March 27, 2013

We’ve moved!

by Transpharmers

Hello blog followers!

Thank you for continuing to follow us on this blog.  Unfortunately we’ve ran out of space here and the College of Pharmacy has a new blog website.  Please continue to follow us at: to find out more about or adventures during the fours years in pharmacy school!


Phat & Kim

January 28, 2013

SRFCC in San Antonio, Texas

by Transpharmers

“What?  Where are you?  I don’t see you!” Sarah exclaimed.

“I am here, right at baggage claim #2, where are you guys?”  I responded

“We are at baggage claim #2 too!  But we don’t see you!”

“I am right here.  Next to the car rentals area.”

“Let’s try going outside and see if we can see each other,” Sarah suggested.

“I am right outside now by the pickup area.  Do you see me?” I asked

“No!  Where are you?  Are you at the wrong airport?”

“No!  I am at the Austin, TX airport!” I said

“Austin?!?…  Phat!!!  The conference is in San Antonio, Texas!”  Sarah shouted.

That was the beginning of my trip to the Annual Society of Student-Run Free Clinic Conference!  Apparently, while looking at flights to San Antonio, I somehow ended up booking and thinking that the conference would be in Austin, Texas.  Yes, I know that sounds crazy but hear me out.  This probably happened because since the flight prices went up, I was looking at other airports nearby San Antonio as backup options.  I kept looking, and apparently, my computer saved my last info so I ended up kept looking at flights to Austin, Texas.  From there, my mind got tricked into thinking that the conference was in Austin, Texas.  Two weeks away from the conference date, I booked my flight and now here I am lost and stranded, one hour away from San Antonio.  I swung by the information desk and talked to the sweetest couple ever!  They gave me great advices and told me that the cheapest option was to rent a car and drive to San Antonio.  I ended up renting a car from Enterprise Rent-a-Car and drove around for lunch, ate pho (Vietnamese noodle soup), had my Vietnamese iced coffee, got some Starbucks and headed to San Antonio.  Amazingly, I was quite calm and relaxed throughout this entire dilemma.  I truly think that God was testing me because besides flying to the wrong airport, earlier in the day, I also arrived a little late to the Minneapolis airport and checked in just in time for boarding.  Then my suitcase broke so I couldn’t stroll it around.  I arrived in Charlotte within 20 minutes of my next flight so there I was with one heavy, broken luggage on one arm, a heavy garment bag on the other, a laptop backpack and running from terminal B to E in my Aldo boots.  They even paged my name on the intercom at 10 minutes before my flight departure from Charlotte to Austin so I had to make a mad dash to catch my flight!  Luckily I made it in time and then the whole fiasco of flying to the wrong airport… What a morning eh?  However, I thoroughly enjoyed all the events that morning!  I enjoyed my lunch and the drive was quite nice.  As I drove through interstate 35, happy memories of my previous trips to Texas and to my friends’ wedding arise.  The sun was out, it was 70 degrees (100 degrees difference from Minneapolis), and lots of good scenery so despite the fact that everything went wrong that morning, I felt at peace and happy knowing that nothing happens without God’s providence.  After 2 hours of cruising around, I arrived at the Grand Hyatt hotel in downtown San Antonio.

After checking in, we went out to the riverwalk bar right outside of our hotel and had a few drinks with the fellas to celebrate.  Yes, the riverwalk!  There was a man-made moat that they created running through downtown San Antonio.  There are lots of restaurants along the side and great scenery.  We then headed towards the main restaurant area for dinner and met up with one of my best friend in college and his wife, Thien & Thom!  It felt like yesterday when I attended their wedding in TX and now here they are expecting their first child!

Saturday was the main day for the conference.  Both Sarah Timm, Phillips Neighborhood Clinic (PNC) Management Chair, and I, PNC Operations Chair, had an oral presentation and poster presentation on our Electronic Health Records (EHR) system titled “Quest for Optimum Patient Care & Interprofessionalism through Implementation of a New EHR System” to share information with other clinics about a new EHR installment at our clinic.  We aim to share our unique experience of rolling out Epic, the new EHR system, into the student-run free clinic in only four months as opposed to the one year transition period most clinics use.  Our goal is that other clinics will be able to relate and benefit from our experience; to be able to successfully implement a new EHR system in their clinic without losing focus of an interprofessional team approach to care for marginalized populations who present with unique needs and challenges.  The rest of our PNC Admin Board also had poster and oral presentations on Saturday as well.  Collectively, PNC had 4 posters and 2 oral presentations to over 350 students in the health professions like dental, laboratory science, medicine, nursing, pharmacy, physical therapy, public health, social work, and other health professions as well!  We also attended many presentations and learned so much from other student run free clinics around the nation.  We even had a few students that came from the first and only student run free clinic in China!  There was so much to learn and we all felt so inspired by our colleagues through their work, passion, motivation, and enthusiasm to help others.  Hopefully we will be able to apply some of these great ideas and help to improve the PNC!

