Here I go. My first post on my professional blog. I really want this blog to be all about pharmacy, and at least for the next year, it will be about my experiences as a Community Pharmacy Resident on Maui.
Currently, I am still in New Mexico trying to work out all of the details. I figured out some shipping companies and what it would cost to ship stuff, after which I decided to sell most of what I own. It would take the money from the sale to afford to ship what was left. It was a crazy time, but I came out pretty well. Now, my daughter and I are living with my boyfriend until I say Aloha.
I participated in the “Match” this last March, after over a year of researching, contacting, visiting, applying, then interviewing at residency programs around the western half of the country. A record number of applicants combined with a lack of programs meant that roughly 1/3 of applicants did not match. (See stats) That means that, although perhaps highly qualified, these applicants were not able to participate in residency this year. I had not really planned on that happening to me, but I was one of those “lucky” 1,100 people.
I started applying for jobs in April, while still finishing up my rotations. Overall, I applied to over 30 positions, was invited to 2 interviews, and was not offered a job. Albertson’s offered me a job as a float pharmacist without an interview, but it would have required me to travel all over the state, which I can’t do with a daughter. Due to the state of the economy, many companies are not hiring new grads. More experienced pharmacists are coming out of retirement and even taking two jobs, jobs which I applied for but could not get. My current intern job at Lovelace Medical Center would not pay me graduate pharmacist pay, and I was PRN in the summer time, which meant I received very little pay for about half time work. That is not enough to make ends meet.
Right after I gave notice at my house and realized that I was not going to get a job in time to pay first and last at another house, I was contacted by one of my mentors, Bill Jones. He has been consulting with University of Hawaii and helping them set up a residency position. He asked me if I was interested in completing a residency on Maui that was combined inpatient/outpatient, and if so to send him my information ASAP. Well, it didn’t take me even an hour to get everything gathered and e-mailed to him.
I was offered the residency a few weeks later, but I wanted to make sure it would work. I have my daughter and her education to think about, and I would be without the support of my family. I visited at the end of July for a week and met the residency director Dr. C. She is an amazing person, and we hit it off right away. We see eye to eye on so many things. I visited all of the middle schools on the island and decided on staying in Kihei. It’s comfortable and beautiful there, and I felt that the middle school in Kihei was the best school for my daughter. I told Dr. C. I was committed, and so the hard job of coming home and dealing with organizing all of my stuff started.
The last 3 days at my house consisted of family and friends helping me with a major estate sale. I truly sold or donated just about everything. My daughter and I have all of our belongings in my boyfriend’s garage, waiting to be towed to Long Beach and shipped out to Kahului.
I have been waiting for my Authorization to Test, and waiting on paperwork to be completed on the job end, and just the other night, I think I got the go ahead to start moving forward. It’s been a long two months, but I think things are moving forward. I received my Authorization to Test the day after I received the go-ahead from Dr. C., so now I need to schedule my shipping, find and secure a place to stay (I think I found a beauty!), and study for my exams.
NAPLEX on September 28th, MPJE on October 5th, then fly on out to Maui.