The future of pharmacy

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There is a genuine thirst for knowledge in this profession. The pharmacists I teach truly appreciate the opportunity to learn best practices and collaborate with peers across Canada.

“Years ago when my dad was diagnosed with cancer, I was his primary caregiver. Helping him through that journey, I saw gaps in our health system and opportunities for improvement” says Kathy Vu. “This experience led me to focus my career on quality and safety of patient care, and ways to improve our health systems approach.”

Kathy instructs our Essentials of Oncology course- starting April 15- and Advanced Oncology, offered in partnership with the Leslie Dan Faculty of Pharmacy. Through this collaboration, SCS now provides professional development courses for pharmacists, helping them to stay abreast of a rapidly shifting industry.

After earning her Bachelor of Science in Pharmacy, Kathy went on to complete a hospital residency and her Doctor of Pharmacy degree. Specializing in oncology, she practiced as a Clinical Pharmacy Practitioner for 12 years at St. Michael’s Hospital in Toronto. Today, she is an Assistant Professor and Director of the PharmD for Pharmacists Program in the Leslie Dan Faculty of Pharmacy.

“In order to provide high quality oncology care, healthcare providers need to be trained in a standardized manner” she says. “I collaborated with the faculty to develop a Continuous Professional Development (CPD) program to better train pharmacists in community and hospital settings. Now, I am excited to work with SCS to provide cutting-edge professional development training.”

Kathy, who is also Clinical Lead, Safety Initiatives at Cancer Care Ontario, is passionate about working with professional learners, and considers teaching a real responsibility. “There is a genuine thirst for knowledge in this profession. The pharmacists I teach truly appreciate the opportunity to learn best practices and collaborate with peers across Canada” she says. “I’m not just delivering information and content, I’m mindful of the learners’ unique experiences and diverse backgrounds. I encourage conversation and knowledge sharing, so they can find new ways to shape their practices.”

Reflecting on the future of the profession, Kathy thinks the role of pharmacists will continue to push current boundaries in order to meet the increasing demands of our healthcare system in Canada. “We cannot view professional development as optional” she says. “It is an integral part of our practice to ensure safe and effective patient care.”

When she isn’t teaching and working to improve our healthcare system, Kathy loves to bake with her kids. “No matter how busy things get, we always find time to have fun in the kitchen” she says. Sometimes, the perfect Rx is a cupcake (made with love).