311 Steps (Supplemental)

     The day had little planned for us by the IES offices. We have a very light schedule and as such there seems like there is a lot of down time. All in all though I like the format of my days. I woke and got myself out of Chapter about an hour before we were scheduled to be at IES for a guest lecture. I walked to IES a bit early so I could IMG_5637stop for breakfast on the way. I found a cafe, The Moreish (spelled incorrectly in my tweet about it… oops) that looked quite inviting, so I stopped in there. After perusing the breakfast menu I decided to experience a bowl of porridge, topped with mixed seeds and honey. The look of it was quite pleasing and I eagerly began eating. I’ll say that porridge is a bit like creamy oatmeal with less oats and a base of some sort. I will definitely have some again and try to figure out how to make it for myself once back home. After breakfast I finished my walk to IES and awaited my classmates and our lecturer.

     Professor Dr. Ian Bates of University College London arrived before the rest of my class… which was amusing to myself. Prof. Bates has many credentials as he works rpswith the National Health System in the UK, has a directorship with the Federation of International Pharmacists (FIP) and is involved with the Royal Pharmeceutical Society (RPS). Dr. Bates presented on the need to have a framework to provide for a FIPlogostructured advancement and training, criticizing the current system of Continuing Education (CE) and the process of accumulating points just for the sake of relicensure. Through his work with FIP Dr. Bates has seen the implementation of frameworks that will begin to adress the improvement of CE in countries that adopt them. Prof. Bates also talked about RPS UCLefforts to encourage professionals to strive to provide a better experience and service to patients. The RPS has introduced a peer reviewed system of recognition to encourage pharmacists to strive to a higher level of performance and knowledge. Another interesting note is that the English regulatory body is introducing a relicensure process for its pharmacists that will require them to repass certification standards, it is anticipated that 10 to 15 percent of the current English pharmacy workforce will be lost overnight due to this requirement, showing the dire need for a better system of CE.

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     After Dr. Bates finished his lecture we took a 15 minute break for lunch, which I took advantage of to return to La Roccia and order a different sandwich (chicken and tomatoe with a different white cheese, not sure which) and a piece of strawberry cheesecake. This piece was much more satisfying than the Oreo one from the previous day. After returning to IES we had class presented by Dr. Scott (NDSU faculty) finishing up the history of UK healthcare and started discussion on the Affordable Care and American Health Care acts. Class flew by with discussion and we ended at 1400. After class we went separate ways to experience more of London.

IMG_0218    I took the opportunity to walk down to The Monument. I wanted to walk instead of take public transit so that I could get some steps and see more of London. I walked past a Three store and stopped in. I succumbed and bought a SIM card for my iPhone so that I could have faster data speeds when looking up routes in Europe. After purchase I left the store and when IMG_6713instructed, restarted my phone to complete setup… 6 times. I gave up on fixing the issue while out since I had a suspicion that my dual SIM adapter was causing the problem. Continuing my walk I decided to stop by St. Bart’s Hospital since it is another common spot in the BBC series Sherlock (such a good program).

IMG_9045     After Walking a few miles I arrived at The Monument, which is a 206 foot tall monolith that commemorates the fire of 1666. I gladly payed my £5 entry fee and IMG_0134began to climb. I climbed in circles all the way up to the observation deck, which is probably only about 190 feet in the air as The Monument’s top is a bit above the platform. I took some pictures and enjoyed the views before carefully beginning my decent. Did I mention that I was in London and that it was raining from the time I left IES? Once at the bottom of the tower I was presented with a certificate congratulating me on climbing the 311 steps to the top.

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     I had another sight on my list, the tower bridge, which isn’t too far from The Monument so I walked a little further towards there. I arrived at the site of the Tower of London, an astounding fortress, and took some pictures but I soon ducked IMG_0137into the gift shop as I was quickly getting soaked. It was a nice gift shop and I found my dad’s birthday present in there (I’ll mention it in a tweet after I give it to him). I walked out and was going to walk to and on the bridge but I settled for a few pictures and then began looking for the tube so I could return to Chapter and dry off.

     Another subway journey at rush hour, this time on a crowded circle line train, and I found myself exiting the King’s Cross – St Pancras underground station. I returned to my room and then made myself a sandwich, packed for my weekend sojurn in Europe and relaxed. I looked forward to the morning and my train to France, albeit I wasn’t too thrilled about the 0400 wake up time. So much to do and I’m enjoying it all so far.

~
Martin “Mixy” McNichols
Until we meet again

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