Saturday evening we went to dinner at Acenar with Dr. Sick, our PNC Medical Director, and a few of family medicine physicians from MN.  We all had such a great time talking and getting to know each other on a more personal basis.  I wished that this event was later in the year so that we can send our incoming Admin Board and the outgoing to something like this.

Sunday was our last day with one talk and discovering that the conference will be held in Opryland, Tennessee next year!  We then headed out for lunch by the riverwalk and went to the Alamo!  After dropping off two of the guys at the San Antonio airport, I headed back to Austin to return the car and fly home.  You would think that my crazy weekend adventure was over but NO!  I’ve previously tried to see if my friend can give me a ride to the Austin airport after I drop off my car at that Enterprise location.  However, due to some last minute conflict my friend was unable to come and give me a ride.  This was during after hours on Sunday so I was quite flustered and lost as I didn’t know what the cheapest option to get to the airport was.  To make matter worse, my flight was leaving in one hour!  Luckily, one employee was hard at work afterhours and offered to let me drop off my car at the Enterprise airport location for no extra charge!  He will get a big thank you letter soon 🙂  So I drove the car to the airport and make it just in time for my flight home.  This was quite the trip that I will forever remember!  Now I’ll just need to catch up on my Zzzs and head back to the back to school mode 😦  On well, at least I can say that I am now a PD3.5!  Below are some pictures from this weekend.

Enjoy! 🙂

Until next time!


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January 28, 2013

Last Semester of Class!!!

by Transpharmers

Hello blog followers!

We are back again, after a most deserving and relaxing winter break. Heading back to Weaver-Densford Hall this semester is kind of bittersweet for us. Because…..THIS WILL BE THE LAST TIME WE HEAD BACK TO CLASS!!! That’s right, it’s finally here! Our last semester of classroom work at the good ole CoP. Time has sure flown by. It felt like we just started!! Upon cleaning up our locker to get ready for this semester, Phat uncovered our first class photo together. All 110 of us. Look at how far we have gone! We are very excited for this last semester of classes, but even more ecstatic for our rotations as 4th years to come.

Class of 2014 

Check back to this blog to stay updated on our journey as PD 3.5!


November 30, 2012

Busy End to a Busy Semester

by Transpharmers

Hello fellow blog followers!!

Sorry we’ve been MIA these past few weeks. Third year is not a walk in the park. We’ve been very occupied trying to finish up our proposal for our PharmD 4 paper. Even though it’s just a 1 credit course….we NEED this one credit in order to graduate! For this paper, you can either do a literature review about a topic related to drugs and/or pharmacy, or conduct a research involving drugs/pharmacy. The school does an excellent job at trying to keep us ahead of the game and start thinking about our topics and creating a rough draft. This is to prevent us from waiting until the day before it’s due (sometime in December 2013) to get started on our 30 page paper! I appreciate all of the deadlines set out for us in this class to help us develop our paper…however…all of the work starts to get overwhelming as the semester winds down.

On top of this, we all just had our first antibacterial exam from Dr.Remmel (you’ll get to know him in one way or another throughout your years at the CoP) last Tuesday…..and well, it really kicked our butts! I mean all 167 of our butts. Infectious diseases and antibiotics are NOT easy…so don’t wait until the week before to start studying. He warned us…we just didn’t listen.

On a happier note, early Thanksgiving morning, at 4am, our youth group at church went to volunteer at Meals on Wheels and helped packed over 1000 meals to be delivered to homebound adults all over the community. Throughout the 4 hours, we worked and packed until our arms went numb. After completing our mission, we were able to head home to continue our slumber.

One last thing….ONLY 11 MORE DAYS OF SCHOOL!!!!  Let the countdown begin….

See you all next time!

– Kim

November 4, 2012

Do it for the Herd!

by Transpharmers

Have you gotten your flu shot this year???

This semester, my brother and I are enrolled in a course titled “Immunization Tour”. This is an interprofessional course that is offered to both pharmacy and nursing students. Working together in teams and with the help of Boyton (our school clinic), we conduct 4 clinic days throughout the semester, in various locations on campus, with the sole purpose is to administer this year’s flu vaccine to students, faculty, and family members. And the best part about it? It’s FREE!! Our next clinic date will be Thursday Nov. 8 at Coffman Union. If you had not had your flu shot this year….it’s still not too late. Come and see us 🙂 During our previous clinic date, even our very own Dean Speedie from our COP came to get her flu shot!

