“Pharmacists want black or white answers but there is rarely a completely right or wrong answer and we have to make the best decision for our patients with the information we have.”
- University of Toronto – Pharmacy
- Rotman School of Management – Executive MBA
- Vice President, Pharmacy, Katz Group Canada Ltd./Rexall Pharma Plus
Tracey Phillips’ interest in business and her enthusiasm for pharmacy and education have changed the way pharmacists practise at Rexall. She has been inspired by great mentors over her career, and her personal history has pushed her to inspire new pharmacists, advocate for the profession and champion the role pharmacists can play in patient care.
Why did you choose pharmacy?
Honestly, when I was younger I really wanted to start a business and own a store. I knew my mom, a nurse, would have been disappointed if I had gone solely into business. I thought with pharmacy I could be part of a profession and still own a pharmacy. Through the first few years of university, I was not sure if I had made the right choice. I found that the curriculum at the time didn’t really interest me until I reached fourth year and we started to do rotations and patient care. Then it all came together and I felt the profession was pretty challenging, satisfying, and overall it has been a positive experience.
Where did you start your career?
I worked at the Shoppers Drug Mart (SDM) at the Sheraton Centre hotel in downtown Toronto. It was a great place to work as I had a mix of clients from the community, shoppers in the area and a number of celebrities like Mr. T and Gordon Lightfoot. I continued to work as a pharmacy manager for SDM at a number of locations. SDM had the Koffler Academy where you could take courses on a large number of business topics.
How did you transition to Rexall?
I took some time off to have children and did some consulting work but eventually needed to return to steady employment. I was offered the chance to manage a Rexall store in Toronto near my house. It was a time of growth for Rexall, and within three months they promoted me to regional pharmacy director.
What is your current role at Rexall?
As the Vice President of Pharmacy, I am involved in professional programs and pharmacy strategy development. I am involved in directing scope of practice change, expanded services and patient programs. My position involves answering why we should do it, what is the best way to do it, and ensuring our pharmacists have the tools and support they need to deliver those services.
What is your greatest challenge?
I’m very proud to be part of a Rexall team that has been an industry leader in pharmacy and pharma-care services. Healthcare is constantly evolving, from where and when services are provided to who is delivering them. I don’t think it’s a secret that like our competitors we’re always looking ahead. Fortunately, I have the right team of people in place to help navigate our company through practice change and come out a success.
Leaders in Pharmacy, including this independently written article, is supported by GenMed, a division of Pfizer