Meenakshi R. Ramanathan, Pharm.D., BCPS, BCIDP
Assistant Professor, Department of Pharmacotherapy
What is the most rewarding aspect of being an Infectious Diseases Pharmacist?
The most rewarding aspect of being an Infectious Diseases Pharmacist is being able to find the right regimen (right drug, right dose, right route of administration, right frequency, right duration of therapy) for the patient in the hopes of curing the infection and preventing further relapse. On a day-to-day basis, it is exciting to make life-changing recommendations that will help get the patient home sooner to their family from the hospital.
What is unique about ID pharmacy?
In ID pharmacy, each patient case is a puzzle or mystery. The ID pharmacist must place the puzzle pieces together as related to the patient specifics, disease state, pathogens, and antimicrobials. It is exhilarating to see the big picture when you’re done. The added component of learning the pathogens can definitely throw a curveball to students, but each pathogen is unique in its own way, as are the antimicrobials.
Antimicrobials are life-saving medications, but they do come with their consequences, like side effects, increased drug resistance if misused, and can be costly. Making sure that we use our antimicrobials appropriately ensures that we reduce resistance and save our antimicrobials for when they are absolutely necessary. For instance, many upper respiratory tract infections are viral in nature, so an antibiotic is not necessary in that situation (e.g., cold, influenza, etc.).