The Pharmacy Chick

Flying the coup in retail

Throwing away the pages of history.

Filed under: Uncategorized — pharmacychick at 8:23 pm on Sunday, August 10, 2008

The coming of fall always makes Pharmacy Chick wax nostalgic to her college days. Already I am seeing Back-To-School ads and kids in the store haggling with their parents over backpacks (why do they need a new one every year?)  I have to be honest, it took me a good 5 years after graduating before I got over the feeling that I should be GETTING READY for fall classes. 

I remember my early days in pre-pharm:  agonizing over whether or not I would get the classes I needed (back then we had something called Arena Scheduling:  we were let loose in the gym like a stampede based on our last names into a giant arena with tables that corresponded with departments.  If you were smart you would rush to the classes you wanted/needed the MOST to sign up–first-come-first-served.)   If I was lucky enough to get the classes I needed, I would then hike it over to the bookstore to load up on the books. It was important to get there early for two reasons: 1) the used books sold first and 2) sometimes they ran out of the books.  If I had to buy new, it cost me more, if I didn’t get the book at all, I had a major problem.  Then at the end of the quarter I’d rush back to sell it back to the bookstore, for if they had enough they’d quit buying them back.  What a racket–they’d pay us squat then sell them for a lot more.

However once I got into Pharmacy school, 2 things changed: 1)  my books cost a hell of a lot more and 2) I couldn’t sell them back!  I had to keep them “for reference”.    This stunk on a whole bunch of levels.  Selling my books back helped me pay for the next quarter of books, and not doing so hurt my budget big-time.  In addition, there were seldom used texts I could buy, and it seemed every professor would pick some new edition  that would require the purchase of a NEW book. 

What pharmacy student didn’t have Goodman and Gilmans- The Pharmacological Basis of Theraputics?  I even had to buy a NEW Remingtons because I was “lucky” enough to be a student when they had a new edition.  By the time I graduated I had hundreds of pounds of books, from Chemistry (medicinal, general, bio, and organic), Theraputics, Pharmacology, Anatomy and Physiology, Law, kinetics, the Merck Manual, Grey’s Anatomy, Microbiology, pathology, and whatever -ology else I had to take.  I even had to buy The Principles and Practice of Medicine (as if you could condense it all in one book).

So, Pharmacy chick graduated, and along with her diploma, hauled all these books to her first apartment, then to her first house…then to her second house.  Once a year or so, I would visit the library upstairs and dust off the books. I didn’t however ever open them.  There was no reason to.  Every piece of information I would ever need in practice was accessible from reference texts at work.  But for some reason I couldn’t ever get rid of them.

Until one day.  Mr Chick and I decided to paint the Library.  It involved clearing the shelves and for the first time in many years, I had to handle every single book I had ever placed on the shelf.  At that time I decided to “thin the herd”.  Not only did I pitch some old books, but I cleared out a bunch of other stuff as well.  Goodbye went all the chemistry books,  the micro and path books, Grey’s anatomy, dosage forms (I think I got that one pretty well covered).  I have no idea what Goodwill will do with these books, but I thought donation was better than garbage. 

I have to admit however, I still have some.  I still haven’t opened them, but for some reason I still cannot say goodby to the select few.   Its kinda pathetic–how is it I cannot part with these few?  I wonder–does Ole Apothecary have some if his books molding in his bookcase?   Does TAP and TAestP have a secret stash of text books from their college days? Does Mike ever reference his old texts?

Well if they don’t, and they ever need to read up on Theraputics, I have Goodman and  Gilman’s….still.



Comment by Brian

August 10, 2008 @ 10:35 pm

you should have mailed them to me! I would have paid the shipping 😛

I’m entering my second year of pre-pharm in september


Comment by The Ole' Apothecary

August 11, 2008 @ 9:01 am

PC, thanks for opening this can of worms. Time for me to post a sound-off on the whole education industry—that’s right, INDUSTRY. Time for Ralph Nader to analyze the one thing he’d rather not touch—academia, and why this Nation will fork over family fortunes for these pieces of paper (see “The Paper Chase,” a great 1973 film). Hey, I feel the same way about fall, even though I’ve been out of school for 32 years! No, I gave away my G&G a long time ago. And, I thought $25 was a lot for a book. That’s what my G&G cost me in 1973. Or, was it Remington?

Today, pharmacy students have a superb textbook, “Pharmacotherapy.” It could be considered the bible of modern pharmacy education.


Comment by Heather

August 11, 2008 @ 9:10 am

i decided to only save the child development books and ditch the rest. The only ones besides CHDV books I have kept are a psychology book and an MLA handbook 🙂

Hopefully I do reference them in the future… if not a lot of wasted bookshelf space 😛



Comment by IAPhrmr

August 11, 2008 @ 11:41 am

I threw out almost all of mine except for some calculations book and my Dipiro Therapeutics book (damn thing is so huge it has to have something useful in it…someday!)


Comment by Pharmacy Mike

August 11, 2008 @ 4:03 pm

I only kept a couple text books from pharmacy school. I never opened them when I was in school. I’ve never opened them since I graduated.

See… I went to school in the era of power point slides and professors who put everything you needed to know about the course on a course website. I never had to use the $100 books that I bought. They were a gigantic waste of money.

