Friday, September 23, 2016


It has been a frustrating and torturing 3 months. Many times I am tempted to pour out my feelings and thought here but I restrain myself. Now that it is over (for now), I hope I am able to assess and reflect everything with my head in a cooler state.

I always think one cool aspect of my profession is to be a preceptor to nurture future generations of pharmacists. I always want to be one and the chance only came this year when I am no longer interested. I did not exactly have a wonderful experience with the 2 NUS students that I had a few years back so I know this is going to be tough. I was wrong. Those 2 students are considered good compared to the current one I have. In fact, the one that I thought was giving me a hard time and I was also giving a hard time in return 2 days ago still gave me a full marks for her feedback.

Ground rules and expectations were set on the first day but it was just a formality. Bumpy road ahead when the preceptee's expectation is that this is a school whereby lessons will be taught, answers will be given, and just follow my style to get good grades. Sorry but this is a professional training and the stake is much higher than mere grades. I hate to use the term ''spoonfeeding" and ashamedly, I did use it a few times. Preceptee's are responsible for the book knowledge. My role is to help you reach an answer/conclusion based on the theory. It is all about thinking, analysing, and applying knowledge which I cannot proceed if the expectation is for me to give everything. The ultimate goal is to be an independent pharmacist by the profession's standard, not by my standard. My style may be different from others and by simply following what I say, there is no guarantee that other pharmacists will consider it acceptable as they also have different styles. My role is to guide and develop you and not to make a copy cat of myself.

Going through assignments is a nightmare. The questions are supposed to facilitate discussions on particular topics. She is completely missing the point when she is doing it as if doing a school assignment. She will argue that school taught her that way, what is the correct answer, etc. Haiz.. I don't care what school taught you. What I care is what you think about what school has taught you. If you do not want to think when I try to help you connecting the dots, we are going nowhere. If your focus on getting the correct answer, we are going nowhere because in real life, there is no right or wrong answers. Everything has pros and cons and 'answers' always change depending on the situations and patients' conditions. The focus is on concepts and understanding which you can apply in various situations and we can't go there if you are so stuck on getting that 1 bloody question right.

Right from the start, I mentioned that I will not give deadlines as she has to learn to manage her own time and plan her learning. I will only set deadlines when her pace is too slow and we are running out of time. I wait for her to be ready before going through topics so that she can be well prepared but every time she says ready, she is not really ready. So imagine my anger when she said she prefers me to set deadlines. She already takes that much time to be 'ready' and yet still not ready. Imagine if I set deadlines which will be definitely a shorter period of time, definitely she will not be ready! Pui! Next time, your boss will not set deadlines for you. Anyway, on occasions when deadlines were set, she still could not meet them. And then she would say: but you told me to prioritise things. Seriously, fuck it la. Stop blaming others and start taking own responsibility on your own learning.

Feedback is given every week but is often ignored. I am so sick of repeating the same feedback week after week. She may think that I am biased and whatever but that is for her ownself. Other people (who are not her preceptors) can afford to say all the nice things but in the end have the same feedback that I have. I cannot as I have the responsibility to sign you off. To makes things worse, she can't self reflect and always refuses to give her opinions and feedback so no matter what, I don't know how to help. And no, crying does not help. I don't give a shit with you crying. I don't care how much effort you put in, what ultimately counts is the end product that others can see. Even if you think you are already doing your best, if others think you suck, you suck. Sorry but that's the reality of working world and that's what I am preparing for

Many times I wonder if I am at fault. Am I too strict? Am I too fierce? Have I made the whole learning experience so unsafe psychologically for her that she is afraid to speak up? I have taken many students and they all agree that I can be flexible from being super nice and patient all the way to being super strict and fierce depending on the circumstances. This is the first time that I had to be strict/fierce for 90% of the time. Why can't I be nice? I can't imagine if anything good will happen if I am nice when this is what I have and how she behaves with me being strict.. In addition, there are other people who bring her for rotation and they all range from nice to very nice. After a few sessions, even these nice and very nice people grow impatient. In the end, no improvement from her and I get the same feedback. Haiz. I can simply be 'nice' and just follow her wants: just give her the answers and set deadlines but again what's the point? That's now how working life work and for the sake of her future, I should not do those for easier life now. I tried that for P-sales to let her try doing followed by a debrief. It did not work. She did not improve on her basics and simply doing to experience. Again, this is not student attachment opportunity with the purpose of experiencing things. This is a pre-reg training with the ultimate goal to be an independent one. I had to bar her from doing and to get the basics right first. Only that serves as a wake up call but still at the end of the whole rotation, she still cannot do.

I had bad blood with my year 3 preceptor and as I read my old blog posts during that attachment period, I wonder if I have become similar to that evil biatch. Is this karma? Was I also that bad that time to force her to be that crazy towards me?

Anyway I cannot be bothered since others also share the same feedback as me. I don't have anything to lose. The worst that can happen is I don't get any more future students which I honestly don't mind if all their qualities are like this. So please, I am more than happy that she is assigned to others. I am never deemed worthy to get any teaching awards after all. Yeah I am still bitter with how this place treats me and I really hope that I can leave :(

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