fostering the humanistic practice of medicine publishing personal accounts of illness and healing encouraging health care advocacy

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fostering the humanistic practice of medicine publishing personal accounts of illness and healing encouraging health care advocacy

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Lifelong Learning

I’ll be the first to admit that I only know a fraction of all there is to know about the wide variety of tablets, capsules, caplets, and other pills out there.

Admittedly, I do know some things about pills. I studied them for years while getting my Bachelor of Pharmacy degree and my Ph.D. in Pharmacoepidemiology. I’ve dispensed pills to thousands of people in community and hospital settings across rural and metropolitan Australia. I now research pills and teach students about them. Some might say that makes me an expert in pills, but I would beg to differ.

My knowledge of pills is limited by one key fact: I’ve taken very few myself. My lived experience of pills is restricted to the short-term use of acetaminophen and antibiotics. So I know very little, experientially, about side effects, interactions, costs, and other complications.

One day, this will change. One day, I’ll likely need to take pills on a regular or continuous basis. Until that day, there is one good way for me to increase my knowledge of pills: actively listening to people who take them.

Michael Leach
Bendigo, Victoria, Australia

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