I think the only 2 books I kept were Goodman and Gillman’s Pharmacological Basis of Therapeutics and Dipiro’s Pharmacotherapy. I did keep most of my old notebooks though. Since I live in a small apartment, they’re still stashed in my parents’ basement.


Comment by Current Intern

August 11, 2008 @ 5:02 pm

I have to confess that I’m a book kind of gal, so I have a lot of texts that I probably shouldn’t have kept. However, it turned out that it was a good thing that I kept my freshman chem book, when many years later I decided to go back to pharmacy school and therefore had to study for the PCAT.


Comment by Pharmacy God

August 11, 2008 @ 7:03 pm

I had the best notes of anyone. Period. Classmates who had to take summer school would ask to borrow by notes for the summer sessions so they could listen to the lectures and not worry about note-taking.

After graduation, I kept the notes in the storage area of my appartment building…just in case. Two years later, while moving out of my second appartment, I realized that my notes were missing.

I had left them at my previous appartment building. Apparently I didn’t need them that much. That’s when I got rid of most of my stuff. All I have left are my Goodman & Gilman’s and my pharmacology textbook, although both are stored in my basement behind a box of late 80s and early 90s cassette tapes and CDs.


Comment by Frantic Pharmacist

August 12, 2008 @ 11:46 am

I held onto my books and notes for a long time, always believing there would be some little ‘pearl’ I would desperately need to find to answer someone’s question. I eventually made myself get rid of most everything. The books become outdated so fast. All our new pharmacy grads have everything they need on their palm pilots — I get a kick out of that!


Comment by pharmacychick

August 12, 2008 @ 6:46 pm

Isn’t that the truth? When I was in school computer science was still in infancy. Everything was in ms-dos and the CS majors were still carrying around punch cards with holes in it..I still have no idea what they were actually for, but we used them for straight-edges for our graphs! Now days they get and do their homework over email and everything they need to know is on flash drives and palm pilots.
I love technology, but even tho I keep up, I do miss the simplicity of it all.


Comment by CPhT

August 12, 2008 @ 7:46 pm

I’ve only done a semester of school, period, but I kept two texts — the first was my Political Sciences text, because I paid over $50 for it (very small paperback), and the bookstore wouldn’t even give me $10, and I figured I might as well keep it for that, and my Hodges’ Harbrace Handbook from English. I’ve never opened that Poli Sci book, but I still use the Hodges’ on occasion when I’m writing up something for the bosses. When I studied for my PTCE, I kept all my books (and I think I accumulated about 5 or so of them), but have recently passed them on to my tech who is now thinking of leaving the pharmacy practice altogether.


Comment by Jan

August 13, 2008 @ 7:17 am

We had a minor flood in our basement in 2007 (about 1 year after I graduated from).

The insurance company would not replace $80,000 worth of notes and textbooks. I tried.


Comment by Erin

August 18, 2008 @ 8:06 pm

Wait a minute, where are all these textbooks that are magically on flash drives? My credit card would love to see them…I am grooooaning under the $500 I just charged for next semester’s books (extra expensive, thanks to Goodman and Gilman’s being so darn heavy it requires special shipping [and, shocker of shockers, the bookstore is ‘sold out’ until late September!] along with the fancy new Eighth Edition of The Textbook of Therapeutics [not to be confused with Goodman and Gilman’s, as it does not have any nice pictures and it also scarily fatter]).

I do so love powerpoints, and teachers having notes on slides…but it’s still split about 50/50 here in Beantown as to whether teachers will use those, or whether they’ll teach old school with chalk and chalkboards (none of this new-fangled whiteboard nonsense, you know). And books are crucial. In fact, a new course was recently added to the PharmD curriculum here (read: the pharmacy school I am at is having a ridiculously hard time finding enough classes to fill up 5 years of bookwork instead of just 4, so changes the curriculum yearly) with two new expensive books totaling $215.

…why isn’t pharmacy caught up yet, and why aren’t my textbooks online? This is what I want to know. It can’t be /that/ much harder to stuff them on my trusty ol’ laptop…


Comment by The Angriest Pharmacist

August 20, 2008 @ 10:14 pm

I still got em…

I look at them every now and again. It saddens me.

Once and a while they come in handy, but most of the time, they gather dust.


Comment by Cathy Lane RPh

August 23, 2008 @ 8:04 am

Everytime I have to find info for a presentation, I first go to a couple handbooks on medicine and therapeutics, but the most up-to-date stuff is online. Too bad that I’d collected old journals, notes, texts, and THE latest published guidelines for many years.
With the kids leaving home, it’s time to come to the realization that I’m not going into a research career, and what I do every day and until I retire will not necessitate looking at how pharmacists thought about the future from 30 years ago!
As for those ‘free’ subscriptions’ to journals, they sometimes tend to be a slick advertising gimmick. On the other hand, my little hospital doesn’t have a library, so I like to read the list of articles, spend half an hour on something interesting and pertinent, then hand it on to the next person. I’ve recently decided not to pay moneny to renew the subscription to a trusted and reliable pharmacy journal, because I felt I couldn’t do it justice–not enough time to read it from cover to cover.

My husband’s friend left us his lawbooks, and darned if I didn’t find out (after donating them to the law school), law students would’ve paid a nice price…

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