Just remember, getting this flu shot will not only be  for your own benefit, but you are also doing it for the herd. GO GET ONE!


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October 15, 2012

Busy, busy bees & the PNC!

by Transpharmers

Hello everyone!

For the past two weeks, we’ve been so swamped with exams and assignments that we had no time to post anything.  Can’t believe that we are now halfway into October already!  Time does fly by when you are super busy.  We do a have lots of things currently that’s required for 3rd year pharmacy school and on super important task of every third year student…setting up your life for the entire year next year aka selecting rotation sites!  The process of selecting rotation sites can be quite cumbersome and frustrating for many students which entails: looking at rotation sites (APPE) under each categories like patient care, ambulatory care, acute care, community, institutional, and electives like academia, management, psych, etc…seeing which one we are interested in and see if it requires an interview, setting up those interviews, putting in our selections, and then cross our fingers and hope to get your first choice!  Besides this, we are also trying to figure out a topic to write our PDIV paper, an element that we must complete in order to graduate.  But enough about school…we wanted to share with you something fun that we really enjoyed doing here at the University of Minnesota which is volunteering at the Phillips Neighborhood Clinic (PNC).

Currently I am the Operations Chair for the PNC, a free student-run clinic that serves the marginalized patients in the Phillips neighborhood in Minneapolis that does not have access to healthcare.  The entire PNC Admin Board and I were very busy last weekend as we had our Orientation and Mock Clinic for the new volunteers.  It was extremely exciting!  It’s so nice to see ~150 new and enthusiastic faces that are willing to offer their time and service despite their busy schedule and heavy course load.  This will be our third year volunteering at the PNC and we love every minute of it!  Both my sister and I love the two-fold mission at the PNC:  1. To aim to provide culturally appropriate, quality, interdisciplinary health care and education services to members of the Phillips neighborhood with the hopes of improving both access to health care and quality of life within the community; and 2. To also strive to provide professional students with the skills they need to become effective and compassionate health care providers to those who are under-insured and unstably housed.

The PNC provide a wide array of services including medical care, nursing care, physical therapy, pharmaceutical dispensing, pharmaceutical care, nutrition counseling, social work, mental health counseling, foot care, care coordination, flu shots, and public health services in order to decrease fragmentation of services and referral needs.  Volunteering at the PNC helped us to understand of the roles each discipline has in health care, how to communicate effectively in a team, and to become more effective and caring health professionals as we work our ways to become future pharmacists.  Currently, we have around 300+ student volunteers and 50 health care professionals from the schools of Nursing, Public Health, Physical Therapy, Medicine, Social Work and Pharmacy volunteering at the PNC.  Below are some pictures from the PNC Orientation.  Enjoy 🙂


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October 1, 2012

Duluth Days at Glensheen Mansion!

by Transpharmers

Hello everyone!


Sorry for being MIA last week but that was probably the roughest week of school that we had so far.  “Who ever told you that the Fall semester of 2nd year in pharmacy school was the hardest and that everything is downhill from there…LIED!” Dr. Doneka Scott, our PDIV Paper professor, warned us on the first day of class.  We have so much busy work, lots of projects, homework, papers, exams, and in the midst of that, we still have work, church, and duties at home that we had to take care of.  Though school is starting to become overwhelming, I am glad that I am in the last year of classes and look forward to rotations.


Two weeks ago, I had a chance to check out the Duluth campus after 3 year in pharmacy school.  Duluth day is a yearly event that the College Board, the governing student body here in the College of Pharmacy, puts together in September after 2 weeks of classes. Over 40 students from the Twin Cities campus decided to attend along with 200+ students from Duluth. This was the biggest showing that College Board had ever had for Duluth day.  The event happened at the Glensheen Mansion and the weather cooperated beautifully with us.  We drove up to Duluth in time for lunch and ate at Blackwood’s Restaurant, our caterer for the Duluth Day event as well.  We then attended lecture, and I got to see my sister on the other side of the screen!  Thank you to our Duluth classmates for sharing their seats with us so that we can have a great spot to sit and take notes during lectures.  After class, some of our colleagues in Duluth took us to Enger’s Tower where we took many awesome pictures!  We then swung by Fitger’s, a local brewery, and had happy hour there.  Then we headed to the mansion, ate very good food, mingled with students from all 4 years, and took many more great pictures.   Enjoy!  🙂

Thanks Duluth!

