Pharmacy U

Watch & Learn: Mentors, with their mentees, are transforming the profession

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By Mike Boivin, BSc.Phm.

Almost every person can recall an individual who has influenced his or her career choices and helped provide crucial insights to make tough career or personal decisions. These mentors selflessly share the wealth of their experiences to help the leaders of tomorrow maximize their opportunities.

With this mentoring program, pharmacy leaders are helping to make a difference in the professional lives of 12 pharmacists from across the country. The mentors – and mentees – are shaping the profession today and for many years to come.

Each of the mentees has set specific goals, reflecting their current role and the steps they need to take, with the help of their mentors, to help them reach the next level.


“The test of a good coach is that when they leave, others will carry on successfully.”

– Author Unknown


Mentee_mentor_with-Names_July14_1Suzanne Han, mentee, with mentor Shan Khoo, Manager, Pharmacy Managed Care at London Drugs

Suzanne plans to use her time with her mentor to better understand the business of pharmacy and the role of technology in improving pharmacy operations. “Shan is confident and forward-thinking, and by shadowing her I am hoping to be exposed to these key areas and to potential contacts who can influence my career.” Suzanne has started to work toward these goals by being asked to present at a meeting that was originally slated solely for the IT department.  “It was great to contribute feedback on a pilot project that is important in growing a particular aspect of our business.”

Mentee_mentor_with-Names_July14_2Theresa Gatien, mentee, with mentor Lisa Richardson, Vice President Pharmacy at Lawtons Drugs

Theresa is happy to have the opportunity to work with a mentor who was the “first senior management person in the company to identify me and informally mentor me to strive for more experiences and tougher challenges.” Theresa’s goals reflect those of a pharmacist in a management position. She wants to use this opportunity to network with outside influencers such as third parties, manufacturers and other chain drug stores. “With some input from my mentor, I am hoping to be able to have important conversations in a meaningful way, while respecting corporate privacy.” Theresa is looking to her mentor to expose her to components of the business to which she has not had access. “Lisa and I are looking for ways to expose me to different aspects of our business that make up our company as a whole.”

Mentee_mentor_with-Names_July14_4Jacqueline McKenna, mentee, with mentor Rose Dipchand, Manager of Professional Affairs for Pharmasave Atlantic

Jacqueline is using the mentoring program as one step in shaping her new pharmacy career. She feels that Rose can offer some great insight into pharmacy practice. “Rose’s career has always been innovative. I am hoping to use her as a resource to help identify the services and resources to improve my confidence and my daily pharmacy practice.” Jacqueline has already taken major steps to reach her goals. “I have taken training to allow me to administer injections, and this has focused some of my services toward immunization programs like travel health and non-funded vaccines such as the zoster vaccine.” Jacqueline is following in the footsteps of her mentor and wants to give back to her community. “One of my goals is to look for the ideal places to volunteer my time to improve the lives of the people living in my area.”

Mentee_mentor_with-Names_July14_3Angela Puim, mentee, with mentor Sherry Peister, Chair, Green Shield Canada, CPhA

Angela is hoping to use her mentor’s broad knowledge base to enhance her passion for the many sectors of pharmacy practice. “Sherry is a strong advocate for the profession and growing our scope of practice. By sharing her experience, she can help me grow as a professional.” Angela is using this opportunity to identify some of her key strengths and weaknesses to determine which sector of the profession is the ideal fit for her.  “It is a great opportunity to evolve any weaknesses and overcome barriers, and help me to build confidence in my skillset. I want to master skills such as public speaking, as this can help me today and in the future.”

Leaders in Pharmacy, including this independently written article, is supported by GenMed, a division of Pfizer Canada.