Advice, Current Students, Life at UBC Pharm Sci

“Treat the patient, not the prescription” and other quotes that shape our practice

We asked four of our UBC Pharm Sci Student Ambassadors to reflect on the quotes and advice that have shaped their practice, and that serve as a reminder to why they chose pharmacy. Here’s what Alex, Jonathan, Lisa, and Miriam had to say.

UBC Pharm Sci student at Health Fair

Image: Ivan Yastrebov, UBC Pharm Sci

“Treat the patient, not the prescription.” (Barbara Gobis)

When studying for exams and and prepping for labs, it’s incredibly easy to lose sight of what to do when face-to-face with a real patient. For example, I’ve asked patient-actors in lab counselling scenarios if they were pregnant or lactating only to realize that the patient is a male. Over the years, I’ve learned the true essence of critical thinking. It’s not just about assessing all the information, but the relevant information to help your patients. The ability to look at a problem wholly and not focus on the situation right in front of us is something I’m glad I’ll leave the Faculty with. – Alex Assumption

“Today you may have 30 encounters with patients, but each patient likely has only ONE pharmacy visit today.” (Unknown lecturer)

I think this quote really speaks about how important each patient/pharmacist interaction is. When we’re out in the community, we might experience a high volume of patients and as the day goes on, experience fatigue. We might end up being complacent with our interactions and just aim to pass (ie: > 60%). However, we need to remember that although we may have multiple patient interactions in a day, we might be the only healthcare professional a patient interacts with on that given day. We are representing the healthcare system, and every patient deserves our full attention and effort. – Jonathan Loong

UBC Pharm Sci student at Health Fair

Image: Ivan Yastrebov, UBC Pharm Sci

“Bring value and you will become indispensable.” (Dr. Dan Martinusen)

In a busy pharmacy setting this thought has helped me focus on what comes first and build a plan to achieve that goal. Despite only working one day a week, it is very gratifying to have patients in the pharmacy who know me by name and will seek me for advice. The rapport I have with my patients is a valuable asset I bring to their healthcare team. – Lisa Wang

“You’re my favourite drug experts” (Dr. Simon Albon)

This is essentially the most valuable asset of a pharmacist. We spend three years learning about drugs, from medicinal chemistry to pharmacology to therapeutics. In practice, our expertise about medications is where we are most needed. Whether you receive a drug information request from a patient or from a doctor, others look to us for answers about medications. – Miriam Ahmed


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