-Phat T.

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September 16, 2012

Orientation Leader Training in Sandstone

by Transpharmers

Hi guys!

Here are some more pictures of our training date in Sandstone to prepare for 1st year Orientation.  You can tell that we had lots of fun while trying out some of the games!  For one game, it definitely took a lot of us to try and untangle the rope.  While on the other game, you can tell that and we clearly missed the bucket and most of the water was spilled.  I guess we wanted to water the grass instead 😉

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September 7, 2012

Our Last Fall Semester In Class!!

by Transpharmers

Hello blog followers!!

We would like to welcome you all back to another school year with the Tran siblings. We finally made it…this will be our last fall semester in class…..FOREVER!!! (that is if everything goes as plan) We are looking forward to finally begin our third year in pharmacy school here at the U. The sooner we start, the sooner we’ll finish and go off onto our rotations. Before starting our third year, we both had the honor of being 2 out of the 30 team leaders at the first year orientation in Sandstone, MN to help welcome in the Class of 2016!

preview of the Class of 2016

Over 160 students were at the one day retreat, representing both students from our Duluth and Twin Cities campus. The retreat helps to mark the beginning of our career as pharmacy students and also to serve as an informal welcome into the profession, before the white coat ceremony the following day. Both team leaders, faculty of the college, and first years participated in games and discussions that helped to solidify communication skills and develop professional identities.

awesome leaders at the retreat

Being back at the site and seeing all the brand new faces, brought back memories of our first year orientation, how scared we were and how everything was so foreign to us. And now looking back, we have gone such a long way in these past 2 years, it is hard to believe that time has already zoomed past us. Similarly, this next year will do the same (we hope….).

And of course, what’s a Minnesota summer without the Minnesota State Fair?!?!?! Before we could buckle down, we had to make a mini trip to the good ol’ Minnesota get-together. The fair was started in 1859 to highlight agriculture and encourage farming in the region. This is an annual event that attracted 1,788,512 fair-goers this year!

a mini collage of our adventure at the fair

Here is just a mini list of what we did at the fair: went down the GIANT slide, visited the haunted house, got free beer and beef jerky, played many fair games, went on the Zipper, ate a boat load of food including pork chops on a stick, deep fried candy bar on a stick, alligator on a stick, corn dog, garlic fries, corn on the cob on a stick, a bucket of cookies, and so much more!! If you visit Minnesota around the labor day weekend, the state fair is a must!

Now summer is officially over, and third year has begun, we must get back to our studying….yes, we already have an exam coming up on the second week of school. Until next time!


before heading into the haunted house


corn, alligator, corn dog

eating a whole pineapple
April 1, 2012

Guest Blogger: Haiti Mission Trip with REACHH

by Transpharmers

Hello blog followers!

Just recently over the spring break, we had a group of colleagues from the college of pharmacy make a trip to Haiti. Here is a short description of their trip from our fellow second year classmate.

My name is Camille Lebrec. I am a second year pharmacy school student and would like to tell you about how dreams can become a reality. In March of last year, Rich Hauver (another pharmacy student) told me about a vision he had about delivering care to a small village in Haiti. At that point we had only a few contacts and thought that this idea would be too hard for a group of pharmacy students to accomplish. But through hard work, we became in contact with people that could help us make this vision a reality.

The Pharmacy team

The group that we have created is called REACHH which stands for Relief, Education, and Assistance for Community Health in Haiti and it is made up of Pharmacy students, a nursing student, pharmacists, nurses, doctors, interpreters, and even IT specialists. Our first goal was to create a temporary clinic in the village of Chabin, in the mountains near Jacmel.  We wanted to help as many patients as we could during the four days we could spend there. Because we just returned from our trip (yes, we did it!), I can tell you that we went beyond just meeting our goal. We were able to see and treat 278 patients of all ages that suffered from malaria, parasitic worm infections, anemia, pain, bacterial infection, dehydration, and many others. We were able to dispense a total of 644 prescriptions and vaccinate about 40 patients against diseases such as tetanus, diphtheria, pertussis, rubella, measles, polio, and tuberculosis.

We plan to continue to go back to Haiti on a regular basis and build a clinic in Chabin. We are so grateful for all our supporters that made this trip happen.

The clinic

Some of the patients that they saw

What this trip has taught me is that it’s not only words: anything is possible as long as you work hard to make it happen.

Here is a quote, I want to leave you with: ““If one advances confidently in the direction of one’s dreams, and endeavors to live the life which one has imagined, one will meet with a success unexpected in common hours.” -Thoreau

If you want to know more about my trip, visit

The whole team!