During my fourth year of pharmacy school (2010), I had the opportunity to visit the Pain Management Center for my elective rotation in Fairbanks, Alaska. Over a period of six weeks I shadowed my mentor, Dr. Cross, learning a
nd observing her interactions with patients. Patients come to her for one reason and one reason only–pain management. Her specialty in this area of healthcare has attracted not only patients but also students from different part of the country such as myself. During my training, I interviewed patients and learned their medical history from medication perspective. Dr. Cross and I then interview the patient together where she approached with more hands-on assessment evaluating patient’s pain and plan of action. The remaining days of the week were dedicated to time spent in the operating room where I observed Dr. Cross’s acute manual dexterity on pain management. The operating room was quite sophisticated with x-ray technology to guide penetrating needles. Outside the clinic, we ventured towards the Denali National Park, Chena hot spring, and Anchorage. Alaska’s bright, beautiful summer lasted through the six weeks I spent there with fishing, camping, and road trips with Dr. Cross and her family.