It took me some time to write this post because I traveled quite a bit after the pharmacy rotation; but also because I wanted to make sure I understood and could reflect on my experience deeply.
Here are some excerpts of my reflection I submitted for my rotation grade:
“My first reflection during my stay in Cluj, I wrote that I was nervous to come back. Why was I nervous? Because I was afraid that my experience was going to be different than last year. What if I did not like it? What if people do not like me? What if the rotation is horrible? These are thoughts that plagued me for months leading up to the rotation. To be honest, things were going to be different. Every time you go to a familiar place, the experience is not the same; your perspective changes dramatically. Last year, I was an international travel newbie with no experience with European cultures. Now last summer under my belt, I feel more confident being here. Confident in the sense that I am more honest with myself and what I want out of the experience and rotation. ”
After being here for 5 weeks, it made me realize more than ever how much I want to pursue global pharmacy work, teach, and do pharmacy/public health research. There are so many disparities in our own country, but even greater ones in many other nations. This rotation has taught me to be humble, and even though it provides a good perspective, not to constantly compare the United States’ healthcare system to other systems around the world. All systems have strengths and weaknesses, but the goal for people in public health or healthcare is to find new and innovative ways to make them better.
I did find this rotation challenging and that was only because it was my first rotation. I did not know what to expect and I knew this site would set the tone for future sites. Also, I felt that I had to change my way of thinking a little. I am use to classrooms, meetings, and research; so to flip to shadowing or clinical settings is difficult. Another challenge was getting accustomed again to Cluj-Napoca and finding a routine that would be sustainable. Eating out and 9:00am/10:00am workdays are not usual in the States, at least for me.
Overall, my experience was amazing! I could not ask for better people, preceptors, pharmacists, students, staff, etc. For everyone to open their doors and provide an unforgettable pharmacy rotation was truly a blessing.
My future blog posts will be insight into my project I have been working on, and my adventures for my remaining weeks.
The pictures in this blog are from my overall experience. Hope you enjoy!