After 7 weeks wait, my Foreign Pharmacy Graduate Equivalency Examination(FPGEE) result was received yesterday and I am still in awe. I was waiting for it the whole week and it was only yesterday that I went out to buy some things for our church wedding when it finally came. First, before I share my experience I would like tothank God for making things happen for the best as always. Secondly, my family that has been very supportive of me in my dreams and aspiration, who prays for my good health and well-being. And of course most especially to my hubby who has been there with me all the way (waking up early to drop me off the library, giving up his weekend for my review…) and for never loosing faith in me that I am gonna do very good in my test. It gave me a pressure and encouragement at the same time:)Thanks baby, whatever sacrifices that we gave it has been all worth it for God has answered our prayer.
As I posted in Dec, FPGEE got me busy after I had a miscarriage. It was August when I started to study for the exam. At that time I had a hard time since I was at the same being hospitalized often due to arrhythmia. It has been very hard to focus so I was praying really hard that God guide me through all this since I am giving my best to achieve my dream. I think it was about 3-4 hospitalization with monthly check-up and after an ablation for pvc, my heart beat finally has been normal again. Anyways with so many things happening in my life, with my illness and while I am still adjusting to my new home and environment, I know there is no excuse not to pass the test. But surely, I gave my best.
My day of studying, just like when I was in medicine is a routine. Everyday I would go at Rancho Cucamonga Library at 8am and I will be finish studying by 8pm. On weekends, we have like a group study in LA. My husband would really complain since initially my plan is no books on weekends but then I would end up asking him to spend time with me studying at Starbucks. But despite that effort, I would still feel that I need to study more. Since I didnt get my degree here in America and with little knowledge of the practice of pharmacy here, its hard to gain that confidence. And not to forget the fact that my exposure for quite a while is being a doctor of radiology in which the responsibility and role is different from a pharmacist.
Anyways for those who will take the test, there is no specific book that the FPGEE recommends. But what has been helpful for me basically is Leon Shargel “Comprehensive Pharmacy Review”, but that wouldn’t be enough. I read Shargel twice and its hard, since only in August that I started, thats why in studying you should have a time table and should be strict in complying with it. After reading Shargel, its time to dig in the basics of chemistry(organic,inorganic and general) in which I used Schaum’s outline. The key here is if you don’t understand something…research and try to figure things out yourself. There are different books available in amazon where I buy them. But before I do, I search online which books others recommend and at the same time I borrowed more than 20 reference book from the library. This includes Easy Way and Dummies for anatomy, for physiology, for organic chemistry, and several other books. I also searched the internet most of the time, I am happy to find out that there are many students here in America shares their lecture notes which when coupled with the reference books helps me refreshens my memory. Since I took these basic subjects more than 10 yrs ago, it made me easier to recall the basic subjects specially the chemistry part. Another book that I used is my set of Manan Shroff which I ordered from pharmaexam.com, I know there are some who used just either Shargel or Shroff for the test but to be sure study both, they are very good and works hand in hand together. I put more time in the areas which are my weaknesses and this will be Pharmaceutical Calculation(since we didnt have the same calculation in Med School) and of course Chemistry subjects.
Whatever your techniques are or method of studying is, as long as this is how you learn easily then go with it. What works for me might not work for others. I am just sharing my experience in the process of achieving my goal. My weapon ever since I would want to attain something especially with my studies and career has always been PRAYERS and HARD WORK. These for me is a powerful combination that leads to the road of fulfilling my dreams. I was praying to St. Jude, Divine Mercy, San Buenaventura, our Lady of Perpetual Help, its like everyday I have different novena prayers.They say that when you pray to God be specific in what you ask for, so when I was starting to study I would pray to God to help me get a score of 97 scaled score(score ranges from 1-150 with 75 as a passing score) and I would be very happy. As the days goes by as it approaches the exam day…I was praying Lord “75 please” just let me pass, I am now being realistic since now I don’t know if I covered everything for the test. After the test was done, I keep telling my husband that I really had a hard time with the test and all I can think of is my mistakes in the test which I am very certain that its wrong. Despite that fact, I still continued praying and wishing that things will turn out as I wanted it to be. And with Gods blessing, I still can’t believe it up to now that not only did I pass but I went over my goal and reach over 100.
To all test takers in the future… study hard and best of luck to everyone.