In my crazy busy weekly schedule, I look forward to Wednesday mornings. I enthusiastically anticipate this 4-hour block of time as I know I will be working in our outpatient epilepsy clinic. I am so blessed to have this opportunity to work not only with my favorite Nurse Practitioner (Lucretia Long), but also with many patients with epilepsy. This is something I have been doing since 1995 and it does not get old (though I am not getting any younger). I continue to learn with, from and about them each week during this coveted time.
As the clinical pharmacist in the Epilepsy Division in our busy outpatient clinic, I preview patients that are scheduled for Wednesday mornings with Lucretia before that clinic day via our electronic health record. I spend time reviewing what we did for them the last time we saw them and writing my notes about what I/we can do for them at this week’s visit.
I especially look forward to the women with epilepsy who are scheduled in this block of time. I know that there are many women’s issues in epilepsy that we need to address/re-address at each visit. For example, “Is this woman a candidate for folic acid supplementation?” “Has she been educated on the antiepileptic drug interactions with oral contraceptives?” “Have we recently had a conversation about the risks and benefits of taking antiepileptic drugs during pregnancy?” And many more. I also know that I have a resource to share with them. I enthusiastically share the “My Epilepsy Story” (MES) business cards that Brandy has supplied. So many women with epilepsy gladly accept them and tell me they “will check it out” with a smile on their face. It has become such an integral piece of my practice that I even have it as part of my progress note template in our electronic health record. I am always excited to check the box for “MES card given” as I write my note.
I know the resources that are on the MES website and am confident that by simply sharing these business cards, it can help that woman with epilepsy, her family and friends and perhaps many more.
As an educator, I often reflect on the saying that “A candle loses nothing by lighting another candle”. Please consider adding the simple step of sharing an MES business card with your patients in your practice. It is my belief that this small step can make a large difference.
On a personal note, though neither of my daughters or wife have epilepsy, I am comforted knowing that if they did, they would have MES as an AWESOME resource!
Dr. McAuley received his BS in Pharmacy in 1987 and his Ph.D. in Clinical Pharmaceutical Sciences in 1993, both from the University of Pittsburgh. In 1993, he joined the faculty at The Ohio State University. Dr. McAuley is very active in the Comprehensive Epilepsy Program at the University where he interacts with patients regularly and has many ongoing clinical research projects. He has presented and published in the Central Nervous System (CNS) area since 1986. Dr. McAuley has a clinical, research and education interest in Women’s Issues in Epilepsy.
Dr. McAuley is currently a Professor of Pharmacy Practice, Neurology and Pharmacology at Ohio State University Colleges of Pharmacy and Medicine.