Jovin Panthapattu is a final year Doctor of Pharmacy (Pharm.D.) candidate from the University at Buffalo, School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences. As a Project HOPE volunteer, he is completing his advanced pharmacy practice experience rotation at the Alluri Seetharama Raju Academy of Medical Sciences (ASRAM) Hospital in Vijayawada, India.
I have spent the last couple of weeks at the ASRAM Hospital observing pharmacy practice and pharmaceutical care. I have been fortunate to work in the intensive care unit, where I have found the staff eager to learn about the similarities and differences in the practice of medicine between India and the United States.
Being a student pharmacist trained to practice in the United States, I have often found myself jumping to initial conclusions about the delivery of pharmaceutical care. After conversing with Indian physicians, I learned that they provide more than just medical care; they also perform the duties of a case manager, often considering patient affordability during and after the hospital visit. I found the doctors and nurses to be very knowledgeable in their respective areas, but the lack of access to resources often required them to adapt the care provided.
I started my rotation at ASRAM as a passive observer of ICU care, but over time I have become more involved in patient care. I often find myself conversing with physicians about pharmaceutical care and treatment guidelines, teaching nurses about proper medication administration and surveying patient charts for any potential medication errors or adverse drug interactions.
I have been fortunate enough to observe clinical cases which are only mentioned in US textbooks. Being in a teaching and learning institution, I am able to network with students and faculty from the department of community medicine and learn about prevention education measures. I also assist in community outreach. I am only halfway through my journey at ASRAM, and I am hoping the next half will be as equally exciting as the first!
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