My name is Mitchell Fairbrother and I currently attend MCPHS University in Boston, Massachusetts. I am currently halfway through my 6th and final year of pharmacy school. This is my fourth professional pharmacy school year, and as a P4 student I must complete six Advanced Pharmacy Practice Experience (APPE) rotations. I have been extremely fortunate with experiences thus far, having now interned at Massachusetts General Hospital, The Veteran Affairs Hospital in Boston, Massachusetts and at Eli Lilly and Company in Indianapolis, Indiana. My next rotation however is much farther than any of my others, as I have the amazing opportunity to partake in an international rotation in Cape Town, South Africa! During my time there I will be keeping a blog of all my experiences, and I hope you follow along for every step!
Before I head off, I thought it would be a good idea to tell you a bit more about myself and why I applied for this rotation in the first place. I am originally from the west side of Indianapolis, from a small town called Danville. I am the fifth of six children and had a pretty normal midwestern upbringing. I attended my older sibling’s sporting events, worked as a waiter during high school, and wandered the local Target with my friends in our free time. The adjustment from small town Indiana to big city Boston was extreme at first. However, it is a transition I am forever grateful for. While I enjoy going home every so often for a breath of fresh air, I am a city guy at heart.
I was lucky enough growing up to have parents that took us on many adventures, and they definitely passed along the travel bug to me. I’m a firm believer that travel and experiences teach you more than any text book or classroom can. Meeting new people and fully immersing yourself into new cultures truly opens your mind. Understanding how different parts of the globe live their everyday lives helps you understand different mindsets and where differing options come from.
Communities are vastly different depending on where you travel, even if they’re only a few states apart. I find it fascinating how different a place can be from another, after just a quick flight. I have been fortunate enough to travel around the United States while in school and work at pharmacies in four different regions of the country. The one consistent thing I’ve discovered, is that no matter where you go there are sick people who need our help. I love answering questions and at a pharmacy there is never a shortage of questions to answer. The biggest challenge when working in a new setting is adjusting to best communicate to the people in that new region.
Applying to an international rotation was my only opportunity to get a healthcare experience abroad, and I applied without hesitation. The opportunity to participate in this international rotation is extremely exciting to me. Getting to see how another part of the world views and uses medications, as well as getting to share how we use medications in the U.S. is going to be an enlightening experience. Learning hands-on with healthcare professionals from other countries is a very unique practice, and I feel so privileged to be given this opportunity. As a future pharmacist I hope to help as many patients achieve their healthcare goals as possible, and without traveling I wouldn’t be able to achieve that goal. Participating in an international rotation and helping patients in a new community is exactly what I hope to do as a future pharmacist.
I can hardly contain my excitement for what the next six weeks has in store for me. I’m sure I’m going to be learning more than I will be able to process, but I hope this blog can help me organize my thoughts. I can’t wait to share with you all my experiences, and I hope to maybe teach you something new along the way.
Talk to you soon,
Next stop Cape Town!