Guest Post: A Word from our Students
“Oh no… I haven’t done my CEs yet…”
This was the thought running through our heads as we walked into the College of Pharmacists of BC’s office on day one of our placement. We sat unreasonably nervous in the waiting area, even though we really had no reason to be. In fact, To our pleasant surprise, we were greeted with smiling faces and throughout the week we felt like valued and supported registrants of the College. So... what gives? Isn’t the College there just to discipline us for every mistake we make? They’re here for the public, right?
As you are likely aware, the College is a self-governing body with the public’s best interests in mind, but we often unjustly associate them solely with inquiry committees and disciplinary actions. Over the week, there was a complete switch in our perspective on how the College goes about accomplishing their mandate to protect and serve the public. We have seen that their focus is to help enhance pharmacy practice and a byproduct of that is often educating and advising pharmacists on which areas they need improvement in.
One example of this is the Practice Review Program, which includes a “Pre-Review” process where registrants are given the contents of the evaluation ahead of time to prepare for the assessment. In other words, we’re given the answer key to the “exam”! This helps support registrants in how they can improve their practice to better serve the public and a chance to perfect their process. Only in rare instances does the college need to utilize the disciplinary committee and reprimand registrants. The college is all about self-improvement!
We were also introduced to the dedicated team of compliance officers who answer pharmacy practice questions on a daily basis. It can be very difficult to navigate all the bylaws and policies. For example, did you know that we cannot accept prescriptions from out of province NPs or dispense emergency supplies for pets? We sure didn’t, but we were comforted in knowing that the College can provide us guidance in a timely manner.
Alright College, we’re warming up to what you’re doing here. But, why so slow with policy changes? To put it simply, change takes time. There is a full legislation team dedicated to developing bylaws and policies, which are prioritized and filtered by the board members and later made public for additional input. This can be lengthy process, but the goal is to make changes accurately and meaningfully, not necessarily “as fast as possible”.
When it comes down to it, we’re on board and excited for what the College has done and will be doing moving forward. We like to think that we work in a profession that strives to provide good patient care and the College has shown us that they want to support our ability to do that; as long as we remember to submit our CEs on time!
Sukhpreet Poonia graduated from the Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences at UBC in 2017 and is currently completely a post-graduate residency in pharmacy with a community focus. After the residency program she will be working as a Clinical Pharmacist in the Downtown East Side along side mental health workers, nurses and physicians with a primary focus on addictions and psychiatry as well as chronic disease management
Alexander Siy is a UBC Pharmacy graduate who is completing a post-graduate residency specializing in ambulatory care. He currently works part-time alongside the residency as a Clinical Pharmacist under Community Apothecary, which involves seeing patients in the Vancouver downtown east-side area. Alexander previously worked as a Student Pharmacist at Shoppers Drug Mart and an Integrated Activities Project Assistant with the Pharmacy Faculty at UBC. Upon completion of the residency, Alexander will be working on an interprofessional team at a chronic pain clinic under CBI Health Group.