Traditional Chinese Medicine

Today I attended the conference at NUS pharmacy school and today was a different format. Groups of students had picked a topic and were required to give a 15-minute, 17-powerpoint slide presentation. Today’s main topics Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) and the advancement of Clinical Pharmacy.

The presentations on TCM were very interesting to me. Although I am an occasional user of TCM, I didn’t know much about it. As a kid, when I was sick, my mom used to brew us herbal soups that generally tasted bad. When we had upset stomach or diarrhea, we took Po Chai Pills which are these herbal pills shaped in little pellets. It’s seriously a miracle drug for stomach ailments.

Well back to class, one of the presentations focused on the basics of TCM which include things like acupunture and medicines. We learned about the theory of “zang fu”. It’s a concept that describes the function of the organs in the body and the interactions that occur between them. Organs are either classified as “zang” (yin organs, “dark”) or “fu” (yang organs, “bright”). They talked about how medicines are also classifed as either “yin” or “yang” and the TCM practitioners use these properties to balance a person’s “yin” and “yang”.

It makes me wish I could take some classes related to TCM so that I can be better equipped to help patients who use Chinese medicines.

Just a note on the rest of the presentations on Clinical Pharmacy, they involved presentations on Board Certification, Doctor of Pharmacy degree programs, importance of documenting pharmacist interventions, and pharmacist’s role in health promotion and disease prevention. The presentations were very broad and touched on programs in Australia, the US, and the UK. It made me realize that in the US, we’re a bit close-minded since there is not much discussion about other countries’ programs. On the other hand, it also makes me realize how involved pharmacists are in the US, at least in California. It gives me pride in my profession.

It’s a bit strange “going to school” again but I love it! I’ve learned so much in the past few weeks especially about the practice of pharmacy in Singapore.

Some good news, I think I can start practicing here in another week or so. I have approval of my employment pass and my application with the Singapore Pharmacy Board is being reviewed… yeah!

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