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    Draxzelex First blog post. Feeling kinda nervous. But let's give it a shot, shall we?

    This is a short story that when in doubt, use your full legal name.

    Before that, we will need some backstory. So if you haven't checked my occupation on GBATemp, I'm a pharmacist. Or rather, I'm going through the process of becoming one. I graduated from pharmacy school last May from the time of this writing but that's not quite enough to become a properly licensed pharmacist in the state of New York. I don't really know how becoming a pharmacist works in other countries, but in the USA its pretty standardized with some slight differences between states. To make matters simple, every state has you take at least take 2 different exams after graduation to obtain your license. These are the NAPLEX (medical test) and a law exam which varies state to state because every state has different laws. New York is one of the rare exceptions requiring a third test known as the Compounding exam which, as you can guess, tests your ability to compound. But I've already passed this one and its not important in this story.

    Now then, after graduation, you have to sign up with the NABP who handles all pharmacy licenses in the U.S. The pharmacy school does not handle this step for you (for whatever reason) so you have to set it all up yourself. When you register for an account, you do have to tell NABP what school you're coming from so they can transfer the appropriate data from your college/university. But here's the thing: I signed up with the NABP with the same name that I've been using literally everywhere else. I only used my last and first name and not my middle name. Of course, its not required when you set up an account because not everyone has middle names but this will bite me down the road.

    After making an account with the NABP, you have to sign up with that account with another company that handles the testing process (typical capitalism). They grab all of the relevant data from the NABP ID that was generated when I signed up so all I had to do was pick a date and place. So with that, I signed up for the NAPLEX on July 16th, 2018. Interestingly, they told me to bring not one but two forms of identification with me to the exam. Makes sense, but at the time it didn't bother me as I wouldn't believe these would ever betray me. I chose my Driver's license and passport.

    Onto exam day, I'm nervous as the next dude/dudette on taking this exam. Passing this exam would make me one step closer to becoming a fully fledged pharmacist and able to make those sick six figures. I go to the pre-testing room and pick a number. When my number is called, I hand the secretary my two forms of ID and they do their magic on their screen. She hands them back to me only to quickly ask for both of them back. Then with a stern face, she tells me that I am not allowed to take the exam. Why? Because the IDs I brought with me listed my full middle name but not the account that I had registered with the testing company. It was 7:30 AM and the test begins at 8. She told me that unless the name is properly changed, I cannot take the exam. To make matters worse, the testing company was not open until 8 AM. But I stayed at the testing site to see if I could at least try to take the exam with less time (its like 400 minutes long). After a 30 minute live-text session on my phone, turns out the testing company can't change my name since it was generated with the name I had listed on NABP when I signed up. The dude I texted gave me NABP's phone number to call them and ask for the name change. Upon calling that phone number, I was met with an automated message that told me NABP opens at 9 AM.

    At this point, I didn't even know if NABP would allow the name change over the phone in time for me take the exam. I had checked their website sometime before the live-texting session with the testing company and NABP wants name changes to be submitted through a notarized form that was to be faxed/mailed. So at this point I went home and gave up trying to take the NAPLEX that day. Stuff happened that same day so I didn't get a chance to call NABP until later, but eventually, I did get a chance to call them. Turns out the name change process was really simple as e-mailing my 2 forms of ID to NABP and now my profile shows my full legal name. The lady on the phone told me it would take several more days until the testing company updates the name on their end and subsequently issues me a chance to reschedule the exam which brings us to where I am at right now.

    While I won't say this wasn't my fault, the fact that the initial sign-up would eventually involve me double-checking with not one, but two different forms of ID, I feel as though this could have been as easily averted if they made me use my ID when I created my account. Like, NABP is a national organization so they must have at least access to all government issued IDs so would it be too much trouble to make new users give their registration number or something instead of hand typing their personal details? In the end, the only harm done was that I have to pay an additional fee to retake the exam as well as delay my future license which inadvertently delays my prospects for getting a job which potentially delays me paying off my loans etc. The point is just use your full legal name, no matter how useless your middle name is.