving in with my pal Ryan- small world, eh? Bonnie, my former preceptor, decided to come scope it out and offer support. It was so encouraging to have her and another pharmacist pop in, and I ran thru my spiel no problem. Another college employee came down and asked some questions- same deal. Everyone else was being judged and done. Finally, my judges came, and they wanted to read it first and ask questions. Thrown off a bit, I began stuttering like an idiot (say Platelet-Derived Growth Factor five times fast and see how you do!). I didn't say half the things I wanted, I didn't articulate well, and the one question they asked- "How much does it cost?" I could not answer at all. ($461.99 for 30 tablets, and the dose is four or eight a day!) We won't get our grades til March, so it's nerve wracking. They have been known to flunk people on their posters.
The school and alumni association threw us a party afterward- I figured it was cru d'etes and cheese but it was a full buffet and open bar. I had oranges in my purse and had wine- wish I had asked for a GF meal! The line was funny- one of the deans and a pharmacology prof were in front of us and we had a good time hanging with them. Most of the profs were there, and nearly all my class stayed. It was so nice to see everyone- we've had a wedding and a baby since last we got together. It was the last time we'd all be together before graduation, and not all of us will be there.
It took such a huge chunk of emotional energy all told. I had another presentation the next day at my rotation- it went well. It was a lot more low-key delivering to techs than to professors.
Friday was the last day of 3rd rotation- we are more than half-done with clinical year, and we are 100 days to graduation. My preceptor let me go early, and a bunch of us got together up in Manchester for dinner and drinks. We helped Tran & Michelle move out, then headed off to party. Two of the group have already signed contracts. Several of them move to their home states today. It was bittersweet to know this was it for the group and it was hard to leave. I didn't get home til 12:30.
I slept til 1:30 this afternoon- it was so good to sleep. By 6 pm I was ready to go back to bed. I am taking this day to just ready and putter. back to the real world Monday.
Poster is Done!!!
Postscript- I got a 98! I was in the elevator en route to a meeting and bumped into one of the women who graded me, so I thanked her for the grade. "You're the one who earned it," she said as she stepped off.